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RED LOBSTER REOPENS METAIRIE RESTAURANT IN TIME FOR LOBSTERFEST

METAIRIE, La. (March 9, 2006) — After months of renovations to repair damage caused by Hurricane Katrina, Red Lobster announced today the reopening of its popular Metairie restaurant in time for Lobsterfest, the restaurant company’s annual celebration of “everything Lobster.”  The restaurant is located at 3020 North Causeway Boulevard in the Lakeside Shopping Center (at the intersection of North Causeway Boulevard and Veterans Memorial Boulevard).

“We’re thrilled to be up-and-running in a beautifully renovated restaurant where we can serve our guests the freshest seafood in a friendly, welcoming atmosphere,” said Stephen Roberts, general manager of the Metairie restaurant.  “We appreciate the awesome support we’ve received from the Metairie community.”

A local favorite since 1994, the Metairie restaurant is now open from 3 to 10 p.m., Sunday through Monday, and is closed on Tuesdays. Restaurant managers intend to return to normal 7-days-a week operating hours – including lunch – as soon as they are able to employ more crew members. The restaurant’s new décor includes booths, tables and other furnishings designed to provide guests with an exceptional dining experience, complete with friendly service and great seafood.

“We’ve anticipated the come-back of our Metairie restaurant with great excitement,” said Red Lobster Senior Vice President Mike Stroud , who oversees Metairie and other restaurants throughout the southeastern United States .  “We are proud to offer the community employment opportunities and a relaxing place to dine on great seafood.”

The Metairie Red Lobster currently is hiring for all hourly positions.  Those interested should apply in person at the restaurant.  More information is available by calling (504) 838-1285.

In Time for Lobsterfest

Right now in Metairie and across the United States, seafood lovers can enjoy an array of new dishes during Lobsterfest, including:

  • Lobster Bisque – Back by popular demand, this creamy soup is packed with tender Maine and langostino lobster meat.
  • Rock IslandStuffed Tilapia – This flavorful entrée features fresh tilapia stuffed with crab and seafood, roasted and topped with langostino lobster meat in a creamy lobster sauce.
  • Harborside Lobster & Shrimp – A succulent rock lobster tail is paired with Red Lobster’s savory shrimp scampi and a skewer of grilled garlic jumbo shrimp. 
  • Classic Lobster & Snow Crab – A Maine lobster tail paired with a pound of tender steamed snow crab legs.

In addition, the restaurant serves a variety of fresh fish entrées – always fresh and never frozen -- live Maine lobsters, the company’s healthy LightHouse Menu and its award-winning kid’s menu, including steamed crab legs, grilled fish, chicken and fresh vegetables.

About Red Lobster

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.  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.

Red Lobster is a subsidiary of Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: DRI), which 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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