Texas Roadhouse chain plans to open location in East Manatee

nwilliams@bradenton.comSeptember 6, 2012 

MANATEE -- Texas Roadhouse, a nationwide casual dining restaurant chain, is planning to open a location on State Road 70.

The 7,079-square-foot restaurant is expected to be located in the River Club Park at Commerce Plaza, where State Road 70 and Interstate 75 meet.

A permit request for the project was submitted to Manatee County on Tuesday. Marc Hermann, the Florida Gulf Coast market partner for Texas Roadhouse, is hoping construction can begin as early as December. The project must first win approval from the county commission and site plans must meet state building code and pass inspection by county staff.

If approved, the restaurant is expected to open between April and June of 2013, Hermann said.

"Florida has been a very good and growing area for us," said Travis Doster, spokesman for Texas Roadhouse.

The restaurant chain already has advertised job openings for the restaurant and expects to hire between 180 to 195 employees, Hermann said.

"We see a lot of potential there," Hermann said.

The company operates 14 Texas Roadhouse restaurants in Florida, four of which were opened in the past nine months. The new location will be the restaurant's first in the Manatee-Sarasota area. The nearest locations are restaurants in Fort Myers and Lakeland. The Fort Myers location, the company's first in Southwest Florida, opened in July and employs 185 workers.

"In the last two years, we've added more in Florida, percentage wise, than any other state," Doster said.

The company owned a restaurant in Sarasota 19 years ago, but closed it due to poor sales, Hermann said. With population in East Manatee, especially Lakewood Ranch, growing at a fast rate, Hermann said the company chose Bradenton because it appeals to its demographic.

"We're excited about the whole Lakewood Ranch area," he said.

"We don't do national marketing so we look for high traffic areas," Doster said. "We're dinner only so we want to be located near homes and not near businesses. We typically locate near Walmart or Target stores to drive traffic."

The plaza already includes a Super Walmart, which opened in April.

The company, which was founded in 1993, operates 385 restaurants in 48 states and this past quarter opened seven restaurants and reported $320,275.00 million in total revenue.

"With the influence of snowbirds, people know us around the country," Hermann said.

Nick Williams, East Manatee reporter, can be reached at 941-748-0411 ext. 7049. Twitter:@_1NickWilliams

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