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Red Lobster brings the New England Coast to Knoxville
By Jeaneane Payne

knox county mayor tim burchett
Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett speaking at the Grand Reopening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of Knoxville area Red Lobster restaurants.

flag raising ceremony
Flag raising ceremony by members of U.S. military branches.

Ship lanterns to welcome guests in after dark, Adirondack-style chairs to encourage guest conversation and mingling outside, and nautical inside decor create a warm, New England Coast ambience at Red Lobster's newly remodeled area restaurants. The restaurant chain's brand refresh was inspired by the New England Coast as depicted in a grand reopening and ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, September 10, 2013.

As part of Red Lobster's "Sea Food Differently" campaign, the restaurants now have wood-fire grills, an enhanced fresh fish menu, and the largest core menu transformation in the brand's history. The campaign features the real people of Red Lobster and the Bar Harbor remodel program.

“We are proud to be part of the Knoxville community, and while guests have been enjoying our delicious seafood for years, they expressed a desire for an updated atmosphere and menu, and we’re excited to offer that to them,” said Mike Stroud, Red Lobster’s Senior Vice President of Operations. “Our newly remodeled restaurants and advertising featuring the real people of Red Lobster show our guests what Red Lobster is really about – a warm, welcoming atmosphere where you can get a variety of great tasting seafood served with passion and excellence.”

To cut the ribbon at the ceremony on Tuesday was Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett. Burchett said, "I eat at Red Lobster every Sunday and ate here every Sunday with my mom and dad. However, I think their 'All You Can Eat Shrimp' offer is a scam because by the time I get through eating the cheddar biscuits I'm too full to eat a lot of shrimp." The Knoxville Daily Sun caught the mayor taking an entire plate of food samples from the main table to his table. Whether he shared with others at his table, we don't know.

Attending the ceremony, held at the Kingston Pike store, were representatives from the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce, Knoxville Fire Department, Knoxville Police Department, and others. A representative from each branch of the military was present to raise the new American flag on the nautical style flagpole located in front of the restaurant.

Remodeled stores in the Knoxville area include 8040 Kingston Pike in Knoxville, 305 Merchants Rd. in Knoxville, 359 S. Illinois Ave. in Oak Ridge, and 1600 Parkway in Sevierville. Store managers were also in attendance, including the Sevierville store manager Rick Vallanti who said, "One of the best things about working at Red Lobster is our community involvement." "Items not used in our stores on a daily basis are donated to local food banks, including fresh fish," said Oak Ridge manager Kathy Todd. "Thus far, we have donated over 54,000 pounds of fresh fish."

Red Lobster donated its furnishings from remodeled restaurants to local Habitat for Humanity ReStore resale outlets, which sell items to the general public to raise funds for constructing homes in their communities for families in need. This is part of a larger partnership between Red Lobster’s parent company, Darden Restaurants, and Habitat for Humanity International.

Red Lobster has also transformed their menu, providing more everyday value and broadening menu options. The menu offers significantly more items with price points below $15. The restaurant also substantially increased the number of non-seafood selections and offers more choice and variety, including lighter-style options, and more fish and shrimp entrées.

Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., guests can enjoy Weekday Lunch specials starting at just $7.99. Choices include a variety of sandwiches, salads and more – all served with Red Lobster’s signature Cheddar Bay Biscuits.

New menu items featured in this offer include:

New! Lobster Lover’s Grilled Cheese Sandwich – Maine lobster meat and a blend of four gourmet cheeses melted between grilled sourdough. Available for a limited time! ($1.00 additional)
New! Shrimp & Lobster Quesadilla – a crisp quesadilla of tender shrimp, sweet lobster, roasted corn and Monterey Jack cheese, served with pico de gallo, sour cream and a side dish of black beans topped with cilantro rice and Cotija cheese.
New! Shrimp Salad Sandwich – wood-grilled shrimp with jalapeño-ranch sauce, pico de gallo, lettuce and tomato on ciabatta.

For a limited time, Red Lobster’s highly-anticipated Endless Shrimp promotion is back for its 12th year. Guests can pick from four flavorful shrimp entrées, plus unlimited salad and Red Lobster’s famous Cheddar Bay Biscuits for just $15.99. Enjoy endless plates of favorite shrimp dishes, or mix-and-match to try them all.

Featured Endless Shrimp dish selections include:

New! Spicy Soy-Wasabi Grilled Shrimp
Hand-Breaded Shrimp
Garlic Shrimp Scampi
Shrimp Linguini Alfredo

Red Lobster restaurants in the Knoxville area are open daily from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

For more information on Red Lobster please visit

Published September 12, 2013

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