Restaurant News

Joey D's on Manatee Avenue West in Bradenton hopes for November opening

Tommy Dennis, who co-owns Chicago-style pizza chain Joey D's with brother Bobby, expects to open the company's new restaurant at 6401 Manatee Ave. W. on Nov. 11. MATT M. JOHNSON/Bradenton Herald
Tommy Dennis, who co-owns Chicago-style pizza chain Joey D's with brother Bobby, expects to open the company's new restaurant at 6401 Manatee Ave. W. on Nov. 11. MATT M. JOHNSON/Bradenton Herald

BRADENTON -- Since July, West Bradenton residents have watched the Joey D's on Manatee Avenue take shape. By mid-November, the Dennis brothers hope they can welcome customers through the doors.

Ideally the opening date will fall on Nov. 11, their late brother Joey Dennis' birthday. He died at age 32 from Cockayne syndrome, a rare disease that causes improper development of the nervous system and stunted growth. Opening Nov. 11 would be doubly special because it is also Bobby Dennis' son Bobby Jr.'s birthday.

Permitting processes with the city of Bradenton took longer than the Dennises expected, and a custom-made hood for the kitchen was also delayed, Tommy Dennis said. They're also still waiting on booth seating and TVs for the outdoor seating area.

The Dennis brothers also envision an outdoor bar on the side of the building. A final health inspection with state auditors still must be scheduled and passed before Chicago sports fans and others can indulge in thick-crust pizza and more than 15 varieties of beer on draft. Tabletop taps fitted with football helmets to match the Joey D's theme are a new addition at the Manatee Avenue location. Other than those, though, customers can expect the same Chicago-style food and experience they've had at the three other Joey D's locations; the original Joey D's at 4304 14th St. W., in Sarasota at 211 N. Tamiami Trail next to the Ritz-Carlton hotel, and at 3811 Kenny Drive off Cattlemen

and Bee Ridge roads.

When the restaurant at 6401 Manatee Ave. W. opens, the original Joey D's on 14th Street will close for renovations. Tommy Dennis hopes to reopen the 14th Street restaurant by Jan. 1. Planned renovations for the 14th Street Joey D's include plumbing work, roof repairs, interior cosmetic changes and the addition of patio seating.

Tommy Dennis estimates they'll need somewhere between 50 and 100 employees for the 4,100-square-foot restaurant, including servers, kitchen staff and bartenders. Combined inside and outside seating can accommodate almost 200 people. Interested applicants can inquire about opportunities at the 14th Street Joey D's.

Janelle O'Dea, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095 or follow her on Twitter@jayohday.

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