Darden Restaurants Inc., the owner of Olive Garden and Red Lobster, will buy Irvine-based restaurant chain Yard House USA Inc. for $585 million in cash.
The deal with Yard House owner TSG Consumer Partners will place the chain -- known for its vast selection of draft beers -- in Darden’s Specialty Restaurant Group, which includes the Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52 and Eddie Vs.
The more upscale restaurants help appeal to younger and higher-income guests than Darden’s more widespread brands. Yard House, with more than 130 taps on average, takes advantage of the recent popularity of craft beers.
In the second quarter of 2012, year-over-year revenue at Yard House has boomed 27%.
The chain was first launched in 1996 and now has 39 restaurants across 13 states, featuring a soundtrack of rock music and an energetic atmosphere. Its addition to Darden’s specialty restaurants is expected to boost the group’s annual sales to $1 billion.