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Plans Stall Out for Red Lobster in Cranberry

The seafood chain was scheduled to replace the King’s Family Restaurant on Route 19.

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 it 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.

What do you think? Are you disappointed Red Lobster won't be coming to Cranberry in the expected time frame? Tell us in the comment section below.

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Mike February 19, 2013 at 11:53 AM
It would be nice to have a Chili's restaurant there
Giacomo February 19, 2013 at 01:18 PM
In the growing CT economy, pretty much any restaurant in that location would thrive. Red Lobster's revenue nose dive was probably due to the "mini-boycott" over its well publicised attempts to weasel its way out of providing health insurance benefits (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/04/how-not-to-succeed-in-business-promise-to-dodge-obamacare-mandates/). The public has a short memory and flexible morality -- a Red Lobster will do just fine there. I hope senior management changes its mind, treating its employees better and locating its restaurant here.
No name February 19, 2013 at 01:49 PM
Would welcome with open arms, and wallet, a Carrabba's Italian Grill. Closest is in Youngstown.
Giacomo February 19, 2013 at 02:08 PM
Good point, Eureka, but you know what I found out? Brio (closest is Shaker Heights/ Cleveland area) beats Carrabba's in flavor and amplitude of menu. Ever tried Brio?
Bill Anderson February 19, 2013 at 02:35 PM
Carrabba's would be a welcome site. However, I agree that "Brio" is somewhat better than Carrabba's and you indicated that the closest is Shaker Heights but we do have a Bravo which is owned by the same group as Brio.
Diana Munn February 19, 2013 at 03:11 PM
Come back Red Lobster - we need a seafood restaurant in Cranberry! Too many Italian, Mexican and fast food restaurants here for my taste.
Janet Butler February 19, 2013 at 03:21 PM
So glad Red Lobster is not coming!! Cranberry needs another good restaurant that serves a higher quality of food. You can only go to Echo, Bravo and Jimmy Wan's so many times, that it would be nice to have another choice.
KG February 19, 2013 at 03:22 PM
What Cranberry needs is a Bonefish Grill!
Giacomo February 19, 2013 at 03:26 PM
I did not know that, Bill, thanks. I have no real complaint with Bravo, but Brio is way better.
DM February 19, 2013 at 04:21 PM
Red Lobster a seafood restaurant? That's like saying Noodles & Company is an "international" restaurant. I agree with Janet (and check out Mirchi in Excel Plaza), too few restaurants of any value. Chili's? Those places are fast food restaurants with nicer tables. It's okay to not eat at a chain restaurant...really it is.
nancy harms February 19, 2013 at 05:03 PM
McCormick and schmicks seafood restaurant would be nice!
Bill Selmann February 19, 2013 at 05:40 PM
Can't blame them for protecting their business. If you want a "weasel" simply look at the president of this country wasting our money on yet another vacation. The United States Constitution does not state anyone be FORCED into national socialist run health care. Soon you will have to take a yearly physical so that you don't cost the "state" money. You have a short memory. Hitler was not that long ago. Your socialist morality needs to be stopped before you enslave the entire populace and destroy our freedom..... or start a civil war. What growing economy are you talking about? West Texas?
michael mallory February 19, 2013 at 07:14 PM
Cranberry is a high class area...the typical run of the mill chains will not excite anyone...needs to be innovative and fresh
MDixon February 19, 2013 at 07:59 PM
A Bonefish Grille and PF Chang's would be perfect for Cranberry Township!
Jim February 20, 2013 at 02:56 AM
I agree. But since Carrabba's is coming to the McCandless Crossing area on McKnight I doubt they would put another one so close?
Melody Meredith February 20, 2013 at 12:59 PM
Taco bell please.. .or joe's crab shack
John February 20, 2013 at 02:31 PM
Well, at least now I fully understand why every existing home for sale in Cranberry has a kitchen that looks like it's never been used.
gma February 20, 2013 at 03:12 PM
Cranberry a high class area? Haha. Cranberry is still a hillbilly filled town. Go on a vacation and see how the rest of the world lives...not with chickens in their back yard.
Giacomo February 20, 2013 at 03:19 PM
gma, your comment is comical, hopefully not completely serious. Sure, there are some rural patches still, but take a drive in the newer neighborhoods on the east side, and you'll see the "new Cranberry" -- although your idea about taking a vacation has plenty of merit...
gma February 20, 2013 at 03:50 PM
Not completely serious but my point being that a lot of people in ct believe themselves better than others. Their expensive homes are cheaply built and falling apart. Once you get outside that area and especially that whole state you see what it means to live in a high class area. And the first rule of living in a high class area...you don't talk about it. Maybe labeling ct as out of place is more suitable. The pgh area takes pride in values, tradition and family...not class. Ct is not a highclass area but a group of people who value things the rest of the area doesn't.
Walt February 20, 2013 at 09:06 PM
There are a lot of snobby people all over the North Hills and up into Cranberry too, even though that's Butler County and they're there for the lower taxes, but these people regard themselves too highly. Then you see the comments here about needing a Red Lobster or a Chili or a Cracker Barrel or an LA Fitness or some other worthless business.
Colleen Mcmillen February 21, 2013 at 06:05 PM
The reason Red Lobsters revenue dropped is due to thier increasingly poor quality. I for one refuse to pay their prices for the quality the produce and the service that I have found at their chains. Truthfully, I can't even say what I would like to see in cranberry because I have found this to be true of most chains in today's economic state. Stay home and entertain friends. Great quality and company. And I use to enjoy a night out. Must add I do live Ichi Ban.
No name February 23, 2013 at 03:44 PM
Bonefish Grill and Carrabbas is going in the McCandless Crossing as that is the location of new IMAX theater. Restaurants like these...as well as PF Changs....prefer to locate by movie theaters. We lost that opportunity when Cranberry proposed stadium style movie theater bailed.
Marie E March 10, 2013 at 05:33 AM
NOTHING will thrive there with the bipass in the turnpike. It's why a booming kings had a decline. No one wants to go to a ghetto dirt strip mall when it is so much better right up the road. That mall is so dirty and ghetto. That part of cranberry is ghetto!

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