Cheeseburger in Paradise (restaurant)
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|Headquarters||Tampa, Florida, United States|
|Number of locations||27|
|Area served||17 States|
Cheeseburger in Paradise is a casual dining restaurant chain in the United States. The first restaurant opened on 1989, in Lahaina, Hawaii. Upset that others had used a name he had coined, Jimmy Buffett then sued the owners of the original Cheeseburger in Paradise, and then began opening continental U.S.- based restaurants of the same name. Jimmy Buffett did not prevail in the lawsuit, except to the extent that the original restaurant chain is now limited to Hawaii, Mexico and Japan. as of 2012[update], the restaurant has 27 locations in 17 states. It is a theme restaurant named for the song "Cheeseburger in Paradise" by American pop music singer Jimmy Buffett. The chain was a partnership of Buffett's company, the Orlando, FL-based Margaritaville Holdings LLC, and OSI Restaurant Partners, with Buffett licensing the name and Outback Steakhouse operating the franchising of restaurants.
In September 2009, Cheeseburger in Paradise was sold to Paradise Restaurant Group, LLC. Jimmy Buffett was only a Royalty Partner receiving 2% of profits until selling Paradise Restaurant Group the rights to the song "Cheeseburger in Paradise". In December 2012, Luby's purchased Paradise Restaurant Group for $11 million, thereby acquiring all of the restaurants and ending Jimmy Buffett's association with the chain.
Most of the menu items have an Island theme as well, such as the Pressed Burger, and the St. Barts Citrus Chicken. The menu also includes appetizers, salads, soups, sandwiches, wraps, island specialties, desserts, and a whole section on cheeseburgers. In addition to the regular menu, they offer a kid's menu, and gluten-free menu, and an entire menu dedicated to alcoholic cocktails.
States that are home to Cheeseburger in Paradise:
- Delaware (1) – Newark
- Florida (2) – Fort Myers and Miramar Beach
- Illinois (1) - Downers Grove
- Indiana (4) - Evansville, Indianapolis, Terre Haute and Fishers
- Kansas (1) - Kansas City
- Maryland (2) - Pasadena and California
- Michigan (1) - Sterling Heights
- Nebraska (1) – Omaha
- New Jersey (1) - Secaucus
- New York (1) – Middletown
- Ohio (1) - Hilliard
- South Carolina (1) – Myrtle Beach
- Virginia (3) - Woodbridge, Newport News, and Virginia Beach
- Wisconsin (1) - Middleton
A restaurant chain named Cheeseburger Restaurants based in Portola, California, has one of their restaurants located in oceanfront Lahaina, Hawaii also named "Cheeseburger in Paradise". This chain, which began in 1989, has no relations to Jimmy Buffett's business. Buffett sued the owners in 1997. After a four-year legal battle, a settlement was reached that allowed Laren Gartner and Edna Bayliff to keep the moniker at their existing restaurants in Lahaina and Waikiki, but prevented them from using the name on any additional locations.
Other Assorted Lawsuit Threats
In addition to the litigation against the Lahaina-based Cheeseburger In Paradise operation, Jimmy Buffett has also issued threats of litigation to a small restaurant in Frederick, MD for using the same Cheeseburger name. In that case, the owners could not afford to entertain the threatened lawsuit, so they were forced to eat the costs already invested, and to change the name of their restaurant to "Beef 'N Buns 'N Paradise". Reportedly, Jimmy Buffett still objected to their use of the word "Paradise", but have not pursued litigation over it.
In another case, Mark Chew, who operates Samantha's Cafe in Hockessin, Del. had established a patio area in his restaurant, and named it Margaritaville Patio. This fact was advertised in the Yellow Pages, apparently right where Buffett's legal buzzards found it. Mr. Chow was also served with litigation threats, and he too had to eat the cost of his patio and rename it.
In slightly less than a decade, Buffett became aware of the Lahaina Cheeseburger In Paradise, became so enraged over the use of one of his song titles, filed lawsuits, settled, opened his own restaurants, and then sold those restaurants to a corporation that operates turnkey chains like Buffett created. Reportedly, Buffett reaps 2% of the profits from these restaurants.
- Jimmy Buffett Sells 'Cheeseburger In Paradise' Restaurants
- http://archives.starbulletin.com/2004/08/01/business/index2.html Grilling up success with a cheeseburger, Jaymes Song, August 1, 2004, Honolulu Star-Bulletin/Associated Press