Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Perimeter not the Place for Cheeseburger in Paradise

Cheeseburger in Paradise has closed its Perimeter Place location but if you take their pre-recorded answering machine seriously, they are remodeling and will reopen later this year.
Personally I'm not holding my breath, and have the distinct impression that they are closed for good. The fact that the Perimeter location has been removed from their website would seem to support my thinking.  

Cheeseburger in Paradise gets its name from the Jimmy Buffet song by the same name that was included on the singer's 1978 album, Son of a Son of a Sailor.  Buffet's Margaritaville Holdings LLC licensed the Cheeseburger In Paradise name to Tampa, Florida-based OSI Restaurant Partners in 2002 for the Bufffet themed eatery.  

Cheeseburger in Paradise, along with then fellow OSI concepts Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba's Italian Grill and Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar opened in the Sembler-developed shopping center in 2006.  

The restaurant was a tropically-themed casual dining concept, similar in some ways to Bahama Breeze from Orlando-based Darden Restaurants.  I think the association with Jimmy Buffet helped the concept early on, but now celebrating its 10th anniversary, and still serving just average food in a gimmicky atmosphere, perhaps a menu revamp is in order to avoid additional closures.   

Bain Capital, yes, that Bain Capital, the one that Mitt Romney co-founded, purchased OSI in 2007, and in  2009 completed its sale of the Cheeseburger in Paradise chain to an investment group led by Steve Overholt, then President of the brand.  Last month, OSI became a publicly traded company now known as Bloomin' Brands (NYSE: BLMN) in which Bain Capital maintains a significant stake.  

Cheeseburger in Paradise has reduced its store count from 38 locations in 17 states in 2006, to 26 locations in 15 states today.  The Perimeter location was the chain's only Georgia location.   

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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'll admit it....Cheeseburger in Paradise was a bit of a guilty pleasure for me and my family. This was probably our "restaurant of choice" during my wife's pregnancy (her doctor's offices were located near the shopping complex) and CiP takeout was her last "real meal" before giving birth.

Yes, the food was mediocre. Yes, there are far better burger options out there. And yes, CiP was incredibly gimmicky (Playing "Cheeseburger in Paradise" on the speakers at the top of every hour, plus "It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere at 5p). But it had an odd charm to it.

Unfortunately, service at the other restaurants in the complex (Outback, Taco Mac, etc.) was FAR better. Wait staff seemed to disappear from time to time -- got free dessert there twice for their delays. And the eatery looked like a ghost town at times, even at 5 or 6pm.

Chris On The Day said...

Looks like this chain is indeed on its way to "Paradise"..ba-dum-bum...

Anonymous said...

"Wait staff seemed to disappear from time to time"
= SMOKE BREAK!

Anonymous said...

I love Jimmy Buffett and I couldn't even stomach this place. I would be shocked if it reopened. Once they cut back the live music a few years ago, there was really no reason to go here.

Anonymous said...

Sembler has leased this space at Perimeter Place to World of Beer (WoB), which will open in the 7,022 sq. ft. existing restaurant in 2016.