Jan Norris: Food and Florida

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EatBeat: Houston’s Renaming and Rebranding Some of its Restaurants, Including Coral Gables

July 15th, 2010 · No Comments

The Hillstone Restaurant Group, owner of Houston’s restaurants, is changing the name of and “rebranding” some of its restaurants. The one in Coral Gables is now called Hillstone, as is one in Winter Park near Orlando. Others already changed over include Boston, San Francisco, Dallas and Manhattan.

Several restaurants in the chain, including the Palm Beach Grill in Palm Beach, already have individual names. The island’s restaurant name switch was seen by most as a way to get around the ban on chain restaurants set out by the island politicos.

The company denies the latest name-switch is to help the California-based company, with 45 restaurants and 11 brands, to avoid federal and state menu-labeling laws set to go into effect soon, mandating calorie counts listed on menus at restaurants with more than 15 or 20 eateries in their chain.

In a quote in the Nation’s Restaurant News, Laura Biel, daughter of founder George Biel, said, “This is something we’ve been planning on doing for a while.”

Instead, they say, it’s a chance to move away from the “cookie-cutter” chain restaurant feel and change the menus on an individual basis using regional products to bring back individuality. Expect more seasonal dishes, with products sourced from local purveyors and food artisans.

Tags: The Eat Beat: Restaurant News

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