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Dive Into A New Look

17 metro-area Red Lobster restaurants remodeled

Special Photo
Red Lobster’s new interior design –– at the Jonesboro and McDonough locations –– was inspired by New England’s coast. Officials say the new look provides patrons with the illusion that they are dining by the seaside.

Special Photo Red Lobster’s new interior design –– at the Jonesboro and McDonough locations –– was inspired by New England’s coast. Officials say the new look provides patrons with the illusion that they are dining by the seaside.

The Red Lobster restaurant in Jonesboro has experienced a major face-lift.

Motorists driving past it on Tara Boulevard may look twice at the “new and improved” eatery, which is sporting a new sign to go with its new look.

Dwight Burke, general manager of the restaurant, said patrons can also see the difference inside the business, which provides a warm and cozy atmosphere, coupled with warm colors, accented lighting and artistic photographs of New England’s coast.

“It has been great for us,” said Burke, who’s been at the Jonesboro location for six years. “The one in Jonesboro is the oldest one, as [an] original site [with] continuos service for almost 40 years.”

He added that the eatery, located at 6550 Tara Blvd., was one of the first 100 Red Lobster restaurants to experience the remodeling.

According to Red Lobster officials, the restaurant’s McDonough location, at 1846 Jonesboro Road, and the Jonesboro locale were among 17 of the chain’s metro-Atlanta eateries that recently experienced the enhancements, at a cost of roughly $500,000 per restaurant.

Red Lobster is a division of Darden Restaurants, Inc.

“Red Lobster is proud to be a part of the Atlanta-area community, and while guests have been enjoying our delicious seafood for years, they expressed a desire for a more up-to-date atmosphere,” said Mike Stroud, Red Lobster’s senior vice president of operations, for the region, at Darden Restaurants.

On a side note, said General Manager Burke, Stroud began his career with Red Lobster as a bus boy years ago, at the Jonesboro location, and worked his way up. “He is one of our success stories,” Burke said proudly.

Red Lobster Spokeswoman Erica Jaeger said the restaurant chain launched the remodeling program in 2008, and since then, one-third of Red Lobster eateries have experienced the upgrades. The program should be completed by the end of 2014, and touch restaurants across the U.S., and Canada, she said.

“We decided to remodel our restaurants, because, while we had made enhancements to our menu and service over the last few years, guests told us they thought our next opportunity was to refresh the look and feel inside and outside of our restaurants,” she added, in an e-mailed statement.

She said the exterior and interior design of the restaurants are inspired by the New England Coast, to give patrons the feeling of dining by the seaside.

The exterior touches include a stone tower, which is similar to New England’s architecture, ship lanterns, Adirondack-style chairs, tasteful window graphics that advertise some of the food provided by the restaurant, and a plaque showcasing the general manager of the location, she said.

The interior of the restaurants, said Jaeger, have expanded seating for abundant parties, comforting booths, softer lighting and nautical decor, including signal flags and seaside-inspired artwork.

She said the design was created by an internal team of architects and designers, and chosen after a multi-year process of guest-focus groups, surveys and market examination.

“We are proud to bring this new restaurant design to the communities where we operate and the local residents we serve,” she said.

For more information, visit Red Lobster’s web site at www.redlobster.com.