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RED LOBSTER OPENS FIRST RESTAURANT IN BRISTOL
Restaurant Offers a Menu Filled With Fresh Seafood, Healthy Dining Options & Traditional Favorites

BRISTOL, Va. (September 21, 2005) — On Monday, October 3, Red Lobster will unveil its first location in Bristol.  The new restaurant will feature a dynamic menu that includes a variety of fresh fish entrées, live Maine lobsters, the company’s healthy LightHouse Menu and its award-winning kid’s menu, as well as an assortment of traditional Red Lobster favorites.

The 229-seat, 7,222 square foot restaurant is located at 3167 Linden Drive (at Exit 7 off I-81).  Employing approximately 130 crewmembers, the new Bristol Red Lobster will begin serving at
11 a.m. on opening day.  Guests can enjoy lunch until 4 p.m. and dinner all day long.  Also on opening day, the new restaurant will celebrate its grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony on October 3 at 10 a.m.in front of the restaurant.

The Bristol restaurant is opening just in time to participate inDine for America on Wednesday, October 5.  Through Dine for America, all Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze, Smokey Bones Barbeque and Grill and Seasons 52 restaurants throughout North America will donate 100 percent of all profits from the day to the American Red Cross and its Disaster Relief Fund to help those affected by Hurricane Katrina.

“We are proud to be a new neighbor in the Bristol area and to be the first in town to offer a full seafood menu.  Our enthusiastic crew looks forward to serving guests the freshest seafood in a comfortable, relaxing atmosphere,” said Rob Speas, a five-year Red Lobster veteran and the general manager for the new Bristol restaurant.

Fresh Seafood on the Menu
Guests at the new Bristol restaurant can enjoy flavorful seafood dishes that include shrimp, scallops and crab, as well as the company’s signature, fresh live Maine lobsters straight from the restaurant’s lobster tank. 

Additionally, the restaurant is featuring Red Lobster’s most popular promotion, Endless Shrimp.  For a limited time, guests can enjoy a choice of Shrimp Scampi, Garlic Alfredo Shrimp Pasta, Fried Shrimp, the restaurant’s famous Popcorn Shrimp, and Coconut Shrimp Bites (shrimp hand-dipped in coconut batter, flavored with Captain Morgan’s Parrot Bay rum, cooked to a golden brown and served with a piña colada dipping sauce). The can try a new variety with each refill.

The Red Lobster restaurant also will offer select cuts of fresh fish, including salmon, tilapia, rainbow trout and grouper in thick, skinless portions – always fresh and never frozen.  These selections can be grilled, broiled, fried or blackened and reinforce Red Lobster’s reputation for offering the freshest, best-tasting seafood at a friendly price.

LightHouse Menu
For the many health-conscious Americans who seek foods that are low in fat, calories or carbohydrates, the Bristol restaurant offers Red Lobster’s “LightHouse Menu” that provides guests with nutritional information for some of Red Lobster’s most popular menu items.  The menu lists more than 30 items – including numerous entrées, accompaniments, side dishes, dipping sauces and beverages – with the caloric, carbohydrate and fat content for each.

Nutritionists advise consumers to eat more seafood since it is such a healthy protein.  In fact, the American Heart Association recommends people eat seafood at least twice a week as part of a heart-healthy lifestyle.  Plus, federal advisers recommend Americans eat more fish and fewer refined grains such as white bread.  They also say the amount of salmon and other fish containing heart-protecting Omega-3 fatty acids should be doubled to two servings a week.

Award-Winning Kid’s Menu
The Bristol restaurant also will offer a kid’s menu that includes grilled fish, steamed crab legs and vegetables as well as traditional favorites.  Based on these new choices, Child Magazine named Red Lobster one of the “Best Restaurants for Families.”  Also, Restaurant Hospitality magazine named Red Lobster the Grand Winner in last year’s annual “Best Kids Menu in America” competition.  

Still Hiring
In anticipation of its opening, Red Lobster is hiring for all hourly positions.  Those interested in applying for a position should apply in person Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Bristol restaurant.  Call (276) 669-9110 for more information.

About Red Lobster
Red Lobster has over 670 restaurants in North America and more than 63,000 employees.  The company served more than 141 million guests in fiscal 2005 (ending May 29, 2005) and enjoyed total sales of $2.4 billion.  Diners have recognized Red Lobster as the nation’s best seafood restaurant for 17 years in a row in nationwide polls by Restaurants & Institutions magazine. 

The company is a subsidiary of Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: DRI).  Darden also owns and operates Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze, Smokey Bones Barbeque and Grill and Seasons 52 restaurants.  For the Red Lobster nearest you, call 1-800-LOBSTER or visit www.redlobster.com.

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