Food & Drink

These three restaurants are well established. They’re opening soon in the Bradenton area

It’s not unusual to find Shareen Lalwani and Nehal Shah sitting at a foldup table outside a soon-to-open Marco’s Pizza restaurant, waiting to interview prospective new staffers.

The owners of Manatee County’s second Marco’s Pizza franchise are gearing up for a planned opening this month at 1161 State Road 70 E., in the Lakewood Walk shopping center at Lakewood Ranch. The other local Marco’s is at 2111 Cortez Road W. in Bradenton.

Manatee County government recently approved a sign request for the restaurant and renovation work is under way inside.

But it’s staff that seems uppermost on the minds of the owners. Drivers and insiders are needed.

Their website is live, the phone rings and once they get their certificate of occupancy, they can get down to the business of serving pizza.

“Everything is made from scratch. We make our own dough and sauce. We cut all our veggies,” Shah said.

They invite prospective staff to stop by for an interview or email

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Nehal Shah, left, and Sharmeen Lalwani, owners of a Marco’s Pizza restaurant opening soon at Lakewood Ranch, are intensively recruiting to fill inside and driver positions. James A. Jones Jr.

Also looking to open soon is the new Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen at 3707 U.S. 301 N. in Ellenton.

District manager Robert Walker said the restaurant is still hiring but is ready to open as soon as it gets its final government approvals.

The Ellenton location will be the second in Manatee County for the restaurant chain. The first is located at 3390 First St. in Bradenton.

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Manatee County’s second Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is expected to open in the near future at 3707 U.S. 301 N., Ellenton James A Jones Jr.

Another new restaurant coming to the Bradenton area is BubbaQue’s, a barbecue franchise owned by Jordan and Jason Kazbour.

The southern-themed restaurant will be sliding into 3,000 square feet of space formerly occupied by BoneYard BBQ at 6581 State Road 70 E.

BoneYard closed recently, just short of its one-year anniversary.

BubbaQue’s is predominantly located in Florida, but there is also a restaurant in Alexandria, La. The Kazbours hope to open their restaurant by Aug. 1.

In other local franchise restaurant news, construction continues at Wendy’s, 4201 53rd. Ave. E. Franchise owner Joe Godbey, of Gold Coast Holdings Restaurants, said in April that he hoped for an opening this summer. Gold Coast operates 20 Wendy’s in Florida.

Opening on May 28 was the Bradenton area’s third Keke’s Breakfast Cafe at 11633 State Road 70 E., in the Green at Lakewood Ranch. Gabriel Rivera is the general manager of the new restaurant.

Keke’s restaurants are open 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m. seven days a week. The other local Keke’s are located at 1121 Cortez Road W. and 5405 University Parkway, Unit 104.

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