PDQ chicken chain buys land in East Manatee

Company unsure which retail/restaurant concept it will build

cschelle@bradenton.comJuly 16, 2013 

EAST MANATEE--The restaurant company that owns Lee Roy Selmon's and PDQ is eyeing property near Interstate 75 and State Road 70 for a new restaurant.

Chicken Dinner LLC, a division of MVP Holdings, purchased about 10 acres along Lena Road for $670,000 from Commerce and Storage Holding Co. A $385,000 mortgage through Commerce and Storage was used to finance the deal, according to Manatee County real estate records.

MVP includes Outback Steakhouse co-founder Bob Basham and Nick Reader, investor and co-founder of PDQ.

Right now, it is uncertain which of the restaurants could be built there.

"We're going to pursue for future retail uses, but we're unsure which concept," said Jeff Kamis, a spokesman for PDQ. That means it could be a Lee Roy Selmon's, a PDQ or a new restaurant venture.

PDQ, which stands for People Dedicated to Quality, serves hand-breaded chicken tenders and sandwiches, handspun milkshakes and freshly cut fries. It's famous for not having a speaker box at the drive-thru. Instead, you speak directly to a person to put in your order.

The first restaurant opened in October 2011 across from Plant High School in Tampa.

The company typically builds near schools and churches and was one of the potential suitors for the former Checker's building on Manatee Avenue in Bradenton being sold by Manatee County Schools.

A Sarasota PDQ is slated to open in early September at 5120 S. Tamiami Trail, between Rooms To Go and Sarasota County Schools headquarters, Kamis said.

The chain has nine locations open in Florida and North Carolina, with a 10th location due to open next month in Cary, N.C., Kamis said.

As for Lee Roy Selmon's, the barbecue sports bar already has a nearby location, near University Parkway and I-75 in the Shoppes at University Town Center.

Charles Schelle, business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter@ImYourChuck.

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