BLOOMINGTON -- The state's first Tony Roma's will open in Bloomington later this year inside The Chateau Hotel and Conference Center, replacing the hotel's current restaurant with a worldwide chain offering known for its ribs, seafood and steak.
The first of three remodeling phases is underway at The Chateau, 1601 Jumer Drive. Tony Roma's is expected to open by late summer or early fall, replacing Le Radis Rouge, said Chateau general manager Bill Legett.
There are nearly 200 Tony Roma's locations in 17 states and 33 countries. A recent trend of connecting chain franchises with hotels -- seen locally with a TGI Friday's at the Doubletree Hotel and Conference Center -- was part of the decision to replace Le Radis Rouge, as was the location's high visibility on Veterans Parkway, said Legett.
"The reputation is definitely high," he said. "Tony Roma's seems to be an excellent fit for this community."
Le Radis Rouge is essentially closed as remodeling gets underway, Legett said. There is no lunch service, but a breakfast buffet and dinner in the lounge are both available. Conference center services are not affected.
Phase one -- replacing windows and atrium work -- is estimated to cost $107,700, according to a building permit issued by the City of Bloomington. A total cost for all the renovations was not available Wednesday.
The Tony Roma's decor is "unbelievable," Legett said, featuring a lot of stone work and new lighting fixtures. An outdoor patio space not currently used by Le Radis Rouge will also be featured. The currently separated lounge area will be converted into a private dining room area as part of Tony Roma's.
"Everything will be a complete changeover," he said. Additional employees will need to be hired, he said.
Like Le Radis Rouge, Tony Roma's will be managed by Dubuque, Iowa-based Platinum Hospitality Club, which also manages The Chateau and two other hotel properties. The Tony Roma's ownership group will be the same or similar to Le Radis Rouge, Legett said, but specific information was not available.
This will be only the second Tony Roma's located inside a hotel, and the second to serve breakfast, he said. The brand dates to 1972, when Tony Roma opened his first restaurant North Miami, Fla. Today, the Dallas-based chain is operated by three major private equity firms, with mostly franchised locations.
Reporter Ryan Denham can be reached at twitter.com/ryanpantagraph