Red Lobster goes green in Eugene

Red Lobster is coming to Eugene after a 15-year absence, but this time the restaurant chain is going green with an eco-friendly branch.

Red Lobster is coming to Eugene after a 15-year absence, but this time the restaurant chain is going green to connect with diners.

It remains to be seen how well the national chain can compete with Eugene businesses with long histories of embracing sustainability and local food.

The new restaurant, which will employ 120 to 130 people, will be the first in Oregon using the Bar Harbor design, company spokeswoman Erica Jaeger said. And it will be the first Red Lobster in the Pacific Northwest to apply for LEED certification for its eco-friendly elements, she said, which include use of recycled building materials, increased use of natural light, energy-efficient equipment and fixtures, water-saving measures, interior bike parking for employees and exterior reserved parking for energy-efficient vehicles.

Darden Restaurants, which owns the seafood chain, closed a previous Red Lobster near Valley River Center in 1997, citing poor performance. That restaurant was then turned into an Olive Garden restaurant — another Darden brand.

Jaeger said the decision to bring Red Lobster back into the Eugene-Springfield market was based on a number of factors, including proximity to a mall, excitement in the local market — “It was a loved brand” — and future growth potential. From an economic standpoint, “It’s always a good sign when we consider a community to be one that would warrant a new restaurant,” she said.

Read more at The Register-Guard.

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Last modified onMonday, 19 October 2015 11:39

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