Darden abandons Smokey Bones

Darden abandons Smokey Bones

There are 157 comments on the Orlando Sentinel story from May 6, 2007, titled Darden abandons Smokey Bones. In it, Orlando Sentinel reports that:

Orlando-based Darden Restaurants shut down more than 50 of its Smokey Bones Barbeque & Grill locations across the country Saturday and said it will sell the remaining 73.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Orlando Sentinel.

First Prev
of 8
Next Last
Jen

Kissimmee, FL

#1 May 6, 2007
This is sad news! This is one of my family's favorite restaurants. We go AT LEAST once a week. It's great for the whole family- the kids love it. The food is AWESOME! I can't believe it's closing!
The bigger picture problem to me is this...sales are down 5.2 percent. But is this a trend at all restaurants? I think with gas prices, higher grocery store prices and the overall economy, people just aren't eating out like they used to! I know we're not!!!
Stepheno3

Orlando, FL

#2 May 6, 2007
To bad as they were above average, at least for the Orlando area! The one on East Colonial Drive seemed to always be busy and had a whole lot of TV Screens for viewing sports! It looks like they would shut the Olive Garden chain down before Smokey Bones as the food in those restaurants is really bad, for the most part! The Red Lobster on a scae of 1-10 is not even a 5!
Stepheno3

Orlando, FL

#3 May 6, 2007
Jen wrote:
This is sad news! This is one of my family's favorite restaurants. We go AT LEAST once a week. It's great for the whole family- the kids love it. The food is AWESOME! I can't believe it's closing!
The bigger picture problem to me is this...sales are down 5.2 percent. But is this a trend at all restaurants? I think with gas prices, higher grocery store prices and the overall economy, people just aren't eating out like they used to! I know we're not!!!
I agree, I though that is was a good restaurant chain, Much better than Red Lobster and Olive Garden! It is a shame!
Native Floridan

Coppell, TX

#4 May 6, 2007
The food was ok, but what turned me and my family off was the number of televisions. When we go out to eat itís to spend time together as a family and catch up with each other lives. If we wanted to watch tv we could do that at home. It wouldnít even be so bad if it wasnít for speaker boxes they bring to the tableóeven when we didnít not ask for one there would be a near by family blasting cartoon network or lifetime or what ever so loud that we could not have conversation without having to yell over all the tv channels.
Vanatru

Sanford, FL

#5 May 6, 2007
I was annoyed by all the darn TVs and they were loud enough to block out the roar of a shuttle launch.

Ok, that might be an exaggeration, but not by much.

I was disappointed by the creeping sports bar atmosphere. If I wanted that, I'd go to a bar. If I want BBQ, then that's what I'm going for.

Went twice. That was enough. I'll waste my money at a regular bar or regular BBQ place like Sonny's.
BuckeyeAl

Chicago, IL

#6 May 6, 2007
The analyst hot the nail on the head - Darden is the business of national resturant chains and BBQ is defined regionally. Carolina BBQ is much different than Memphis BBQ which is different than St. Louis BBQ which is completley different than Texas BBQ. The saying that "you can't be all things to all people" is even more true in the restaurant businness. The 5% drop nationally was just a drop in the bucket. If you take away the 37 stores that currently still open, that number is probably double-digit. Personally, I'm no fan of Darden Restaurants. I think that Olive Garden is a very poor excuse for Italian fare and Red Lobster might possible be the worst seafood restaurant this side of Captain D's. Don't even get me started on Bahama Breeze and the pseudo high-end Season's 52. There are tons of local, "mom & pop" restaurants that could use our patronage and serve better food than cookie-cutter, conglomerate, billion store chain restaurants.
jpk

New Smyrna Beach, FL

#7 May 6, 2007
BuckeyeAl wrote:
There are tons of local, "mom & pop" restaurants that could use our patronage and serve better food than cookie-cutter, conglomerate, billion store chain restaurants.
I agree with you wholeheartedly and I am a big fan of the independently owned restaurants vs. the chains. Especially the ethnic places. The small mom and pop Greek diners, Middle Eastern take-outs, Indian joints, etc. etc. offer so much more interesting fare than the homogenized chains.

I am definitely not a Darden fan per se - Olive Garden, Red Lobster et. al are bland. Borrrring. But Smokey Bones has been my guilty pleasure for quite some time. It is the only chain I go to on a regular basis. And I have the hips to prove it.

I can't believe they are closing....I grew up on old style Florida barbecue from the long-gone Fat Boys chain; and I swear Smokey Bones has some of the best barbecue beans I have ever had. Guess I'll have to start going to Wild Side's, O'Boys or Keller's.
Safe Driver

Christmas, FL

#8 May 6, 2007
jpk wrote:
<quoted text>But Smokey Bones has been my guilty pleasure for quite some time. It is the only chain I go to on a regular basis. And I have the hips to prove it.
Agreement here! I love their St Louis ribs, and never had a bad meal there. While not as good as some smaller BBQ places, it was still pretty darn good Q. We eat at the W Colonial place 2-3 times a month, and enjoy it everytime. As others complain, the TVs are a problem at times, but we always eat at the bar, a bit quieter there.. And the sports bar theme -is- part of the restaurant's concept, so I'm not sure why anyone would complain about that. If you want quiet, go to the nearly empty Bennigan's across the street!
Liz - NE Wisconsin

United States

#9 May 6, 2007
We have gift cards for Smokey Bones. Are we going to be out the money or will we be able to use them at another Darden restaurant ?(as there was no notice of the restaurant nearest us - which was 80 miles away closing - so we could get in to the cards ). Is there a listing of the Smokey Bones restaurants that are still in operation?- to see if there is another one near by.
hmmmmmm

United States

#10 May 6, 2007
I have never been to Smokey Bones but have pretty much quit Red Lobster and Olive Garden. The shrimp at Red Lobster have become so small that it is pathetic. When you see the pics on the menu and what you get are two different things.

As for Olive Garden they quit using real cheese for topping and have substituted cheese sauce everywhere. Even the Lasagne no longer has the ricotta cheese. They may use real cheese in their sauces BUT I expect to see real cheese where is is suppose to be instead of a cheese sauce. The original one on I-Drive used to be winderful until they cut the corners and jacked the prices. Plus they used to have a soup or salad or pasta all you can eat for 5.99. The pasta was spaghetti with non meat sauce or fetticina alfredo. The last time that I went to Olive Garden you could no longer get the pasta in the all you can eat. The fetticini alfredo was 8.99. We all know meatless spaghetti and fetticini alfredo do not warrant such high prices!
OneMoreTry

Oviedo, FL

#11 May 6, 2007
2 Problems with Smokey Bones..

1. The Name. Its very morbid sounding. Bones shouldnt be in the name of your restaurant.

2. The worst place to try to start a chain BBQ place, is in the south. Most of their locations are in Florida, Alabama, and Texas. Those people know how to do BBQ already. I think it may have worked better up North, IMO.
Who Dun It

United States

#12 May 6, 2007
Blame Clarence Otis for the loss of the 4,000 jobs
Insiders View

Carnegie, PA

#13 May 6, 2007
The notice of the closure of some Smokey Bones does not affect me right now, but when they end up selling the restraints it will. I have been an employee of Dardenís for a little over a year now. It has always been a great place to work as well as a great place to eat! Most of our guests that come in are back on a weekly basis and we are able to get to know our guest by name. You could tell the attitude of the teammates had changed drastically from the week before after finding out that so many of our friends were out of jobs as of yesterday and wondering when we might be next. Please continue to support your Smokey Bones because those of us that are staying do enjoy our jobs as well as the values that the Restraint holds. We have enjoyed taking care of our guest and hope that no matter who owns Smokey Bones you continue to come.

For the person that asked about the Gift CardÖ. You are able to use your card at other locations and other restraints associated with Dardenís. The restrains include: Red Lobster, Bahama Breeze, and Olive Garden.

“Dare to be stupid!”

Since: Dec 06

Groveland, Florida

#14 May 6, 2007
jpk wrote:
<quoted text>
I agree with you wholeheartedly and I am a big fan of the independently owned restaurants vs. the chains. Especially the ethnic places. The small mom and pop Greek diners, Middle Eastern take-outs, Indian joints, etc. etc. offer so much more interesting fare than the homogenized chains.
I am definitely not a Darden fan per se - Olive Garden, Red Lobster et. al are bland. Borrrring. But Smokey Bones has been my guilty pleasure for quite some time. It is the only chain I go to on a regular basis. And I have the hips to prove it.
I can't believe they are closing....I grew up on old style Florida barbecue from the long-gone Fat Boys chain; and I swear Smokey Bones has some of the best barbecue beans I have ever had. Guess I'll have to start going to Wild Side's, O'Boys or Keller's.
They have a Fat Boys in Ocala on HWY 40 near Silver Springs.
Mr Yu

Windermere, FL

#17 May 6, 2007
Trailer King wrote:
<quoted text>
Oh god stop crying you make sound like an Enron scandal
What are you out twenty bucks?
I'll send it to you
..a touch harsh , don't you think?
Ron

Palestine, TX

#19 May 6, 2007
Perhaps they, like many other restaurants, are feeling the effects of "non smoking".
Liz

Sturgeon Bay, WI

#20 May 6, 2007
Insiders View .......Thanks for the info regarding the card. I thought that may be the case as it has been in other instances when a place goes out of business.
Trailer King....... if you want to send me the $50.00 for the gift card , that would be nice. But I am not that kind of person. I asked the question because I am sure there may be others out there that may think they are out their money and can save them from getting upset.

“Dare to be stupid!”

Since: Dec 06

Groveland, Florida

#21 May 6, 2007
Trailer King wrote:
<quoted text>
Oh god stop crying you make sound like an Enron scandal
What are you out twenty bucks?
I'll send it to you
I got a $50 card that maybe no good.
Voice of Reason

Orlando, FL

#22 May 6, 2007
We all set benchmarks for success. Many of these benchmarks include the bottom line or what we call the "profit margin". People that want the business to succeed, look at benchmarks and try and make corrections that will turn around the business and put it back on an uphill course. People like Darden are just looking for any reason they can find to dhain the doors and give up. They never should have been in the restaurant business to start with because they are in it for all the wrong reasons. I earnestly hope someone does buy out Smokey Bones that loves being in the restaurant business, has an optimistic outlook about it and takes the time to build back the customer base and trust as well as take back in all those fine employees that Darden is just willing to hand a cardboard box to and tell them they have 15 minutes to clear their stuff out while the security guard watches.. People who figure out portions to the ouence and calculate costs of a serving to the penny should never cook.

“Dare to be stupid!”

Since: Dec 06

Groveland, Florida

#24 May 6, 2007
Trailer King wrote:
<quoted text>
Did you pay for it yourself? No?
Then stop crying
Why would I buy myself a gift card? That would be pitaful.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker
First Prev
of 8
Next Last

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Life Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
News Mayor Tomlinson hosts Prayer for Peace Rally 1 hr Will Dockery 6
News Long Beach council votes to support Meatless Mo... 4 hr Don 1
News Texas waiter fired after racist remarks show up... 18 hr Spotted Girl 42
News Memorial Day ceremonies have personal touch 19 hr Latricia 2
News Police: Pennsylvania man ran fake DUI checkpoin... 23 hr one for the road 1
News Pick Your Own Berries in Toronto & the GTA Tue region H20 storag... 1
News Sanctions Spark Russian Cheese Industry Boom Tue FAKE RUSSIAN CHEESE 2
More from around the web