Plans have stalled for a new Red Lobster restaurant to replace the King’s Family Restaurant on Route 19 in Cranberry.
Township manager Jerry Andree said GMR Restaurants of Pennsylvania LLC—a subsidiary of Darden Restaurants, Inc.—backed off plans for the seafood chain in the area shortly after the Cranberry Board of Supervisors gave site approval for the property in November.
Developers had tentative plans to tear down the King’s restaurant and begin construction of a 5,880-square-foot Red Lobster that would be able to seat 220 diners in January. The restaurant was set to open by summer.
Andree said he believes the company’s leasing option with LG Realty Advisors, which owns the Cranberry Mall, has expired. The King’s restaurant already has moved out of the space.
“I understand it’s back on the market,” Andree said of the building.
Brian Gumberg, principal and managing member of LG Realty Advisors, could not immediately be reached for comment.
The Huffington Post reports Darden Restaurants announced in December that it would retool its strategy to attract diners after a significant drop in revenue.
The company also decided to dial back efforts to revamp the restaurants and attract younger diners in favor of increasing the frequency of promotional deals, the Huffington Post reports.
Andree said the township has received several inquiries about the property from interested parties since plans for the Red Lobster were put on hold.
“It’s a high profile spot,” he said.
Any new site plans would need to be submitted to the township for review, he said.
Red Lobster would not need to go through the planning process again should the company decide to move forward with plans for the restaurant—if the space is still available.
“If Red Lobster decides to come back, we would have the approved site plan,” Andree said.
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