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Tampa-based restaurant expanding to Bradenton area, bringing prime burgers and craft beer

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Rapidly growing Ford’s Garage plans to open a 300-seat restaurant in University Town Center by the end of 2019.

The Tampa-based chain has 12 restaurants in Florida, plus one in Deerborn, Mich., and should have double that number in the next year, a company official said.

“Ford’s Garage is your neighborhood burger and beer joint, where everyone is welcome. Ford’s Garage will give you the vibe of being in a 1920’s service station to include vintage Ford vehicles, gas pumps and fixtures,” the company says on its website.

“Our bars feature prohibition-style elements of old brick, rich wood and a hand-hammered copper bar top. Many more unique features, too numerous to list, really make the Garage a fun place to visit and take pictures.”

Among the features of Ford’s Garage are the antique Model T and Model A Fords that are suspended over the bar.

Although the company touts itself as a gourmet burger bar serving Black Angus beef, turkey, chicken and vegetarian products, it also offers American comfort food entrees such as homemade meatloaf, chili and macaroni and cheese.

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Ford’s Garage plans to open a 300-seat restaurant in University Town Center by the end of 2019. The company embraces the history of Ford Motor Company, which introduced affordable automobiles to the American public before World War I. provided photo

Lighter fare includes salads, grilled chicken and fresh fish.

With a focus on American craft beer, beverage options range from a number of non-alcoholic drinks to multiple tap and bottle beers, wine and cocktails.

“We definitely support the communities that we move into. We want to create a dining experience very relatable to Americana and creative energy,” company president Marc Brown said.

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Ford’s Garage plans to open a 300-seat restaurant in University Town Center by the end of 2019. A trademark is the antique automobiles suspended above the bar. provided photo

Mark Chait, leasing executive for Benderson Development, said construction is underway for the new restaurant, and that it should open in the fourth quarter of this year. The restaurant will be located on the west side of Cattlemen Road, just north of University Town Center’s southernmost roundabout.

“They have a great burger, but it is a lot more than that,” Chait said.

Ford’s Garage opened its original location in 2012 in downtown Fort Myers, less than a mile from Henry Ford’s winter residence. Fort Myers was a gathering place for Ford, Thomas Edison and Harvey Firestone in the early 20th century.

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Ford’s Garage plans to open a 300-seat restaurant in University Town Center by the end of 2019. Shown above is its trademark burger. provided photo

The company, an official licensee of the Ford Motor Company, also has restaurants in Brandon, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Lakeland and Orlando. The company is expanding to Florida’s east coast with new restaurants planned for St. Augustine and the Daytona Beach area.

A franchise owner is making plans to take the brand into Ohio and Indiana.

For more about Ford’s Garage, visit fordsgarageusa.com.

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