BRADENTON -- A new restaurant opening on Manatee Avenue West is poised to lure coffee klatches and doughnut lovers in a busy fast food and coffee market by the end of this week.
The owner of a new Dunkin' Donuts store at 5601 Manatee Ave. W. is dropping into a competitive 10-block market between downtown Bradenton and the beach that includes numerous national fast food locations and local breakfast and lunch restaurants.
Steve Galloway, president of Tampa-based Dunkin' Donuts franchisee Velocity Brands, said his company's new 2,400-square-foot store will open as early as Thursday or as late as Saturday. Though the restaurant chain is best known for its doughnuts, Galloway said its coffee brand and lunch offerings sets it up for a fight for customers with the Starbucks a few hundred feet away and a McDonald's about a dozen blocks west.
"We view Starbucks and McDonald's as core competition," he said.
The store is the company's third in the area. Velocity also has Dunkin' Donuts locations on 14th Street at 53rd Avenue in Bradenton, and one in Palmetto. Galloway said the company plans to open three or four more stores in Bradenton in the coming year, including one near the intersection of State Road 70 and 30th Street.
The Manatee Avenue store is on land owned by Konstantinos Malliaras, according to the Manatee County Assessor's Office. The Malliaras family previously operated Basil's Chicken and Ribs on the site. Velocity Brands is leasing the land.
Bradenton contractor Raj Mathur Construction & Engineering built the $400,000 restaurant for Velocity. Velocity has used Mathur to build several other Dunkin' Donuts in the area and said it plans to use the contractor on future projects.
Members of the restaurant's staff have been training at the company's other area restaurants for the past several weeks. Employees will earn between minimum wage for new employees and $20 an hour for "high-quality managers," Galloway said.
Employees were stocking and cleaning the restaurant Tuesday to prepare for its opening.
Galloway said this Dunkin' Do
nuts location is unique in the area in that it has a community room that will accommodate up to a dozen people. This addition, he said, is expected to attract social groups, children's parties and business meetings.
The new store is Dunkin' Donuts' second foray at the Manatee Avenue location. Fewer than five years ago, a Dunkin' Donuts next to the former Basil's closed when its franchise owner became embroiled in a lawsuit with Dunkin' Donuts. The restaurant was torn down.
Velocity Brands owns 22 Dunkin' Donuts locations. Dunkin Brands Inc., the Canton, Mass.-based corporation that owns Dunkin' Donuts, has more than 400 locations in Florida, Galloway said, and about 900 stores in the Southeast.
Matt M. Johnson, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7027, or via Twitter @MattAtBradenton.