Before Darden Restaurants Inc. acquired Yard House for $585 million in 2012, the Irvine, Calif.-based chain was often hailed by analysts and industry observers as a young, hip casual-dining concept that was getting it right. With a wide menu of craft and exotic beers, food with broad appeal and a lively, rock-and-roll atmosphere, Yard House was packing in guests at a time when other casual-dining chains were struggling to turn around slides in traffic. Now Yard House — which earns the ...

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