New-look Red Lobster slated to open in fall

By Richard Yager….

This Red Lobster at Hickory, NC, is similar to how the new restaurant in Kendall will look when complete.

Soon after Labor Day weekend, Kendall should see a favorite seafood spot reopen its doors with a New England touch and a menu to match.

A new Red Lobster restaurant, built from the ground up with “Bar Harbor” styling, is under construction on Kendall Drive, one block east of SW 117th Avenue. it is expected to open just after the September holiday, according to Erica Jaeger, spokesperson for the Darden Group of Orlando, corporate owner of the national chain.

Hiring for the Kendall restaurant will be completed in August with 100 to 125 employees expected, Jaeger added.

Plans to remodel all of its nearly 700 Red Lobster restaurants across the U.S. and Canada in a style reminiscent of the Maine seaside village were announced in November 2010 with one-third of the conversions expected to be completed by June.

The Kendall location’s “Bar Harbor” styling is the first to debut in Miami-Dade or Broward counties. The first restaurant to open in South Florida with the new look is located at Boynton Beach, one of 16 in Florida scheduled for remodeling.

New exterior features include a stone tower, ship lanterns, Adirondack chairs to encourage guest conversation and unique window decals that spell out the types of seafood on the menu.

Guests also will find Interiors with “cozy booths, warm wood paneling, softer lighting and nautical décor, including signal flags and seaside-inspired artwork,” she said.

Along with a new appearance, new lunch and dinner menus will include: Wood-grilled salmon and skewered jumbo shrimp; Cedar-planked salmon; Parmesancrusted tilapia, New England lobster rolls; Barbecued shrimp and bacon-wrapped scallops over crisp onion rings, and Snow Crab legs (one pound) steamed and served with melted butter.

First opened in 1985 on the 2.28-acre site at 11550 SW 88 St., the Red Lobster carries a 2010 land value of $2.9 million and a market value of $3.6 million. The site on Kendall Drive is flanked to the east by a McDonald’s franchise and on the west by a shopping center.

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