EAST COUNTY — The Ciccio Restaurant Group, which operates five popular restaurants in Tampa, will bring two eateries to the East County, including a Northeast-style diner that serves breakfast all day.
The new restaurants, a Daily Eats and a Fresh Kitchen, will be in the same 6,600-square-foot building on Cooper Creek Boulevard and University Parkway, across the street from The Mall at University Town Center.
University Park-based Benderson Development, a partner on the Mall at UTC with Taubman Centers, is the lead developer. “We love what Benderson has done,” Ciccio Restaurant Group partner Matt Lanza said. “We like to be next to high-performing restaurants. We think it fits our demographic very well.”
The restaurants, which combined will have about 60 employees, are expected to open by the fall. Fresh Kitchen, according to Lanza, is a quick service, build-your-own-bowl concept with fresh seasoned vegetables and marinated proteins. It’s a concept that Lanza and his partners, which includes his dad and his brother, would like to take statewide. He said more than 50% of the Tampa customers come at least twice a week. “It’s kind of replaced our customer’s kitchen,” Lanza said. “It’s a concept that’s really taken off.”
Daily Eats, said Lanza, is a full-service restaurant that serves breakfast all day with a diner-like menu that includes burgers and milkshakes. Said Lanza “It’s basically a Northeast diner, but modernized.”
Ciccio Restaurant Group, said Lanza, is also building a Daily Eats and a Fresh Kitchen in St. Petersburg. The company, which ran multiple restaurants in New York City before relocating to Tampa, was drawn to East County to work with Benderson and to get in on the growth. “The retail there is very substantial,” said Tyler Peterson, a commercial real estate broker with Colliers International in Tampa who helped put together the Ciccio deal with Benderson. “You can pull people from both Sarasota and Manatee counties into the one location.”