Bahama Breeze Jacksonville
10205 River Coast Drive
Jacksonville, FL 32246
A Bahama Breeze is blowing into Jacksonville.
The Caribbean-inspired restaurant operated by Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: (DRI) will open its first Florida location north of Orlando in the St. Johns Town Center in spring 2010.
“We’ve had our eyes on the Jacksonville market for quite some time, waiting for the right location to become available, and we fully believe St. Johns Town Center is it,” said Bahama Breeze spokesman Mike Bernstein in an e-mailed response. “We believe Bahama Breeze will fit in well with the other retailers and restaurants there.”
Retail development might have slowed significantly around the nation and in Jacksonville, but it hasn’t stopped completely at the 1.2 million-square-foot St. Johns Town Center. The second phase of the center, where the Bahama Breeze will be built, includes dining newcomers to Jacksonville such as Mitchell’s Fish Market; Cantina Laredo; Darden’s high-end steakhouse The Capital Grille; and J. Alexander’s, which opened in December.
Two more restaurants will open at the town center in October — Studio 09, a wine and tapas bar that is also new to the market, and Dick’s Wings and Grill — according to a representative of the owner, Simon Property Group Inc. (NYSE: SPG).
Orlando-based Darden Restaurants, like many others in the industry, saw its net income decline in the fiscal year that ended in May, dropping from $377.2 million, or $2.69 per share, to $372.2 million.
The company also saw same-restaurant sales decline in four out of five of its reporting brands in fiscal 2008: The Capital Grille, down 15.5 percent; Bahama Breeze, down 6 percent; LongHorn Steakhouse, down 5.6 percent; and Red Lobster, down 2.2 percent. Olive Garden same-store sales grew 0.3 percent.
Darden Restaurants also owns, but does not publicly report on, Seasons 52, which has no restaurants in Northeast Florida.
The Bahama Breeze menu includes seafood, chicken and steak entrées ranging in price from about $8 to $22, and averaging just under $12.
Twenty-four Bahama Breeze restaurants have opened in 12 states since 1996, eight of which are in Florida. The Jacksonville Bahama Breeze is the only one the company expects to open during fiscal 2010, but Bernstein said the company expects to open one to three restaurants a year in the near term.
Haley Construction Inc. of Daytona Beach will build the Jacksonville restaurant. The contractor’s building permit listed the construction cost as $1.1 million. The 7,000-square-foot restaurant will seat about 200 diners and employ 100 people.
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Read more: Bahama Breeze to bring a taste of the islands | Jacksonville Business Journal