Seasons 52 concept plans first Indianapolis restaurant

June 14, 2010
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Seasons 52A new fresh grill and wine bar called Seasons 52 is planning a 9,000-square-foot restaurant to replace El Torito Mexican Grill in front of The Fashion Mall at Keystone. The chain, part of Orlando-based Darden Restaurants Inc., has 11 locations in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The restaurant's menu changes seasonally and comes with a promise that none of the choices has more than 475 calories. Offerings include carmelized sea scallops, garlic chicken flatbread, grilled rack of New Zealand lamb and char crust filet mignon. The parent company of the Olive Garden and Capital Grille concepts filed permits on June 10 to build the new restaurant at 8650 Keystone Crossing. The new restaurant probably will open in 2011, as the location is not included among four Seasons 52 restaurants slated to open this year. An employee at El Torito said the restaurant will close in the next few months.

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  • Great News!
    This is a terrific restaurant, and it will be a nice addition to the restaurant scene in Indianapolis.
  • too bad
    I'm sad to see El Torito go (again) - they had the best brunch in Indy. It's even sadder to see that it will be replaced by another chain restaurant.
  • Hooray!
    Hooray - this is a smaller chain that is actually really good food...so glad they are opening here! Have been to the one in Atlanta a few times and it has always been great...delicious fresh food, prompt and courteous service, etc.
  • fantastic
    Have eaten in the ones in Florida many times. Excellent food, terrific service and moderate prices.
  • You won't be disappointed
    Rick,
    El Torito was a chain also. I promise you won't be disappointed with Seasons 52. It will be the best restaurant in the Keystone at the Crossing area. They also build a very classy, elegant, first class building.
  • Eh..
    Eh... over-priced tiny portions. How do you think they keep an entree of filet mignon with mashed potatoes under 475 calories? Don't believe me, go to their website and pull up the current menu. I'm sure there will be some comments regarding what I just said... yeah, our portions are typically too big... but if you haven't been here wait until you see how small some of the portions are. Been here in Florida and not impressed. I guess they picked the best location though, the Fashion Mall... the only place in the city where people expect to pay more and get less.

    But good luck to them, someone in the building is better than no one in the building.
  • Who's opening this?
    Does anyone have any contact information for who is opening this? and when its opening?
  • Hate to lose El Torito
    That corridor has now lost two great Mexican restaurants with El Torito and Adobo both closing. All you've got there now is Don Pablos and the so called "authentic" places. All that's left now for the diner wanting higher end Mexican food is Adobo's downtown location or Abuelos. After that it is very slim choices for Mexican in this city. Sad...
    • Indy Mexican
      "After that it is very slim choices for Mexican in this city."

      Luckily (and uncharacteristically), there are many excellent, authentic, independent Mexican restaurants in Indy, mostly owned and frequented by Mexican immigrants. Just look along the near westside around Washington St.
    • enough empty buildings
      Why is Darden restaurants building a new location when they still own empty restaurants on the northside? Bahama Breeze on 96th is theirs and it has been sitting empty for years. Also the old Smokey Bones in castleton. Seems like they should focus on doing something with these eyesores before doing something new.
      • Castleon Smokey Bones
        FYI, Darden is renovating the former Smokey Bones in front of Castleton Mall into a Longhorn Steakhouse.
      • Bahama Breeze Building
        The Bahama Breeze building on 96th street has been sold to steakhouse operator from Chicago.
      • Sad to Say
        Sadly, I predict the low calorie menu will not go over well in Indy. I see too many locals that base the quality of the meal on how big the portions are. If you don't believe me, check out the long lines at the Cheesecake Factory every night.
      • brunch
        but will they continue the great sunday brunch tradition on that corner?
      • Good, fresh Mexican food
        IndyTodd, have you tried Red Habanero at 96th & Gray Road? Semi-fast-food, but made to order with quality ingredients and a touch of style - delivered with a big smile. It's my Mexican-food-of-choice on Indy's northside.
      • Chain City
        As stated in the Indianapolis Monthly "The greater Indianapolis Metropolitan area has one of the greatest concentrations of chain restaurants per capita of any market in the U.S...44% higher than the national average."
        To those where local communities are not priority, enjoy your new Darden cookie cutter. For the rest, find out the facts of the impact at the350project.net
      • Chains
        "Blah, blah, blah, the world is going to end because of chain restaurants". Until more good independent restaurants open up here, this trend will continue.

        You can not expect independent restaurants to be supported just because they're independent. People are not going to spend their money at a crappy restaurant just because it's "independent". I have been to too many independent restaurants here that are just plain awful. And then when they close, they and others cry "people in Indianapolis only like chain restaurants". No!... the restaurant wasn't supported because of one, or a combination, of the following reasons: service was awful or food was awful (preparation and/or ingredients). Don't get me wrong, there are some good ones here... but not many in Indianapolis.

        As for me, I'll take the Cookie Cutter restaurant over a crappy independent restaurant any day. What I spend my money on is more important to me than if a place is locally-owned or not. I could care less if it's owned by someone in Florida... American is Amarican, doesn't matter to me if it's Indiana or Florida.

        And to some of you, what is your definition of a chain restaurant? Is it based on the number of locations or is it based on whether or not the restaurant is owned by a company? If it's based on the number of locations, then what's the magic number that makes them a chain... because some people on this this blog (maybe not this thread) spout off "independents" that have multiple locations. If your definition is based on if it's owned by a company... does it have to be a public corporation? Finally, how many of these so-called "evil" chains started as independents?... quite a few. How did they grow so large?... by putting out a consistently good product (consistently being the other key word).

        If you put out a good product you will grow... if you don't, you will become stagnant or you will fail, plain and simple. So, quit whining about chains and open up some more good independents if you want to win the battle!!!
        • Chains
          Indy Guy,
          Most people tend not to seek out independent restuarants because they do not know they exist. Most cannot afford the advertising and prime locations (where large scale chains can). I don't think Indianapolis has a large amount of awful independent restuarants, I think it has more to do with people wanting the familiar and a lot to do with laziness. We've had many great indepents suffer due to people not seeking them out and trying them, and not due to having poor quality, service, ect. Not everything is black and white.
        • Chains
          INDY GUY- The world is going to end? Did you thread here from a different blog? A blog where you were looking for an equally lonely INDY GIRL that was looking for a hot date to a chain restaurant perhaps? Does your Mother know that youâ??re playing on the basement computer again? How does the crappy chain restaurant stack up to the great independent? Is your independent glass ever half full?
          No doubt this is an experimental city for large restaurant chains. No doubt that Indy Guy is a living example of why. What came first, the chain restaurant that could give a hoot about the community? OR the customer who could give a hoot about the community?
          I guess it doesn't matter much, both end in a community with no identifiable character or sense of sustainable social harmony.
          "Good enough" is no longer good enough in the restaurant biz...as with anything; the free market will determine who succeeds and who fails. Your argument is accurate to a point, but at some point Wal-Mart breaks the back of a local grocer that offered a superior product, patronized his neighbor's business and gave back to his community. Like Shane says, chains are savvy and their pockets are deep...for every chain that fails in Indy, they can counter by another store in another state. Independents don't have that privilege, and some think it deteriorates their signature character to multiply (think St. Elmo's). That spot would have been beautiful for Harry & Izzy's...a potentially growing group of restaurants that is family owned and operated.
        • Chains... cont.
          I'll accept Shane's argument. However, a great or above average restaurant doesn't need to spend a lot of money on advertising to stay open or require to be in a great location. Granted it is a disadvantage when starting, but when you start out there is typically someone with ahead of you that has an advantage. Anyway, point taken Shane.

          But, as for you MH... you only get upset and attack me for your argument... so, I'll go ahead and assume that you were an independent restaurant that put out a crappy product; and now are upset because you thought it was a chain that put you out of business. Exactly the independent I was talking about. Look in the mirror, buddy. And to your, "Good enough" isn't good enough in the restaurant biz... well, a lot of independents think they can stand on "good enough" just because they are independent and that doesn't cut it. Yes, the big chains can afford to be just "good enough" to survive... but, they've built up to that. If they started out at "good enough", they would have never become large chains. And if I can't get it through your thick skull that people are not going to spend their money on something that they don't think is a good product/service, regardless if it's independent or not... well, then you're the independent that will fail time and time again. And next time, read more thoroughly... I never said a great independent is not as good as a chain. So, quit your whining, and try again.
        • I Agree
          Indy guy - i could not have agreed more with everything you wrote. I wish more people were like you!
        • Big Seasons 52 Fan
          From an previous insider... I've worked for Darden restaurants and the company rocks. There are benefits and insurance from day 1; college assistance, pet insurance, spouse/partner insurance,training, vacation pay, disaster or family assistance fund program, and discounted dining programs at all the sister restaurants.

          Plus for all skeptical of the portion sizes.. Give it a try! The portions are medium. NOT like cheesecake factory where you can share with 4 ppl one entree and leave in a yummy food comma. INSTEAD Seasons 52 is winning ppl over with the cooking style and level of service. I have been to at least 3 locations. They grill over an open wood fire grill AND use no butter, no fryer. Instead they caramelize the food to bring out flavor and mix the freshest ingredients to please the palate. My only suggestion is make a reservation. I've been to the Orlando, King of Prussia, and Perimeter restaurant. The place stays busy. I love the concept and all of Dardens other brands. Seasons is my favorite.
          Indy Guy-- Try and let me know what you think!
        • Chain Restaurants
          Chains: Indy Guy. I agree completely with you that a restaurant is good or it isn't, whether it is a mom and pop or a chain. I am not certain why anyone would criticize someone being successful, but they do. â??They sold out,â?? the crowd mutters. Yes, the chains have identical food in each location...why is that evil? I have no idea. Do we really want to play Russian roulette with our meals? We have our favorite foods in our Mom and Pop eateries and our own kitchens, why canâ??t others have favorites in the chain restaurant? Don't we blast a restaurant if the quality is inconsistent? I prefer the non-chain most of the time, simply because I like to try out new food and styles of cooking; but do not hate chains. Some are quite good (Bonefish Grill, Ruth's Chris, Palamino, et al.) Being a chain does not necessarily make an eatery bad; anymore than being a lone entity makes one good. Many factors make, or break, a restaurant. If their favorite independent were to open a second outlet, would they stop patronizing them? What a mess Indy foodies are in...they are upset if you are a chain, they are upset if you close your doors. They want you all to themselves and not be successful and open more sites...there is no solution that I can see, except pick a restaurant based on the quality of food, service and atmosphere, regardless of how many cities enjoy them also. Cheers to Seasons 52 for moving in Indy and offering jobs in this god-awful climate of nonemployment and my wish is that Darden is successful here and brings more jobs to the masses who need one. There are enough people for all the good restaurants, little or chain. Welcome to Indy Seasons 52!
          Elizabeth J. Musgrave

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