SOLD: Cheddar’s Cafe at Cornerstone of Centerville

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Cheddar's Casual Cafe has been sold to one of the largest restaurant companies in the nation

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The Cheddar’s Casual Cafe at the Cornerstone of Centerville development is about to get new corporate ownership for the second time in four months — and this time, the new owners will work for one of the largest companies in the restaurant industry.

According to Nation's Restaurant News, Darden Restaurants — which owns Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse and five other restaurant brands — agreed Monday to buy Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen from its Texas-based private-equity owners for $780 million. The acquisition comes three years after Orlando-based Darden sold its Red Lobster chain.

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The 8,640-square-foot, free-standing Cheddar’s Casual Cafe, on a four-acre parcel on the northeast corner of Wilmington Pike and Feedwire Road, opened in June 2016 as Cheddar’s first Dayton-area location. It hired as many as 200 employees prior to its opening.

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The local Cheddar’s appears to have found an enthusiastic following. Facebook comments routinely describe wait times during peak hours, and the owner of a nearby independent restaurant, Caramella’s Italian Kitchen, said earlier this month that Cheddar’s popularity was difficult to compete against and contributed to his decision to shut down.

In January, that same restaurant was among more than 40 locations sold by Cheddar’s largest franchise owner, Kentucky-based Greer Companies, to the chain’s corporate parent. That gave Cheddar’s corporate parent direct control of 139 of the chain’s 164 locations — and may have streamlined its sale to the larger Darden Restaurants. Greer had operated its 44 Cheddar’s restaurants in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina.

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Cheddar’s is a casual-dining restaurant, open for lunch and dinner, with a menu that includes smoked BBQ ribs, grilled salmon, chicken tenders, country-style fried chicken, salads and sandwiches.

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