Holy oceans, that's a lot of shellfish.
Last week, Phoenix-based Eddie V's Prime Seafood, a luxury chain of eight restaurants in Arizona, California, and Texas (with one location in the Scottsdale Quarter), and Wildfish Seafood Grille, Eddie's sister chain of three restaurants in the same three states (with one location at the Scottsdale Waterfront), were sold to Darden Restaurants, the world's largest full-service restaurant company, for $59 million.
Cashing in like crazy are founders and seafood pros Larry Foles and Guy Villavaso, who also own Roaring Fork (not part of the deal). Darden Restaurants is the parent company of Olive Garden and Red Lobster but will run the two newly acquired brands under its specialty restaurant group, which includes The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, and Seasons 52.
In a press release, the founders stated: "Darden's culture and resources will enable Eddie V's and Wildfish to prosper in a highly competitive industry." Or, in layman's terms: KA-CHING!
As if the deal couldn't get any sweeter, Guy Villavaso and Larry Foles will provide consulting services for Darden for two years.