POSTED: 4:28 p.m. HST, Jul 12, 2012
The 39-unit Yard House restaurant chain, founded by former Hawaii resident Steele Platt, has been sold to Darden Restaurants Inc. for $585 million.
Yard House will join Darden's Specialty Restaurant Group which includes Bahama Breeze, The Capital Grille, Eddy V's and Seasons 52 restaurants. Darden also operates Olive Garden, Red Lobster, and LongHorn Steakhouse chains across the U.S.
"It's been a good ride for me, growing up in Hawaii, starting (the restaurant) 17 years ago, it's great to see an idea come to this point, it's really exciting for me," Platt told the Star-Advertiser.
The deal is expected to close "probably around the end of August," he said.
TSG Consumer Partners LLC out of San Francisco acquired 67 percent of Yard House in 2007 and the plan always was to sell the chain, said Platt, who had grown the chain with a team of partners who may stay on with Darden.
As the founder, he's not sure what his role will be going forward, though he daily compiles the play list of music broadcast in each restaurant. Hawaii will "definitely" be an option for him to return to in retirement. "Maybe I'll open a manapua stand," he laughed.