Q: I recall seeing information more than a year ago, during construction of the Dunkin’ Donuts Collier Boulevard location, there would be several additional locations coming. What’s happening in that regard?
— Bob, Naples
Q: Are they ever going to open a Dunkin’ Donuts in the East Naples area? I thought they were opening one in the Town Centre shopping center, but nothing has happened.
— Roxanne Riddle, Naples
Q: Is there a date set for when the new Dunkin’ Donuts will open in Golden Gate?
— Jessica, Naples
A: The next local Dunkin’ Donuts is set to open within a week to 10 days at 4800 Golden Gate Parkway, the former Golden Gate location of Saltwater Cowboys Raw Bar & Grill.
“It’s in a great little spot right there,” said Jim Grifoni of Gulf Coast Donuts LLC. “It has a drivethrough.”
The new store’s interior is done, but some exterior work remains because of some rain delays, Grifoni said.
“We are having all of our inspections this week,” he said.
The new location will be the eighth for the local franchisee, which bought the development rights in Collier County in 2008. Grifoni’s master plan is to have 20 local stores operational within the next five years.
After Golden Gate, the next two local Dunkin’ Donuts are scheduled to open in East Naples, including a new location that has not been reported until now.
The first East Naples location will open this fall at 8885 Davis Blvd., near where Davis meets Collier Boulevard. The building has been a string of restaurants, most recently the short-lived second location of Rincon de Mexico, which detrimentally retained the huge sign of the previous tenant, Rodeo BBQ.
This former Burger King also was a Dunkin’ Donuts years ago when it was part of an odd Subway/Dunkin’ trifecta near that intersection. Not only was that location a combo for the sub and doughnut chains, but the adjacent service station and the one across the street each simultaneously hosted Subway/Dunkin’ stores.
If renovations go as planned, Grifoni plans to open this new Dunkin’ location in September or October.
“I’m just waiting for my building permit,” he said. “I’m hopeful to have it by the end of July.”
Expect the other new East Naples location to open early next year in an undeveloped half-acre outparcel near Burger King in Courthouse Shadows shopping center off U.S. 41 East.
“We are just going through the building process. It takes about six to nine months for engineering and architectural work to be done,” Grifoni said. “If I can get a building permit some time by the end of July, then it would be approximately six months from that date. We are looking at (opening) somewhere in January or February.”
This store will replace the Dunkin’ Donuts location that closed years ago in nearby Naples Towne Centre.
MORE LOCAL RESTAURANT NEWS
■ Chinatown Restaurant is scheduled to open this month at 2059 Pine Ridge Road, the former North Naples home of Saffron Indian Restaurant, which closed at the end of March after operating for four years. That space behind the Hess gas station on that Yahl Street corner also was the former location of the original Noodles Italian Café before it relocated west on Pine Ridge to Mission Square. Before that, it was BBQ Brothers and Cracklin’ Jacks Catfish Chicken & Ribs.
After closing this spring, Saffron co-owner and chef Rajesh Rimal said he would soon reopen his local restaurant elsewhere in the Naples area, but he has not announced a new location. Chinatown: 239-513-9881
■ Subway plans to open a new location in August in Pebblebrooke Center, 15215 Collier Blvd., next to the Shoppes of Pebblebrooke on that Immokalee Road corner, said Joe Candito, who manages area Subway franchises.
The sandwich shop chain is opening in the 1,500-square-foot space that formerly was Naples Liquors package store until it closed a couple of months ago. Next door to Gino's Trattoria Per Tutti, the new Subway will have its own Italian influence.
“We will be using our upscale Tuscany II décor in this store,” Candito said.
The Tuscan-inspired design, which has been used in many Subway stores worldwide in the past three years, features warm rustic colors, a variety of seating, paintings of vegetables, and other decorative touches.
■ Longhorn Steakhouse is building a new location in University Plaza, an 18-acre shopping center adjacent to Gulf Coast Town Center in south Fort Myers. The new 7,918-square-foot restaurant is targeted to open this fall at 10030 University Plaza Drive, according to Erica Jaeger, a spokeswoman for Darden Restaurants Inc. In May, Orlando-based Rare Hospitality Management, part of the Darden group, purchased 1.76 acres from Lee County Real Estate Holdings LLC for almost $1.2 million, according to a news release from LandQwest Commercial, which represented the buyer and the seller. University Plaza is on the southwest corner of Alico Road and Ben Hill Griffin Parkway. Longhorn operates more than 370 restaurants in 35 states, including one each in Collier and Lee counties.
■ Cheddar’s Casual Café is coming to the south Fort Myers area later this year. Cheddar’s is targeted to open Dec. 10 on a 2-acre parcel the chain has leased at University Plaza on the southwest corner of Alico Road and Ben Hill Griffin Parkway. Cheddar’s, which started in 1978 in Texas, has more than 80 casual dining restaurants in the U.S., primarily in the South and Midwest. The chain has three other Florida locations: Clearwater and Brandon in the Tampa Bay area, and Tamarac near Fort Lauderdale.
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"In the Know" is published Mondays and Wednesdays in the Naples Daily News. Find a complete archive of "In the Know" columns at naplesnews.com/intheknow.