Darden Restaurants has confirmed plans to build a new Bahama Breeze Island Grille -- the company's sixth Orlando-area location -- on Osceola Parkway next to The Loop shopping center.
The Orlando-based restaurant corporation has signed a ground lease for an outparcel in front of the Ashley Home Furniture store, at 1250 W. Osceola Pkwy. The company plans to demolish the long-closed Mimi's Cafe and build a new 7,987-square-foot restaurant on the site.
Kimley-Horn is the project engineer, and applied on behalf of Darden for a minor modification to the stormwater permit last week with SFWMD. Both the demolition permit and new building permit applications were filed with Osceola County on July 7.
"We still have to complete the permitting process," Darden Spokesman Rich Jeffers said. "Assuming a successful completion of that process, we would expect to break ground later this year."
The Caribbean-style restaurant known for its live music and tropical drinks is one of multiple brands owned by Darden. The corporation currently owns 37 restaurants in 15 states, including a Kissimmee location on the W192 tourism corridor near the new Margaritaville Resort.
The restaurants' 2015 earnings grew by 4.8 percent -- highest growth among all Darden brands, according to the company's earnings report. The first 13 weeks of 2016 saw even higher earnings -- 5.4 percent -- over the same period last year.