Guess what's taking over the old Cheddar's in Brandon? A place designed for people who dig food as much as craft beer called Yard House.
Coming-soon banners for Yard House — a Long Beach, California-founded restaurant chain billed as a "modern American gathering place" — recently went up at 11135 Causeway Blvd., where Cheddar's shuttered in November 2016. Interestingly, Yard House is part of Darden Restaurants, the company behind dining brands such as Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze and Cheddar's, which joined its restaurant family earlier this year.
While Yard House is essentially an upscale-casual bar and grill, a huge list of draft beer gives this destination more of a public house identity. Offering more than 100 American and imported selections, the taps range from traditional lagers to obscure ales. Specialty cocktails are on hand for those who aren't into beer, too.
As for the food, it's an eclectic, globally inspired lineup, featuring salads, street tacos, burgers, seafood, steak and ribs. In addition to burgers topped with gourmet ingredients (think house-made truffle cheese and caramelized jalapeño shallot relish) — which, alongside the beer, could give the nearby Ford's Garage a run for its money — a notable highlight is the section with 12 dishes built upon Gardein; ever seen an entire portion of a menu dedicated to this meat substitute? Me either.
The restaurant wouldn't be complete without one more thing: music. Yard House bumps a rock soundtrack of 10,000 classic and current songs, accompanying other vibe-setting elements like custom artwork and a glass-enclosed keg room that can hold up to 3,000 gallons of beer.
Yard House, which does lunch, dinner, happy hour and late-night dining at its 70 locations across 24 states, hasn't opened any other outposts locally, but the restaurant does operate elsewhere in the Sunshine State — mostly in South Florida. The closest location to Tampa Bay is found inside Orlando's I-Drive 360 entertainment complex.