Orlando-based Darden Restaurants plans new locations for four of its iconic dining brands within Collier and Lee, two in each county.

It’s been three years since Darden launched a new restaurant in the area. His last opening was Yard House in Naples in 2019. Now, Darden has four more restaurants in the works: Bahama Breeze island Grille in Naples, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen in North Naples, Lonhorn Meat restaurant in Cape Coral and Capital Grille in south Fort Myers.

It speaks of the power of Darden. We have or portfolio of eight brands and they are iconic brands”, he said Darden spokesman Rich Jeffers. “We are great excited about the conduct of all thoseof brands there. There is a huge increase in population DOWN there. There’s a lot going on. We are happy to be part of it.

Jeffers said Darden’s latest push to open more restaurants in the area is a culmination of work that came together fairly quickly. “We just stopped it completely pipeline e new restaurants during COVID amid uncertainty in 2020“, he said. “If the pandemic had not hit, we maybe would have opened SOMETHING sooner than now, but we hit the pause button beyond Board.”

Darden, who owns more than 1,800 restaurants in the United States, said he would opening 55 to 60 restaurants nationwide during fiscal year 2023, which began in June. “We’re back full speed ahead,” Jeffers said.

with Olive Garden strongly leads Darden’s restaurant brands, oOne of the company’s competitive advantages is that considerable degreeaccording to Darden’s 2022 annual report. “The benefits of our scale are not only evident in our financial results, but also across our entire business,” according to the annual report. “Our total sales are more than twice that from our closest full-service restaurant competitor. We also have higher sales than individual restaurant averages, lower costs – which we achieve by centralizing our support functions-and margins that are significantly higher than our competitive group.”

Three of four the planned projects in this region will be based on the existing second generation restaurant spaces, with only the Bahama Breeze building on an undeveloped parcel at the Coastland Center mall in Naples. However, plans for the Capital Grille project are still a bit tentative. “It’s too early, but things are moving in the right directionJeffers said, noting that the Bell Tower location could include extensive redevelopment and possible demolition of the former Mimi’s Cafe, which closed there in early 2021. equity The Grille project is still in its early stages. we WILL maybe build from foundation in that place.”

It would be the second area location for Captial Grille, which opened nearly 14 years ago in the Mercato in North Naples. of delicious steak brand has 64 locations, including 10 in Florida.

Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, a casual dining brand with a full bar, plans a North Naples location at 7000 square meters restaurant space vacated in 2020 by Sweet Tomatoes, which operated for 10 years in Granada Shoppes has a few lots on the southeast corner of US 41 North and Immokalee. Building started late last month under construction of The new Cheddar’s, which is expected to be completed in late January, according to development documents filed with the Collier County Department of Growth Management.

Construction has not yet started 10,390 square meters Bahama Breeze planned to open in October 2023 near Coastland Center’s CMX CinèBistro, which launched last fall in the footprint of the former Sears entity demolished in 2019 at Naples’ indoor mall. or Inspired by the Caribbean Casual dining chain with more than 40 locations, Bahama Breeze has operated a restaurant and bar for decades on US 41 south of Fort Myers.

LongHorn Steakhouse, Darden’s second most popular brand, it’s it is slated to open later this year in a former Ruby Tuesday restaurant space in Cape Coral Northpoint Shopping Center near BJ’s Wholesale Club on Pine Island Road. The detached building, which sold for $2 million in July 2021, it is being renovated after it was demolished to create the new steakhouse.

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