Long-time restaurateurs from Brevard's Melbourne/ Port Canaveral area are seeking permission from the City of Orlando to build a waterfront restaurant on Lake Fairview, at 4315 N. Orange Blossom Trail.
The owners of Grills Seaside Deck and Tiki Bar at Port Canaveral and Grills Riverside Seafood Deck & Tiki Bar on the Indian River in Melbourne are planning their third location, another waterfront tiki bar and sit-down family restaurant in Orlando.
The Orlando location will be similar to the one in Melbourne, with an outside Tiki deck bar and an inside option as well. But it will also have a play area for children adjacent to the tiki deck. An existing dock would be removed and replaced with a floating dock with slips so diners can come to the restaurant by boat.
The owners filed the Orlando expansion plans in July, but city staff has not issued an opinion on the submittal, which is set to go before the Municipal Planning Board on Sept. 15.
Chris Herrkind, a partner in the restaurants, said the company has been interested in expanding to Orlando for a few years because many of their customers at the Brevard restaurants are Orlando residents who regularly drive to their restaurants.
"Honestly we have a large percentage of people who come from Orlando to our other locations," said Herrkind. "We have really got good local customers, not just tourists."
If all goes well with approvals and permitting, the owners are hoping to open in mid-2016.
The partners' first restaurant in Brevard opened in 1997 at Port Canaveral. Recently it was renovated. The second, on the Indian River, opened in 2010.
The company's contractor is Heard Construction Inc, of Merritt Island. Its owner, Sam Heard, said he will seek local Orlando subcontractors.
The Civil Engineer is Construction Engineering Group, Jake T. Wise, Melbourne.
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