Cheesecake Factory, Kona Grill coming to Mall at University Town Center

Five of six restaurants confirmed for $315 million mall

cschelle@bradenton.comDecember 9, 2013 

UNIVERSITY PARK -- Grab your dessert fork and dig in: The Cheesecake Factory is coming to the new Mall at University Town Center.

Taubman Centers confirmed Monday morning that Cheesecake Factory and sushi restaurant Kona Grill will come to the new $315 million mall set to open Oct. 16, off of University Parkway and Cattlemen Road.

In addition to Kona Grill, Taubman also acknowledged the other restaurants the Herald previously reported coming to the mall, BRIO Tuscan Grille, The Capital Grille and Seasons 52. That leaves room for just one more unannounced restaurant on the mall property.

All of the restaurants will be new to the Sarasota-Bradenton market, Taubman announced.

Cheesecake Factory is known for its page-turning menu and large portions including its noteworthy cheesecake desserts.

Cheesecake Factory has 16 locations in Florida, including ones in Brandon and Tampa. The chain was founded in Beverly Hills, Calif., in 1978 by David Overton, and now has more than 170 locations.

A Cheesecake Factory spokeswoman did not have any additional information on the restaurant Monday.

Kona Grill, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., is known for its upscale casual dining with sushi and cocktail offerings, and has a location near International Plaza in Tampa, and about 25 restaurants across the country. A representative for Kona Grill did not return a message seeking comment Monday.

Plans for the Mall at UTC show spaces for six full-service restaurants attached to the mall, with four on the west side facing Cattlemen Road and two facing Interstate 75. Taubman has not yet announced the sixth restaurant.

The 880,000-square-foot Mall at UTC is a joint venture between Taubman Centers, which is leasing of space, and University Park-based Benderson Development, which owns the land.

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

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