Applebee’s Blames Failed Millennial Campaign For Restaurant Closings, Losing ‘Traditionalist’ Customers

DineEquity (NYSE:DIN), the parent company of Applebee’s and IHOP announced it would be closing up to 160 restaurants Thursday in a bid to shore up profits. It will also bring in a new chief. One of the reasons the company feels that its profits are down was a failed attempt to win over millennial diners. “Over the past few years, the brand’s set out to reinvent Applebee’s as a modern bar and grill in overt pursuit of a more youthful and affluent demographic,” said John Cywinski, president of Applebee’s in a call with analysts this week. “(It was) a clear pendulum swing toward millennials.” WATCH: American Airlines Flight Hit By Turbulence, Aisle Littered With Drinks, Food DineEquity felt that by pushing so hard for a new millennial demographic, it alienated its “Middle America” core demographic. “I think, in retrospect, we may have tried too hard to attract new guests. That left some of our fans shaking their heads, asking ‘What happened to Applebee’s?’” Patrick Lenow, a spokesman for DineEquity told the Washington Post Friday. Applebee’s plans on returning its attention to “value-seekers” and “traditionalists.” The company wants to bring some older popular menu items and dump new ones such as a turkey sandwich with sriracha chile lime sauce, according to the Washington Post. Applebee’s wants to bring back all-you-can-eat specials and will focus on discounts like the “2 for $20” special. READ: Lyft And Taco Bell Offer New Late-Night Ride And Food Service In the second quarter this year, DineEquity pulled in $20.9 million, down from $26.4 million in the same quarter last year. Stephen P. Joyce will lead the company starting in September. Joyce previously was the CEO of Choice Hotels. DineEquity aims to close around 135 Applebee’s locations and around 25 IHOP locations out of its 3,700 franchises. DineEquity hopes Continue Reading

It’s true. Happy Teriyaki finally reopened in Lakewood, 2 years after fire destroyed it

Happy Teriyaki in Lakewood reopened last week, two years after a fire destroyed the building in 2015. I’ve had quite a few curious diners ask about the reopening of that city’s beloved teriyaki restaurant. Here’s a quick look and a first-bite report. It’s this paper’s policy to skip criticism of food and service in a restaurant’s first month. Concept: Whoa, Nelly! It’s among the fanciest teriyaki restaurants in the area. This is not your typical fast-food teriyaki joint, at least not on the surface. If we’re talking menu, it’s just like many other local restaurants offering a hodgepodge of Japanese, Chinese, Korean food. Dining room: The front door opens to a small sushi counter, with no seating, and an overhead menu behind that counter. Don’t fret, you don’t order at the counter unless you’re doing takeout. Table service: Take a seat or a host will show you to a comfy booth along the front window or one of the two-and-four-seat tables spread across the dining room. The dining room of Happy Teriyaki in Lakewood. Sue Kidd [email protected] The decor: The dining room carries that industrial modern look that’s the trend of the moment. There’s open duct work in a very tall ceiling and what looked to be polished/etched concrete floors (warning: that style also tends to up the noise volume when a restaurant is at capacity). Hanging paper lanterns give the impression that the lighting is a series of floating orbs. It’s quite a dramatic look in concert with the dark-and-wavy accent tile that extends around the room along with oversized artwork. A private-ish dining space with banquette seating at the back can seat about 18. A beef bulgogi lunch bowl at Happy Teriyaki. Sue Kidd [email protected] The eats: A broad something-for-everyone menu. Similar to the menu before the fire with a mix of fast-food teriyaki, a few classic Continue Reading

Hangout hotspots for twentysomethings

Millennials on Long Island are no strangers to a social scene with good vibes and an awesome time. Check out these drink specials, events and more at bars and restaurants across the Island. East End THE SLOPPY TUNA (148 S. Emerson Ave., Montauk) The draw: This beachfront spot with two floors of fun offers a simple American menu, live music and a DJ. Catering to beachgoers, "there's no other place on Long Island that has this kind of vibe," said manager Pat Haufen. Swimwear is allowed as guests mingle around three different bars inside and out, play Jenga and Cornhole, and overlook the ocean on the upper deck. The downstairs area has a bar, a beer pong table and transforms into a dance floor at night. Whip Around Wednesday features $4 Budweiser and $5 whipped drinks. Ladies night on Thursday features $4 drinks, and on Friday Funday, the "Sloppy Serpent" drink and chum buckets are served. On Sunday there's reggae music. Local beers and whiskeys are available, adding to the true Montauk feel. Info: 631-647-8000; BOARDY BARN (270 Montauk Hwy., Hampton Bays) The draw: Deemed as a rite of passage for 20-somethings since 1970, the red and white striped tent is home to cheap beer, $1 hot dogs and classic tunes. Don't forget to tip the bartenders to receive the famous smiley stickers and don't wear anything valuable -- it's almost guaranteed that you'll be covered in beer and sweat. Get on line early for a glimpse of "Happy Days in Hampton Bays." Only open on Sunday afternoons from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Info: 631-728-9733; SURF LODGE (183 Edgemere St., Montauk) The draw: The restaurant focuses on a fresh seafood menu, but the main attraction is the beach-like atmosphere and cocktail scene overlooking Montauk's Fort Pond. The free summer concert series hosts a wide range of artists on a first-come, first-served basis. Make reservations one month in advance for a guaranteed table at this trendy spot. Info:631-483-5037; Continue Reading

In Nashville for the Music City Bowl? Here’s where to watch the Kentucky-Louisville basketball game

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Kentucky fans making the trip to Nashville to watch the Music City Bowl will face a difficult scheduling dilemma Friday.The annual Kentucky-Louisville men’s basketball rivalry game tips off at noon (CST) with the Music City Bowl kicking off at 3:30 p.m. (CST). To facilitate fans being able to watch both games, several bars and restaurants in downtown Nashville near Nissan Stadium will show the basketball game.Here is a list of places to watch the basketball game in Nashville released by the UK ticket office:1. AJ’s Good Time Bar (421 Broadway): Basketball watch party will be held on second floor. Audio of the game available with special drink “Blue Wildcat Lemonade” available.2. Nashville Underground (105 Broadway): More than 40 televisions and two large LCD screens available to watch the basketball game. Drink specials, “Kentucky Mules,” “Cal’s Heroes,” and “Lexington Lollipops” available. MORE: Stakes higher than normal for Kentucky football in Music City Bowl | Hale MORE: How to watch Music City Bowl: Game time, TV channel, streaming information 3. The Valentine (312 Broadway): Free beer available with Music City Bowl ticket stubs before and after the game.4. The George Jones (128 2nd Ave. N): Basketball game will be shown on half of the televisions on all levels. A $25 brunch buffet available.5. Tin Roof Broadway (316 Broadway): The basketball game will be shown on all 27 televisions and two projector screens. Old Country Boy Cans available for $5.6. Nudies Honky Tonk (409 Broadway): The basketball game will be shown on 10 first-floor televisions, five second-floor televisions and three 75-inch televisions on the rooftop.7. Rodizio Grill (166 2nd Ave. N): Music City Bowl brunch available for $24.99. Private viewing room overlooks Nissan Stadium with a 110-inch projection screen television.8. Famous Saloon (110 2nd Ave. N): Anyone wearing UK gear can Continue Reading

Looking for something to do? Try one of more than 50 events in Louisville

Top 5 events Nov. 23-29Pre-Feast Fitness Fest and Free Breakfast at The J! The J, 3600 Dutchmans Lane, 7:30-10:15 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 23. The Fest is a sampler of JCC’s fitness classes. 30 minute back-to-back classes for two hours. Boot Camp, BodyPump, Yoga, Cycle or JBarre for two straight hours or mix it up, five minute breaks between sessions. JPlay and JPlay+ babysitting will be available. Free for members, $5 guest. For more information, 502-238-2727.Light Up Louisville: Holiday in the City. Holiday Square, downtown, Friday, Nov. 24. Ice skating rink opens from noon-11 p.m. Friday, (Fourth Street and Jefferson streets); children’s activities inside Santa’s Workshop, 4 p.m. ( Metro Hall, 1st floor), vendors, live entertainment, Lots of Lights Holiday Parade, 6:30 p.m. (starts at 7th Jefferson and and heads east on Jefferson Street, turn down Fourth Street through Fourth Street Live); Santa Claus will arrival after the parade to join Mayor Greg Fischer on the Main Stage to insert the “magic” plug to turn on thousands of lights on buildings and trees (8 p.m.); free pictures with Santa (8:30 p.m.). Up Corydon. Downtown Square Corydon, noon-9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25. Carriage rides on the Square, entertainment on the Hurley D. Conrad Memorial Bandstand, Harrison Co. Extension Homemakers Cookie Walk, parade around the square (4 p.m.), lighting of the Square and the Community Tree at Bicentennial Park (6:40 p.m.) and pictures with Santa (Harrison County Discovery Center, bring your own camera, 7-9 p.m.). More: 'Lights Under Louisville' adds 1 million more lights, dinner and a VIP pass Whitehall Candlelight Tour. 3110 Lexington Road, 5:30-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 24. Tour the historical mansion by candlelight. Decor and displays from local florists: In Bloom Again, J. Elizabeth Designs, Elite Events, Merci-Bouquet, Magnolia’s, Country Squire Florist, Continue Reading

Bars offer all you need for fantasy football draft

It’s hot. It’s humid. Yet all you can think about and obsess over is how this year — yes, this year — will be the year your fantasy football team finally wins it all. But what will turn the tide? Perhaps you need the right venue, a place where you feel like you have a home-team advantage. Well, look no further, for we are going to find you that special place to host your championship-season fantasy football draft.Bleachers Sports Bar has put together a package that could the ticket for your winning season. Free room rental and Wi-Fi will be available to your league. The food menu includes burgers ($5), French fries ($2), fried pickles ($3) and 50-cent wings. For drinks, domestic bottles for $2.50, $2 drafts, and a $10 beer tower. In addition to all the nibbles and sips that will help propel you to the top of your league, Bleachers will give you one complimentary drink when you catch your first football game of the season. 40 E. Black Horse Pike, Williamstown. (609) 481-2043. SJ bar quiz: PokeStop or Taco Tuesday Stop?Amanda’s Bar None is offering its facilities for draft parties. Their package includes specials for food and for beer. And once the season starts, watch every blessed game on one of the bar's 13 high-definition TVs so that you won’t be able to miss your draft picks pile up the stats. Catch the Eagles on the 80-inch screen and enjoy all-you-can-eat wings for $20 during their games. 630 Lower Landing Road, Blackwood. (856) 481-4794. your glorious run to the top can start with a draft held at Kaminski’s. Draft packages are available; just give the bar a call. Drink specials for the event are also available thanks to Tito’s Homemade Vodka. Need some time to do you draft preparation? Kaminski’s happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, along with $6 food items, might provide that space for you to decide which player you should take first: Tom Brady or Continue Reading

Guide to Phoenix First Friday art walk

Thousands of people take over the streets of downtown Phoenix for the First Friday art walk each month, viewing gallery exhibits, perusing funky boutiques and outdoor vendors and enjoying indie bands and street performers.They are college students, families, tourists, arts lovers, retired folks — almost anyone you can imagine — who come from all over the Valley and across the state.First Friday is a major draw: It has become one of the nation's largest self-guided art walks."First Friday shows that downtown is a cultural destination, and it continues to grow and become a vibrant and walkable community with great art, great performances and great food," said Greg Esser, vice president and founder of Roosevelt Row Community Development Corp, a downtown arts district."It's a great opportunity to connect and meet with people. It's a welcoming event that is open and accessible, with a diverse audience in terms of age and ethnic backgrounds. It attracts everybody."The art walk started more than 20 years ago and has grown tremendously. It attracted an estimated 15,000 visitors in October. Artlink Inc., the support organization for First Friday, lists more than 80 participating art spaces, galleries and studios.Street parking fills quickly, especially near Roosevelt Row. Meters are enforced from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, and cost $1-$1.50 an hour. There are plenty of parking garages.A good option is to park at the trolley hubs, including at 15th and Grand avenues and the Arizona Center at Third and Van Buren streets, and walk to your destinations. Or, park farther away and explore new areas.A free trolley runs in 15-minute intervals and makes eight stops. The main hub is at the Phoenix Art Museum. The trolley travels west on McDowell Road, where participants can hop off and take the light rail to the midtown venues.Next, it heads to the Grand Avenue district, then goes south to CityScape. The trolley makes its way back Continue Reading

Food & Fun: 20 new Del. summertime options

Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, it's starting to feel a little like summer in Delaware.Even though the official first day of summer isn't until June 20, temperatures are beginning to climb, students are graduating and attention is turning to summertime hijinks.Whether you're looking for the newest restaurants at the beach, first-time music festivals or new spots with outdoor fun, we've collected a list of what's new and worth your time from across the state.So if you've been hibernating all winter, it's time to poke your head outside, start an adventure and see what has spouted in The First State since last summer.1. Analog-A-Go-Go, Bellevue State Park, 800 Carr Rd., Bellevue. $65-$95. The newest edition of the music and craft beer festival unveiled by Dogfish Head will mix diverse acts (Built to Spill, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Talib Kweli, Ra Ra Riot) with both beer and distillery gardens. After five years at Dogfish's Milton brewery and Rehoboth Beach brewpub, the festival is being expanded and moved up north to New Castle County on Sept. 17. Think of it as Firefly Jr., minus much of the crowd. Attendance is expected to be capped at 10,000.2. Chesapeake & Maine, 316 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach. Dogfish Head's spin-off eatery located next door to its Rehoboth Beach brewpub opened in March with a focus on seafood. The restaurant pairs favorites from Maine, where founder and Massachusetts native Sam Calagione spent summers, and Dogfish Head's proximity to the Chesapeake region. Expect a familiar Dogfish aesthetic paired with some exclusive beers and scratch-made spirits.3. Crooked Hammock Brewery, 16989 Kings Highway, near Lewes. Opened in October, Crooked Hammock has already made a name for itself in the off-season, hosting a big New Year's Eve bash and drawing crowds even Continue Reading

20 wine bars around metro Phoenix

If there's one day — wait, scratch that — two days we can all get behind, it's National Drink Wine Day and National Wine Day. These two celebrations of fermented grapes fall during perfect patio-weather seasons in Arizona, Feb. 18 and May 25, respectively.Whether you're a wannabe sommelier or a wine newbie, there's a wine bar to suit your tastes. Here are 22 options Valley-wide.There are three things to know about Terroir if you've never been; leave snobbery at the door, the wine list changes almost every day and expect the unexpected. Thursday tasting night is a great way to try any three wines on the “by the glass list” for only $12.Details: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.-Thursday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday; 1-11 p.m Saturday; 1-9 p.m. Sunday. 7001 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. 480-922-3470, 5 reasons to check out this year's Food & Wine Experience | Unwind from your work week at these 68 happy hour spots​ | Top 10 patio bars around Phoenix from casual to fancy​The small Bethany Home location has happy hour from open until 8 p.m. daily, which allows time for an affordable glass of wine to pair with small bites like a peanut butter brownie or a grilled cheese. The Arcadia location (previously the Pig's Meow) has fun retro games to keep you entertained while you sip some wine.Details: In central Phoenix: 3 p.m.-midnight Monday-Wednesday; 3 p.m.-2 a.m. Thursday-Saturday; 3-10 p.m. Sunday. 1612 E. Bethany Home Road, Phoenix. 602-633-2134, In Arcadia: 3 p.m.-midnight Monday-Tuesday; 3 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Wednesday; 3 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Thursday; 3 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday; 3-11:30 p.m. Sunday. 3730 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix. 602-795-9910, RELATED:   Whining Pig bar replaces the Pig's Meow in Arcadia, and will Continue Reading

21 great indoor spots for Phoenix area kids to stay cool this summer

It's too hot to play outside in the summer in Phoenix. So, we need options.And we're in luck, because options abound in the Valley, from arcades to jump parks to full-fledged indoor amusement parks. Some places are free or nearly so, while other spots might be reserved for special occasions. Either way, there's plenty to choose from for any age group and just about any interest.Here are our picks:This multilevel indoor playground for kids of all ages includes several play areas, an arcade and a 35-foot slide (children younger than 5 must have supervision). Let the kids explore all the tunnels and mole holes in the 25-foot oak tree. Children 17 and younger must be accompanied by an adult at the 20,000-square-foot play center. Socks are required to play. Birthday-party packages are available.Details: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, unless otherwise noted. 6919 W. Ray Road, Chandler. $12.99 plus tax for ages 1-17; free admission for one adult per child; $6.49 plus tax for each extra adult. 480-344-3741, indoor inflatable playground, a national chain based in Tempe, is bound to leave even Energizer Bunny-type kids worn out. Socks and a signed waiver of liability are required for play. Birthday-party packages are available. Select locations offer structured preschool play-time sessions in addition to open bounce, corporate team building and art classes.Details: Three Valley locations. For more information, go to indoor "fun factory" has go-karts, laser tag, bowling, mini golf and kiddie rides. Call or go online for more details; there are height and weight restrictions, and varied pricing. Bring your appetite, because a buffet purchase is required for entry.Details: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday. 1830 E. Baseline Road, Mesa. A la carte prices run $7.99 to $10.99, though Continue Reading