SOURCE: Radiant-Tampa Restaurants

October 25, 2005 12:21 ET

Houlihan's With New "Edge" Comes to Tampa

Restaurant Offers New Cuisine, New Look, New Owner and Retro Prices

TAMPA, FL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 25, 2005 -- It started out as a half-bar, half-restaurant, local hang-out in the neighborhood. But now after 33 years and many management changes, Houlihan's Restaurants is returning to its roots, with a trendy twist.

"The biggest change people will notice is the new edgy menu and ambiance," says Alan Gaylin, who served as a senior vice president of operations for Houlihan's Restaurants Inc. and now owns development rights for three Houlihan's locations in Tampa. "We are changing the casual dinning experience. We're hipper and sexier, but still affordable."

Gaylin's first Houlihan's development will open in Carrollwood, Monday, Oct. 31.

Some of Houlihan's makeover includes additions to the menu, like mustard-crusted salmon, fish tacos and mini martini "flights" in flavors ranging from Key lime to chocolate. Other changes include décor geared toward an experiential dinning encounter. Patrons will get their fill with four plasma televisions behind the bar, downloadable playlists of Houlihan's original music mix and "horriblescopes" on the menus.

"Casual dinning has become stale," says Gaylin. "The new Houlihan's won't be stuffy and overpriced, but it also won't be boring pre-made chain food either. All of our entrees will be made fresh, from scratch everyday."

Houlihan's Restaurants have been around since 1972, but have also been associated with several ownership changes including local Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner, Malcolm Glazer. But in 2001, CEO, Bob Harnett who helped turn around Einstein/Noah Bagel Corp., was brought in to do the same for Houlihan's. Gaylin was part of Harnett's re-branding team who developed the new Houlihan's concept that started its launch this year. Over his excitement for Houlihan's extensive makeover, Gaylin left his corporate position to launch several franchises with the restaurant's new image in Tampa, Phoenix, Austin and Eastern Texas. The Tampa, Carrollwood location will be his first.

Gaylin also brings seasoned restaurant entrepreneur and former area director for Houlihan's corporate, Mike Howell to Tampa where he will now serve as general manager and area director of all three Tampa Houlihan's restaurants.

"When we were looking at all the cities to birth one of these new Houlihan's I couldn't think of a cooler, hipper city to start in than Tampa," says Gaylin who's restaurant located at 14303 North Dale Mabry Highway will employ 125-150 people and will accommodate about 250 guests. "Our focus is going to be on exceptional food, fun and really catering to our customers."

To get a sneak peak at the new Houlihan's menu go to http://www.houlihans.com.

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