First restaurant announced for Mall at University Town Center

Seasons 52 is opening at the new University Town Center mall in 2014

srocco@bradenton.comSeptember 14, 2013 

SARASOTA -- Seasons 52, the upscale fresh grill and bar known for its promise that no menu item totals more than 475 calories, has signed a lease on space at the Mall at University Town Center, which is slated to open in October 2014.

"We were attracted to Sarasota for its central and scenic location, as well as its popular and upscale retailers that provide a lifestyle environment compatible with the concept of Seasons 52," Brian Foye, president of the restaurant chain, said in an email. "The Mall at University Town Center is recognized as a retail hub for the greater Sarasota area, and their commitment to offering a fresh and exciting experience for residents in the area makes this site a natural choice for Seasons 52."

Developed by Orlando-based Darden Restaurants, Seasons 52 is known for a "seasonally inspired" menu that changes four times a years.

The restaurant, which touts fresh meat and seafood items like cedar plank salmon and caramelized sea scallops, will inhabit an 8,800-square-foot space with a 965-square-foot patio for outdoor eating.

The new location will serve as the restaurant's 10th in the state, including Tampa and Orlando, and the first in the Manatee-Sarasota region. It will create 100 new jobs in the area, the company said.

"One of the things we've been talking about is having unique concepts to bring to this area and I think Seasons 52 is one of those concepts," said Octavio "Taz" Ortiz, the mall's new general manager. "We're very happy to have them and to have something that's going to be unique to the market," Ortiz said.

The hiring process will start about 60 days before opening. The restaurant will be open in "late 2014," the company said.

Sabrina Rocco, East Manatee reporter, can be reached at (941) 745-7024. Follow me on Twitter@sabrinarocco.

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