Port St. Lucie Keke’s among eateries purchased by Denny’s for $82.5 million

52 Keke’s Breakfast Cafes to operate independently with own leadership and strategies

One of the 52 Keke’s Breakfast Café locations purchased by Denny’s Corporation is located at 3235 Port St. Lucie Blvd. in Port St. Lucie.

Denny’s Corporation has purchased the Orlando-based Keke’s Breakfast Café chain of restaurants, which includes a local eatery in Port St. Lucie.

The Spartanburg, S.C.-based restaurant giant agreed to pay $82.5 million for Keke’s, which opened its first restaurant in 2006. The deal, which is expected toc lose in the fiscal second quarter of this year, includes 44 franchised locations and eight company restaurants. The only local Keke’s is located at 3235 Port St. Lucie Blvd.

Keke’s features a menu offering many different breakfast favorites, including waffles, French toast, pancakes and omelets, as well as lunch choices of sandwiches, paninis, burgers, wraps and salads. The chain, which is open only for lunch and breakfast, will operate independently from Denny’s with its own leadership, strategies, products, marketing, operations and development initiatives, a press release states.

The current Denny’s locations in St. Lucie County are at 100 N. Kings Hwy. in Fort Pierce in the Pilot Travel Center and at 10111 S. U.S. Hwy. 1 in Port St. Lucie. In addition, Denny’s is believed to have purchased the old Friendly’s restaurant at 230 N.W. Peacock Blvd. in St. Lucie West.

“Keke’s is a high-growth brand that aligns well with our core competency while providing us with an opportunity to participate in the fast-growing A.M. eatery segment,” said Denny’s CEO John Miller. “We intend to utilize the proven capabilities of our franchise-focused business model to develop Keke’s across multiple states with the long-term target of becoming the A.M. eatery franchisor of choice.”

Denny’s, which was originally named Danny’s Donuts when it opened in 1953, has about 1,700 locations across the world, with at least one restaurant in all 50 states. The Denny’s locations in St. Lucie County include the eateries at 100 N. Kings Hwy. in Fort Pierce in the Pilot Travel Center and at 10111 S. U.S. Hwy. 1 in Port St. Lucie. In addition, according to an online posting by SLC Commercial Realty & Development, a Denny’s eventually will open in the old Friendly’s restaurant at 230 N.W. Peacock Blvd. in St. Lucie West. Renovations have started on that building but it’s unclear when the new restaurant will open.

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