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The 1,139-unit Darden Restaurants Inc. continues to grow. The Orlando-based public company (NYSE: DRI) has closed on a $5 million contract to purchase the assets of King Henry’s Feast, an out-of-business dinner attraction in Central Florida’s tourist corridor near Walt Disney World. The acquisition plans were reported exclusively by GlobeSt.com on Aug. 8.

The purchase price equates to $10,000 per seat for the 500-seat, 14,000-sf asset. Darden officials are undecided on conversion plans for the property. The bulk of Darden’s restaurants are seafood specialty properties.

King Henry’s Feast was built in 1985 and opened in 1986 by Orlando restaurateur Robert Earl, a transplanted London entrepreneur. Earl later founded the Planet Hollywood chain, also based in Orlando.

He sold King Henry’s Feast in 1987. The property changed hands several times over the years. The last owner was On Stage Entertainment Inc., a Las Vegas-based hospitality operator who closed the restaurant in June of this year after three years of consecutive losses.

Darden is also going to the bond market to raise $150 million to pay down short-term debt and provide working capital, according to a prospectus the company has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Bank of America Securities is the lead underwriter for the private bond sale.

Darden showed a profit of $176.7 million on revenue of $3.7 billion for fiscal 2000. The company’s common stock is trading at $17.50, off about about 20% from its 52-week high last November.

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