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Final Cheeseburger in Paradise Closes

October 1st, 2020


The lone operating Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant in Secaucus, New Jersey has closed its doors. The restaurant chain, founded by Jimmy Buffett and OSI Partners in 2002, reached a peak in 2006 with 38 locations in 17 states.

The first Cheeseburger in Paradise opened 2002 in Indianapolis. It was co-owned by Jimmy Buffett, whose famous song inspired the restaurant, and OSI Restaurant Partners (now Bloomin’ Brands). In 2009, Cheeseburger in Paradise was taken over by Paradise Restaurant Group, LLC.

In 2012, Luby’s purchased the brand for $11 million; there were 23 locations across 14 states. Even then, the brand faced financial issues. Lisa Lee, vice president of brand and marketing strategy for Luby’s Fuddruckers Restaurants, told the North Jersey Record at the time that Cheeseburger in Paradise was “already challenged when we purchased it in 2012 and continued to face headwinds since. We had to make a tough decision to close underperforming locations.”

At peak in 2006, the concept spread to 38 units across 17 states.

By August 2015, there were eight Cheeseburger in Paradise units. By July 2018, there were three locations remaining. An Indianapolis store closed in August of that year and an Omaha, Nebraska, unit shuttered in October. During Luby’s Q1 2019 earnings call, CEO Chris Pappas referred to the last Cheeseburger in Paradise as profitable and said it wasn’t dragging on the P&L. Since then, Luby’s has continued to face worsening sales and the global pandemic only made matters worse.


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