Chain Beverage Buzz: July 23, 2012

Darden Restaurants Inc. has agreed to buy Yard House USA Inc., which operates 39 Yard House locations, in an all-cash transaction totaling $585 million. The Irvine, Calif.-based Yard House will join Darden’s Specialty Restaurant Group, which includes The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52 and Eddie V’s. Orlando, Florida-based Darden, which also operates the Olive Garden, Red Lobster and LongHorn Steakhouse casual-dining brands, expects to complete the acquisition in its second quarter of fiscal year 2013.


Summers are getting a lot more flavorful at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, which recently introduced its “Summer Lovin’ Steak & Sangria” prix fixe dinner. The promotion, which kicked off July 2 and runs through Aug. 26, introduces a new pairing every two weeks, with each menu featuring a summer salad, prime New York Strip and dessert for $39.95. The suggested handcrafted Sangria pairing runs an additional $7.95. The Newport Beach, Calif.-based chain comprises 64 restaurants nationwide.



Orlando, Fla.-headquartered Seasons 52 is partnering with Atlantico to provide two signature cocktails featuring the brand’s Reserva and Platino rums. Available exclusively at all 23 Seasons 52 locations throughout the summer, the Watermelon Refresher is made with Atlantico Platino, fresh watermelon and agave nectar, while the Strawberry Lemon Euphoria is composed of Atlantico Reserva, fresh strawberry, lemon juice, lemon wedges and mint. International performer Enrique Iglesias serves as the face of the promotion.



Chevys Fresh Mex is celebrating National Tequila Day with a five-day fiesta. Starting July 20, select locations of the Mexican restaurant chain will feature tequila-themed menu items paired with Margaritas, such as Chef Carlos’ Flaming Tequila Chicken Fajitas and the 1800 Watermelon Margarita ($17.99 total). On National Tequila Day, July 24, the chain will offer additional specials, including a $5 1800 Margarita (house or fresh fruit); Cazadores Blanco, Herradura Silver, El Jimador Reposado shots for $6; and Paloma or Red Paloma, or any flavor Tequini for $7. Chevy’s Fresh Mex comprises 64 company-owned restaurants and 22 franchises.



Minneapolis-based Buffalo Wild Wings is getting a face-lift, with a refreshed logo and restaurant décor in an attempt to remain current with its expanding fan base. The first guest-facing change was a re-imagined logo. The familiar winged buffalo is now more muscular and athletic, sporting enlarged wings, upward-turned horns and a more powerful, sporty look. The next change will come within the Buffalo Wild Wings’ 835 restaurants, when the company rolls out a new design that mirrors the look and atmosphere of being in a sports stadium while putting greater emphasis on beer and the chain’s 20 signature wing sauces and seasonings.



Columbus, Ohio-based Max & Erma’s is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a summer fundraising drive to benefit local food banks in their neighborhoods. The group’s “Food for Families” campaign includes a series of special “FUNdraising” events, as well as an opportunity for guests to make $1 donations in exchange for a future food discount. The goal is to raise at least $40,000 for food banks serving communities where Max & Erma’s 52 company-owned restaurants operate. The campaign runs through Labor Day.

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