Make us your home page
Instagram

In Port Richey, Outback Steakhouse shuts down

PORT RICHEY — By Monday afternoon, its signs were gone. Only a note was left on the door.

Sorry, mates: Outback Steakhouse on Monday closed its Port Richey location.

The restaurant, which opened in 1990 at the strip mall at U.S. 19 and Regency Park Boulevard, was once one of the hottest places in Pasco on a weekend night. Two-hour waits were not uncommon.

No doubt that picture has changed, not only as casual dining restaurants have taken a hit during the recession but also as population growth, money and new construction shifted to other parts of the county during the housing boom.

OSI Restaurant Partners LLC, the Tampa-based parent company, did not respond to questions about the reasons for the closure, releasing only a written statement.

"On behalf of all of us at the restaurant, we want to express our appreciation to our loyal patrons in Port Richey for their support and patronage over the past twelve years," said Pete May, joint venture partner of Outback Steakhouse in the Tampa Bay area.

According to May, the company will work with the employees to relocate them to one of the other company restaurants in the area.

OSI Restaurant Partners, the homegrown Tampa chain that in two decades grew into one of the nation's most popular and influential restaurant companies, has been struggling with its debt and recently hired a turnaround specialist to help cut costs and boost sales.

Like many restaurants, Outback has suffered through the recession. OSI sales for the year dropped 5 percent in 2008 to $3.9 billion. But the trend got worse in the fourth quarter that ended Dec. 31 when sales plunged 10 percent.

An OSI spokeswoman said Monday that the Port Richey location was the only Tampa Bay area restaurant on the chopping block. Last month, the chain closed all nine of its company-owned stores in Ontario.

The Port Richey location was situated between Outback restaurants in Trinity and Spring Hill, two areas that experienced booms in recent years.

The U.S. 19 strip mall where Outback was located was known as the Outback Plaza. Other restaurants in that mall came and went, with some of them complaining that Outback's customers took up all the parking spaces.

Another OSI-owned restaurant, Carrabba's Italian Grill, is also in that plaza, along with the Breakfast Club, El Rancho and Lanna Thai.

Monday's closure of the Port Richey location was unceremonious at best. In a matter of hours, workers had removed most of the evidence that Outback had existed. The corporate Web site no longer lists the location.

Jodie Tillman can be reached at jtillman@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6247.

In Port Richey, Outback Steakhouse shuts down 05/04/09 [Last modified: Monday, May 4, 2009 9:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Siesta Beach tops rankings of best beaches in America

    Tourism

    Three beaches in Florida made it on a highly coveted list of the top 10 in America this year, ranked by Dr. Stephen Leatherman, a.k.a. "Dr. Beach."

     Dr. Stephen Leatherman, a.k.a. "Dr. Beach," ranked Siesta Beach in Sarasota as the No. 1 beach in America.
[TImes file photo]
  2. Brooksville's popular Florida Cracker Kitchen aims at statewide expansion

    Retail

    BROOKSVILLE — Florida Cracker Kitchen's inverted cowboy boot logo — seemingly plastered on every pickup truck in Hernando County — may someday be just as ubiquitous across the state.

    Shrimp and grits is a signature dish at Florida Cracker Kitchen, which plans to open more restaurants in the state.
  3. Alison Barlow named director to spur creative economy, jobs of St. Pete Innovation District

    Economic Development

    After an extensive search, the recently created St. Pete Innovation District now has its first executive director. Alison Barlow on Thursday was named to the position in which she will help recruit and facilitate a designated downtown St. Petersburg area whose assets and members range from USF St. Petersburg, Johns …

    Alison Barlow has been named the first executive director of the recently created St. Pete Innovation District, a designated downtown St. Petersburg area whose assets and members range from USF St. Petersburg, Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital and Poynter Institute to SRI International and the USF College of Marine Science, among many other organizations. Barlow, who most recently served as manager of the Collaborative Labs at St. Petersburg College, starts her new job June 16.[Photo courtesy of LinkedIn]
  4. Trigaux: Amid a record turnout, regional technology group spotlights successes, desire to do more

    Business

    ST. PETERSBURG — They came. They saw. They celebrated Tampa Bay's tech momentum.

    A record turnout event by the Tampa Bay Technology Forum, held May 24 at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, featured a panel of area tech executives talking about the challenges encountered during their respective mergers and acquisitions. Show, from left to right, are: Gerard Purcell, senior vice president of global IT integration at Tech Data Corp.; John Kuemmel, chief information officer at Triad Retail Media, and Chris Cate, chief operating officer at Valpak. [Robert Trigaux, Times]
  5. Take 2: Some fear Tampa Bay Next transportation plan is TBX redux

    Transportation

    TAMPA — For many, Wednesday's regional transportation meeting was a dose of deja vu.

    The Florida Department of Transportation on Monday announced that it was renaming its controversial Tampa Bay Express plan, also known as TBX. The plan will now be known as Tampa Bay Next, or TBN. But the plan remains the same: spend $60 billion to add 90 miles of toll roads to bay area interstates that are currently free of tolls. [Florida Department of Transportation]