MANATEE -- Hurricane Grill and Wings will take the place of the former Lee Roy Selmon's at 6510 Cortez Road, according to an official with the corporation.
The wing and seafood restaurant, based in West Palm Beach, aims for an opening date of June 1. A Hurricane Grill and Wings executive, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to announce the restaurant's opening, said the restaurant will have about 50 employees, and some former Lee Roy Selmon's employees were invited to join the team. The 50 positions will be a mix of part-time and full-time employees. The restaurant's opening also was announced on Facebook.
The restaurant is approximately 5,500 square feet, according to Manatee County property records. The executive said remodeling of the space has already begun.
Hurricane Grill and Wings has 70 restaurants, including the Cortez Road location, in 13 states. All but nine of the 70 are franchised, and the new Bradenton location will be company-owned. The executive said the company-owned stores are often where new menu items and new technologies are sampled.
The company is also targeting three locations in Tampa. The executive said they are excited about the possibilities for the Tampa market -- the largest Florida market where there are no locations. Forty of the company's 70 locations are in Florida.
Other successful Florida markets for Hurricane Grill and Wings include Orlando, where there are five restaurants and two under construction, and the Fort Myers area, where there are four locations.
June 1 is a special day for Hurricane Grill and Wings for several reasons; it's the beginning of hurricane season and the birthday of original founder, Chris Russo. And this year, June 1 marks 20 years of business for Hurricane Grill and Wings.
Mike Parry, the owner of RJ Gator's of Bradenton, said he welcomes the competition.
"There's always going to be more competition," in the restaurant business, Parry said. "A lot of times it's a positive thing when you get next to a really good restaurant. It draws more people to your area and creates more exposure."
RJ Gator's began reinventing its menu and introducing new items before people heard Lee Roy Selmon's is closing, Parry said.
"We're constantly researching and looking for something new and exciting," he said.
Janelle O'Dea, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow her on Twitter@jayohday.