Darden Cuts Cord on Small Seafood Brand
Darden Restaurants is cutting the cord on Wildfish Seafood Grille, the small concept it purchased along with Eddie V’s for $59 million cash six years ago. The restaurant’s Scottsdale, Arizona, location closed over the weekend, and Darden spokesman Hunter Robinson told the Phoenix Business Journal that it will transition the two other units—in San Antonio and Newport Beach, California—into Eddie V’s in the coming months.
Robinson told the publication the move was intended to allow Darden to focus on Eddie V’s, and that Scottsdale employees were offered the chance to transfer to Eddie V’s or join other nearby Darden restaurants.
Nineteen-unit Eddie V’s reported same-store sales growth of 6.8 percent in the second quarter versus the prior-year period. Darden is expected to report third quarter results Thursday.
"We have made the difficult decision to discontinue operations of our Wildfish location in Scottsdale, due to the close proximity to our already existing Eddie V’s restaurant,” Robinson told the publication. “Closing the Scottsdale restaurant was a difficult business decision, and one we made very carefully and thoughtfully, particularly because it impacts our team members and our guests."
Darden, as a company, saw its total sales increase 14.6 percent to $1.88 billion, including 11.5 percent growth from the acquisition of 153 Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchens, in Q2. The company operates Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Yard House, Seasons 52, and Bahama Breeze.