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Emerging Brands

Olive Garden's parent tries a burger concept

Darden Restaurants is adding a new concept to its fold: a burger-focused spinoff of The Capital Grille, called The Capital Burger.

The prototype, complete with a full bar, will open March 19 in Washington, D.C., where Darden already has a Capital Grille.

The Capital Burger is described on its website as a luxury burger concept, with housemade pickles, linen napkins, “boozy milkshakes,” a “world-class wine-by-the-glass list” and balsamic mushrooms aged for 15 years. It offers full-service.

The burgers are made with beef from Pat LaFrieda, the beef guru. Burger prices range from $15 to $17, which includes a side of hand-cut fries or a small salad. Each comes with a jar of the housemade pickles.

Other sandwiches include the Southern-Style Fried Chicken Sandwich ($14), a quarter-pound hot dog ($10), grilled cheese ($12) and a lobster roll ($22). Two salads—a chopped kale and a mixed baby greens, both $8—are also offered.

The largest section of the menu is devoted to snacks, including deviled eggs and bacon ($8), tuna tartare ($14) and tomato soup ($6).

A daily happy hour features cocktails and wines for $7 and tap beers for $5. The discount period runs from 3-6:30 p.m. every afternoon.

The Capital Burger's logo looks just like Capital Grille’s, but with “Burger” replacing “Grille” on the third tier.

The inaugural Capital Burger is located across the street from the district’s convention center.  A Darden spokesman stressed that there is no plan at this time to open a second store.

Darden is one of the industry's largest full-service restaurant companies. In addition to Capital Grille, its casual and polished-casual brands include Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze, Cheddars and Eddie V's.

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