published Friday, June 21st, 2013

Business Briefs: Ruth's Chris to open in Chattanooga July 1

Ruth's Chris to open July 1

Chattanooga's first Ruth's Chris Steak House will open July 1, franchise owner Markham Oswald said Thursday.

The high-end restaurant will handle all of the food and beverage service for the 203-suite Embassy Suites, a seven-story luxury hotel that will celebrate a grand opening on Shallowford Road on June 28.

The restaurant, which is connected to Embassy Suites, includes a patio and seats 280 people. It will be open seven days a week, from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Oswald said.

"We're excited to be here in Chattanooga," he said. "We're looking forward to a fruitful relationship."

Toyota expands Huntsville plant

Toyota is spending $150 million on equipment as part of its expansion at an engine plant in North Alabama.

The car manufacturer said Thursday the machinery will help fill out space created during an $80 million plant expansion announced previously. The work is supposed to be finished by early 2014, and 125 jobs are being added in Huntsville. Once done, total employment will be 1,150.

The company is expanding production capacity for V6 engines. The company also is adding new capacity at supplier plants in Troy, Mo., and Jackson, Tenn. Toyota makes four-cylinder, V6 and V8 engines for eight different vehicles in Alabama.

Mortgage rates dip before rise

U.S. mortgage rates fell for the first time in seven weeks, keeping the average on the 30-year fixed loan just under 4 percent. But rates are expected to surge next week. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the rate on the 30-year mortgage declined to 3.93 percent from 3.98 percent last week. The rate on the 15-year loan eased to 3.04 percent from 3.10 percent.

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