Tampa-based fast casual restaurant chain PDQ paid $2.13 million on June 17 to get a foothold in Lake County, buying the Zab Thai restaurant in Clermont Town Center with plans to demolish the building and develop its own new location.

"We will be building from the ground up," company spokesman Jeff Kamis told GrowthSpotter. "Opening is planned for the third quarter of 2017."

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Located at 1660 E. Hwy 50 on the corner with Citrus Tower Boulevard, PDQ bought the property via an affiliate LLC from Boonnaris Investment LLC, with plans to tear down the 5,784-square-square-foot restaurant built in 2001.

The site lies in a busy retail corridor, and just a few blocks south of South Lake Hospital and Nemours Children's Primary Care Center.

Kamis said the company has not chosen a contractor for the work yet.

Seating for 100 is planned for the new 3,000-square-foot restaurant.  A drive-through, outdoor seating, and catering options are also planned.

The location would be the chain's second in Greater Orlando, following a restaurant in Sanford on Rinehart Road. It also has a location in The Villages in Sumter County.

Short for "People Dedicated to Quality," the PDQ concept is to serve fresh, never frozen chicken tenders and nuggets, as well as made-to-order salads and milk shakes. Salad dressings are made fresh daily as well.

PDQ was founded in 2011 by Outback Steakhouse co-founder Bob Basham and MVP Holdings CEO Nick Reader, the two principal owners.

The first store was in Tampa, and PDQ now has 55 locations throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas.

Teresa Burney can be reached at 352-455-1955 or at Teresaburney4@gmail.com. Follow GrowthSpotter on FacebookTwitterand LinkedIn.

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