Friday, September 13, 2013

Time to eat at University Town Center mall

Seasons 52 is coming to the new Mall at University Town Center. Excited? PHOTO PROVIDED

We've known for a while now that Macy's, Dillard's and Saks Fifth Avenue will be tenants at the new Mall at University Town Center, coming in the fall of 2014.

What everyone's really been wondering: Which restaurants are coming?

There's been plenty of rumors, speculation and innuendo. Bradenton Herald readers had lots of suggestions, too, when business reporter Charles Schelle asked in his "Up In Your Business" blog back in May what they'd like to see.

Well, on Friday, we got our first official announcement: Seasons 52 will be one of the dining options at the new mall.


The folks at Taubman, one of the developing partners at the mall, sure are. 

"One of the things we've been talking about is having unique concepts to bring to this area and I think Seasons 52 is one of those concepts," new general manager Octavio "Taz" Ortiz said Friday. "We're very happy to have them and to have something that's going to be unique to the market."

There are about 40 Seasons 52 locations nationwide, the closest being in Tampa, and several more planned in the next year. The restaurant's fresh grill and wine bar concept and nothing-over-475-calories menu should be a hit, as well as its promise of live music every night at its piano bar.

Developers are especially banking on attracting families from burgeoning Lakewood Ranch. They said as much in a meeting with Herald staffers earlier this week, noting the growth in single-family homes in the Ranch as one of the driving factors for going forward with the mall project. (Ortiz, the new manager, is relocating his family to Lakewood Ranch, too.)

Another dining option for Ranch residents, and the new mall itself, only adds to the attraction.

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