A Raleigh restaurant company is closing a deal next week to buy a group of popular Wilmington-area eateries. LM Restaurants Inc. is acquiring the assets and real estate of all five restaurants currently owned by Atlantic Quest Corp. of Wilmington: Bluewater, The Oceanic Restaurant, Henry’s and Eddie Romanelli’s locations in Wilmington and Leland, according to officials of both companies.
The new owner is not planning any changes in the daily management, staff, catering service or Quest Club rewards program of the local restaurants, said Becky O’Daniell, president of Atlantic Quest. “Nothing’s changed,” O’Daniell said. “We just have a new partner. It just makes sense because we both run our businesses the same. Now there’s more opportunity for our employees to grow. “We just got a chance to work with a group that’s a little bit bigger than we are, and it will give us a quicker chance for growth.“
LM Restaurants is the parent company of the Carolina Ale House, which has six Triangle locations as well as those in Columbia, S.C., and Weston, Fla.; Taverna Agora in Raleigh; and Bentley’s at Crossroads in Cary. Additional Carolina Ale House locations are under construction at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, in Columbia and in Boynton Beach, Fla.
Atlantic Quest began in spring 1990 with the opening of The Oceanic Restaurant, according to the company’s Web site. Eddie Romanelli’s in Wilmington opened in fall 1992, followed by Henry’s in spring 1999 and Bluewater in spring 2000, the Web site says. The company opened a second Eddie Romanelli’s location in Leland’s Waterford community in 2006. Atlantic Quest Corp. and LM Restaurants are both privately owned. The Triangle Business Journal recently recognized LM as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the Triangle area. “I’m very proud of what’s going on,” O’Daniell said. “I think it’s going to be a wonderful opportunity for both companies.“