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Miami Subs is slated to open in a former Zaxby's in Regency.
Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Apr. 5, 201712:00 PM EST

Miami Subs returning to Regency as it re-enters Jacksonville market


Miami Subs is returning to town, possibly with up to four locations.

The first appears to be in Regency, near one of the locations the former ownership operated along Monument Road. That closed in 2003.

Owners of the New Miami Subs Grill bought the former Zaxby’s restaurant, which was built in 2001 at 9575 Regency Square Blvd. N.

Gainesville East LLC, based in Fort Lauderdale, paid $1.3 million for the 3,088-square-foot restaurant property, buying it from franchisee Jasz Group Inc.

City National Bank of Florida issued a $910,000 mortgage.

Jasz Group developed a new, larger Zaxby’s next door at 9569 Regency Square Blvd. N.

Colliers International Executive Vice President Jason Ryals and Retail Associate Katherine Goodwin represented the buyer.

Christen Hall, an associate with Re/Max in Ponte Vedra Beach, represented the seller.

Ryals said Miami Subs intends to renovate the restaurant soon.

He added Miami Subs is working on more deals and expects the company will open three to four restaurants over the next two years.

“They’re actively pursuing other sites right now,” he said.

Miami Subs had operated six stores in the area, but closed them.

The new Miami Subs location is not far from the one it operated at 101 Monument Road.

Gainesville East’s authorized members are Bernard Vogel and Richard Chwatt. Vogel is president and chairman of the New Miami Subs Grill and Chwatt is CEO.

Its website shows 39 locations, primarily in Broward, Dade and Palm Beach counties.

Miami Grill calls itself “the hottest fast casual concept to hit the market,” developed by the same owners as Miami Subs, Miami Subs Capital Partners 1 Inc. and key equity partner, Armando Christian “Pitbull” Pérez.

Miami Grill says its “everything goes” concept embodies the taste of South Beach and its menu includes Philly cheesesteaks, wings, salads, chicken and burgers, hot and cold subs, gyros, and pitas.

Florida Trend reported in January 2014 that Miami Subs once had 200 stores “before things blew up” and at the time of publication had 40.

In 2012, Chwatt announced that Miami entertainer Pitbull was a new equity partner. Florida Trend reported that the chain needed all the help it could get as it restarted.

Here’s the background reported in that story.

Greek immigrant Konstantinos “Gus” Boulis launched the chain in 1988, pioneering fast-casual restaurants “with a long and eclectic menu and an atmosphere that radiated Miami” with a tropical neon color scheme and pink flamingo murals. They were open late and sold beer and $100 bottles of Dom Perignon.

Boulis sold his stake in Miami Subs in 1998 as he moved into gambling ships. He was murdered in 2001 in Fort Lauderdale as he drove home from work and his killer was convicted.

Miami Subs dissipated under owner Nathan’s Famous, who sold the chain in 2007 to a Boca Raton group whose controlling interest was held by Chwatt and his longtime friend and business associate Bob Vogel.

Vogel had industry experience as an owner of Burger Kings in the Northeast and Chwatt had run a private investment banking and finance company for years.

Chwatt and Vogel stayed passive investors until 2010, when Chwatt took over management. He kept the menu long and varied, added Latin-themed food, brought back the Dom Perignon and added craft beers and wine.

The chain sells franchises.

The former location in Regency now is The Original Tunis Seafood & Chicken.

Food notes

• Cold Stone Creamery was OK’d for build-out at Palmetto Point at 14035 Beach Blvd., No. 107. It joins Taziki’s Mediterranean Café, which is open, and soon The Loop Pizza Grill, Club Pilates and the Smile Factory cosmetic dentistry office.

• Fresh-Mex & Co. applied for a zoning exception for the sale and service of all alcoholic beverages at 7111 Bonneval Road, the former Corner Bakery Café. The fast-casual restaurant will seat 172. “We think guests will be less likely to dine, if their dinner burrito cannot be accompanied by a margarita,” the application said. Former New York City firefighter Michael Toussaint and his wife, Amanda, are launching the concept at the location.

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