Outback Steakhouse to Close Manchester Restaurant

Zachary F. Vasile, Journal Inquirer

MANCHESTER — The Outback Steakhouse on Hale Road is set to close by the end of the month, a spokeswoman for the restaurant chain’s parent company confirmed Thursday.

Elizabeth Watts, director of communications for Bloomin’ Brands Inc., said the steakhouse’s last day of business will be Jan. 26. Most employees will transfer to a nearby restaurant, Watts said, and those who do not will receive a severance package.

“Closing a restaurant is never easy,” she said in a statement. “This decision was made based solely on business circumstances and has no reflection on the employees or management team. We truly appreciate the community’s support the past 25 years.”

Outback Steakhouse, an Australian-themed casual dining chain best known for its cuts of beef and signature “bloomin’ onion” appetizer, opened its location at 170 Hale Road, opposite what was then a Bob’s Store, in early 1995. It was one of the first restaurants to stake a claim along the now-bustling thoroughfare, preceding competitors such as TGI Fridays and Red Robin.

The Outback Steakhouse property is currently listed for sale on the website of New England Retail Properties Inc., a Wethersfield-based commercial real estate firm.

According to a brief write-up, the main building, a “former restaurant,” occupies 6,084 square feet on a 3.44-acre lot, with more than 150 parking spaces available. The site is ideally suited for use as an eatery, store, or medical office, and is “highly visible in the Buckland retail corridor,” sales associates wrote.

No asking price is listed.

Outback Steakhouse has locations in Enfield, Danbury, New London, Newington, North Haven, Orange, Shelton, Southington, and Wilton.

Bloomin’ Brands also owns and operates Bonefish Grill, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar. In 2017, the company shut down the Carrabba’s at 31 Redstone Road in Manchester and the Bonefish Grill at Evergreen Walk in South Windsor.

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