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- 2013 - December - 9th -

Fiesta to test-market Cabana Grill in Mandarin

By Karen Brune Mathis, Managing Editor

Fiesta Restaurant Group Inc., which owns and franchises Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana, will test-market a new concept — Cabana Grill — and chose Jacksonville's Mandarin area as one of at least two test sites.

The first is in the Atlanta area.

Raphael Gross, the investor relations representative at Addison, Texas-based Fiesta Restaurant Group, said Cabana Grill is similar to Taco Cabana.

"We are testing the concept outside the home state of Texas," Gross said.

"It could be a viable growth vehicle."

The tacocabana.com site shows a menu with burritos, fajitas, tacos, quesadillas, tacos, nachos and more, along with beverages, desserts, breakfast, kids' meals, margaritas and beer.

Taco Cabana says its restaurants feature interior, semi-enclosed and patio dining areas.

"Cabana Grill a Taste of Mexico" is shown on site plans at 10422 San Jose Blvd., at Oak Bluff Lane.

Jacksonville-based England, Thims & Miller Inc. is the civil engineer.

Plans show a 3,600-square-foot building, along with a patio area, on 1.4 acres. The restaurant would have a drive-thru.

The site is between the proposed 5,000-square-foot Chick-fil-A at San Jose Boulevard and Oak Bluff Lane and a Chase Bank ATM.

Gross said the Atlanta market Cabana Grill would open in the first half of 2014 but he didn't have a specific date.

He said Fiesta Restaurant Group hasn't disclosed details about the Jacksonville restaurant.

Cabana Grill Inc. filed with the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations on Oct. 9.

Fiesta Restaurant Group is based in Addison, near Dallas, while Cabana Grill's headquarters are in San Antonio.

Fiesta Restaurant Group says it owns, operates and franchises 315 Taco Cabana and Pollo Tropical restaurants in the Southern U.S., the Caribbean, Central America, South America and North India.

As of Sept. 29, the company owned and operated 100 Pollo Tropical and 164 Taco Cabana restaurants and franchised 38 Pollo Tropicals.

Both brands specialize in the operation of fast-casual, ethnic restaurants that feature made-from-scratch cooking, fresh salsa bars and drive-thru service and catering, the company reports.

There are three Pollo Tropical restaurants in the area and plans for a fourth.

San Marco Deli becomes Beach Diner

Restaurateur Barry Adeeb added San Marco Deli to his Beach Diner concept.

The former San Marco Deli at 1965 San Marco Blvd. in San Marco Square has become a Beach Diner.

It is the fourth in the concept. There are Beach Diners in Atlantic Beach, Mandarin and Ponte Vedra.

State corporate records show that Adeeb formed San Marco Diner LLC on Oct. 15.

His corporate address is 501 Atlantic Blvd., where he created Atlantic Beach Diner Inc. in August 2003.

Ponte Vedra Diner Inc. was formed in January 2005 at 880 Florida A1A N., Suite 1. That's the Ponte Vedra Pointe Shopping Center.

Then came Mandarin Diner Inc. at 11362 San Jose Blvd., Suite 11, in February 2009. That's in the Gates of Olde Mandarin.

Stan Jordan, a former school board member and state legislator, is a partner in the Ponte Vedra and Mandarin restaurants, records show.

San Marco Deli had been owned by San Marco Deli Inc., whose managers Ernie and Karen Winn formed the company in 2002. They took over the business from Andrzej Jarecki and Margaret Ostasz, who incorporated it in 2000.

Food bites

• Subway is building out at 1963 Kings Road, No. 101.

• Dunkin' Donuts is putting up signs and awnings at 11857 San Jose Blvd.

• Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches is putting up signs and roofing at 11616 San Jose Blvd.

• Zaxby's is making plans to build at Oakleaf Town Center.

• Applebee's intends to remodel its restaurant at 6251 103rd St.

• O Town Buffet Sushi Grill is "opening soon" at 9569 Regency Blvd. N.

Correction

Primus Builders Inc., which is renovating a Northwest Jacksonville warehouse for Sysco International Food Group, is based in Woodstock, Ga. Another state was incorrectly reported Wednesday.

kmathis@baileypub.com

@MathisKb

(904) 356-2466

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