Seasons 52, Darden Restaurants’ 18-unit seasonally oriented concept, has plans to open six new locations over the next year.
Three of the new restaurants are scheduled to open by the end of November, said Mike Bernstein, a spokesman for Seasons 52. They will be located next to Mercato Center in Naples, Fla.; in the St. Johns Town Center in Jacksonville, Fla.; and in the Country Club Plaza Center in Kansas City.
The three remaining locations are slated to open their doors next year in downtown Santa Monica, Calif.; in the Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City on Long Island, N.Y.; and in the Oakbrook Center in Oak Brook, Ill., outside Chicago.
The Garden City and Oak Brook locations are expected to open in the spring of 2012, while the Santa Monica site is slated to debut in fall 2012.
“We’re proud to have a disciplined growth strategy that is enabling us to introduce this special concept with excellence nationwide,” Seasons 52 said in a statement. “Seasons 52 president Stephen Judge is leading this effort, securing premium real estate locations with popular and upscale retailers that provide a lifestyle environment compatible with the Seasons 52 concept.”
Seasons 52 opened six restaurants during fiscal 2011, which ended June 30.
Seasons 52 also announced it has selected Barbara Rafalowski as the new managing partner for Indiana’s Seasons 52 at Keystone at the Crossing.
“Barbara has the experience and knowledge of the industry that our brand needs,” Judge said in a statement. “She will bring a new energy to the Indianapolis location and will help continue Seasons 52’s vision of inspiring customers through the seasons.”
Rafalowski previously worked as operating partner at Stonewood Grill and Tavern in Orlando, Fla., and as senior manager at Grand Lux Café in Boca Raton, Fla., Sunrise, Fla., and Chicago.
The Seasons 52 concept, which rotates it menu seasonally, introduced its fall offerings for the media at its Tampa restaurant Tuesday night. The brand is known for its grilled menu offerings and items that contain 475 calories or less.
On Tuesday night, Seasons 52 used a live Web stream for its restaurants in Tampa and Altamonte Springs, Fla., and Cherry Hill, N.J., to show master sommelier George Miliotes discussing wine and food combinations from the brand’s test kitchen. Some of the new appetizers and flatbread offerings were shown simultaneously via the live streaming video from the test kitchen and in the Tampa restaurant.
For the fourth quarter ended June 30, Darden Restaurants Inc. said same-store sales at Seasons 52 rose 2.2 percent from the same period last year. For the full fiscal year, same-store sales increased 4.4 percent. Its average unit volume was $6.3 million.
Darden also operates Red Lobster, Olive Garden and LongHorn Steak House, Bahama Breeze and The Capital Grille.