BROOKSVILLE - Bonefish Grill has submitted building plans to construct its first restaurant in Hernando County.
Owned by Tampa-based Bloomin' Brands, the restaurant chain specializes in fresh fish and other wood-grilled specialties. It is the second tenant to commit to a spot in the Cortez Commons shopping center, located on the southwest corner of State Road 50 and Mariner Boulevard.
This location will be a new prototype for the chain and the first of its kind in Florida.
Last week, Hobby Lobby, an arts and crafts store, submitted plans to build a 55,000-square-foot store at the new center. There are at least eight other tenants considering moving to Cortez Commons.
Bonefish Grill has locations in several states and attempts to model each restaurant with a "local" feel.
The 6,898-square-foot Hernando County site will have 193 seats, 38 of them located on an outdoor patio.
The proposed Bonefish Grill, along with Hobby Lobby, will go to various county departments for review and must meet code requirements.
Daniel Foster, director of construction for Bonefish Grill, said the new restaurant will employ 80-100 people when it opens, sometime in 2014.
Like all the newer locations, the Brooksville Bonefish will be open for lunch and have a covered patio dining area.
It will have the familiar Bonefish logo on the outside of the building but otherwise, it will look much different because of a re-branding design, Foster said.
"This won't look like your average Bonefish," Foster said.
The chain's closest site is in the Trinity area of New Port Richey, off State Road 54, so the Cortez Commons location will be far enough away not to eat into that customer base, Foster said.
"Obviously (Brooksville) has grown enough to support the sales," he said.
Bonefish Grill recently opened its 200th store in Houston, Texas. Bloomin' Brands also owns Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba's Italian Grill, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar and Roy's Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine.
Carrabba's is located in Western Way Plaza, directly across from the proposed new Bonefish Grill.