- 2014 - January - 13th -

Food notes

Compiled by Karen Brune Mathis

Applebee’s remodeling 6 Jacksonville restaurants

Applebee’s will remodel six Jacksonville area restaurants to reflect its new “Community” theme.

The 843 Lane Ave. restaurant in West Jacksonville will be first. It is scheduled to close Sunday and reopen at 11 a.m. Jan. 24.

Doherty Enterprises Inc., the franchisee, plans to remodel 38 Applebee’s restaurants throughout Northern Florida and Georgia over the next 15 months.

Applebee’s spokeswoman Catie Jackson said in a news release that the new look focuses on education, nonprofit organizations and first responders.

She said the restaurant’s wall decor will consist of photos from local high schools and universities, professional and college sports teams and community groups, including the YMCA, Boys & Girls Clubs and Jacksonville fire and police departments.

The 4,997-square-foot Lane Avenue restaurant can accommodate up to 200 customers.

The remodeling includes new booths, lighting, and renovated restrooms. In addition to the 15 televisions throughout the restaurant, the bar area will double in size to accommodate a 70-inch TV screen.

Exterior renovations include paint, awnings and signage, as well as a renovated entrance with new stone work and a trellis.

“We have developed an aggressive plan to renovate, remodel and create an overall community atmosphere,” said David DiBartolo, vice president of operations at Doherty Enterprises, in the news release.

“One element of our plan is to retrain the staff so that guests are greeted with familiar faces.”

The city approved the Lane Avenue restaurant renovations in December. Hughes Brothers Construction of Alabama LLC is the contractor for the $120,000 project.

The city also has approved a permit for Hughes Brothers Construction to renovate the almost 4,800-square-foot Applebee’s at 6251 103rd St. in Southwest Jacksonville at a project cost of $170,524.

Doherty Enterprises, founded in 1985, is ranked the 68th largest privately held business in the New York metro area by Crain’s Business and the 12th largest franchisee in the United States by the Restaurant Finance Monitor, according to the news release.

It operates seven restaurant concepts including Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar, Panera Bread, Chevys Fresh Mex, Quaker Steak & Lube, Noodles & Company, and two of its own concepts, The Shannon Rose Irish Pub and Spuntino Wine Bar and Italian Tapas.

It owns and operates more than 140 restaurants in Florida, New Jersey, Long Island, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island.

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