LongHorn Steakhouse Brings the Spirit of the West to Fort Smith New Restaurant Brings Western-Style Food and Hospitality to Arkansas

ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 12, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- LongHorn Steakhouse today announced the opening of its first location in Arkansas. The restaurant, best known for its atmosphere and flavor of the American West, is located at 3805 Phoenix Ave. in Fort Smith. As part of its pre-opening training period, the restaurant recently hosted a Friends and Family night which helped raise $789 for St. Edward Mercy Medical Center.

The 5,569-square foot restaurant will employ more than 75 team members and seat 214 guests. Tina Mayeaux, a restaurant industry veteran of 3 years, will serve as managing partner.

"LongHorn Steakhouse has been looking to bring its tradition of Western hospitality to Arkansas for some time and we are excited about the warm welcome we have received from the Fort Smith community," Mayeaux said. "We look forward to helping our guests relax and unwind in an inviting atmosphere while savoring a great steakhouse meal served with genuine western hospitality. We're also pleased we could help support St. Edward Mercy and look forward to making more contributions to the local community for many years to come." LongHorn opened its first restaurant in Atlanta 29 years ago and has grown steadily - becoming known for its passion for grilling fresh, never frozen, steaks served in a relaxed, comfortable steakhouse atmosphere. LongHorn is known for more than its signature hand-seasoned Flo's Filet and the bone-in Outlaw Ribeye. LongHorn chefs love to grill fresh fish and chicken in addition to steak. Items such as LongHorn Salmon, a fresh, hand-cut salmon fillet seasoned with a bourbon marinade; fall-off-the-bone tender Baby Back Ribs; and Parmesan Crusted Chicken, two juicy chicken breasts grilled and topped with a parmesan cheese and garlic crust, are just some of the other specialties guests will find on the menu.

The restaurant opens daily at 11 a.m. for lunch. It is open until 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

ABOUT LONGHORN STEAKHOUSE More than 25 years after opening its first restaurant in Atlanta, today LongHorn Steakhouse operates 340 restaurants in 33 states. LongHorn is a division of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI), the world's largest full-service restaurant operating company. For more information about LongHorn, please visit www.longhornsteakhouse.com.

ABOUT DARDEN Darden Restaurants, Inc., (NYSE: DRI), the world's largest full-service restaurant company, owns and operates 1,800 restaurants that generate more than $7 billion in annual sales. Headquartered in Orlando, and employing approximately 180,000 people, Darden is recognized for a culture that rewards caring for and responding to people. Our restaurant brands - Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52 - reflect the rich diversity of those who dine with us. Our brands are built on deep insights into what our guests want. For more information, please visit www.darden.com.

SOURCE Darden Restaurants, Inc.: General www.prnewswire.com Copyright (C) 2010 PR Newswire. All rights reserved -0- KEYWORD: Florida