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Daytona’s Landshark, Cocina 214 eateries officially start the party

DAYTONA BEACH — If it’s truly 5 o’clock somewhere, as the Jimmy Buffett mindset suggests, then the destination for early happy hour on Thursday was the World’s Most Famous Beach.

Area business leaders, elected officials and other dignitaries hoisted margaritas and beers well before lunch to toast the simultaneous grand openings of the Buffett-branded Landshark Bar & Grill and the adjoining, separately-owned Cocina 214 Tex-Mex eatery, restaurants touted as additions that could lift the prospects for other beachside businesses.

“It has been a really fast year in making this happen,” said John Albright, president and CEO of Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co., among several area leaders to address a crowd clustered in the restaurants’ shared parking lot.

Consolidated-Tomoka is the landowner and developer of the $6 million dual-restaurant project on a 6-acre lot at 451 S. Atlantic Ave., just north of SunSplash Park.

“Our whole mission here is basically to get this property activated and get the beachside activated,” Albright said. “To me, this is the potential of Daytona Beach, and this is a start and there’s a lot more to come.”

Cocina 214 has hired virtually all of its 75-member workforce for a restaurant with a capacity of 345 guests. Landshark, meanwhile, also is close to its goal of 150 workers for that 350-seat restaurant.

Daytona Beach City Commissioner Ruth Trager said such economic impact is “fantastic.”

“The neighborhood is all in favor of it; the city is all in favor of it,” Trager said. “We see this as being the catalyst for great things happening in this area. It’s only the beginning.”

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New beachside Jimmy Buffett-themed concept, Tex-Mex eatery to debut

Two new restaurants are getting ready for big grand openings this month, set to bring more options to visitors and locals in Daytona Beach.

The Jimmy Buffett-themed Landshark Bar & Grill will host a soft opening of its new 6,600-square-foot restaurant on Jan. 22 and then Winter Park independent Tex-Mex restaurant Cocina 214 will debut its second location in a nearly 8,000-square-foot space next door on Jan. 25. Both restaurants are side-by-side on a 6-acre beachside lot at 451 S. Atlantic Ave.

The restaurants will help kickstart development on the site and bring much-needed waterfront dining venues to the area, as previously reported by Orlando Business Journal.

Both restaurants are expected to add to an upsurge in development activity in Daytona Beach, helping transform it from a tourist destination to a great place to live/work/play.

Leading the way are International Speedway Corp.’s (Nasdaq: ISCA) $120 million-$150 million One Daytona motorsports-themed destination; the $1 billion, 7,000-home Latitude Margaritaville, a Buffett-inspired active-adult community being developed by Minto Communities LLC and Margaritaville Holdings; the new Hard Rock International resort; shopping complexes, like The Landings; and corporate expansions, including insurance firm Brown & Brown Inc.’s (NYSE: BRO) $25 million headquarters and a relocation of personal-injury law firm Morgan & Morgan PA.

Meanwhile, here are more details on the two restaurants headed to the beach:

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‘Let the fin begin!’: Daytona Landshark applies finishing touches to beachy vibe

DAYTONA BEACH — Outside, lingering heavy mist from a morning rain obscured the ocean view from the inside the new Landshark Bar & Grill, but the restaurant’s Jimmy Buffett beach vibe was undimmed on Thursday in its tropical wood-paneled décor, accented with sunny splashes of yellow, aqua and lime.

Even amid the din of construction workers drilling, hammering, finishing outdoor walkways, climbing ladders to string electrical wiring in the high ceilings and planting palm trees, the restaurant reflected the advice offered in the greeting posted by the door:

“Let the fin begin!”

For the Landshark Bar & Grill, the fin — er, fun — will start with a soft opening on Jan. 22, said David Crabtree, president and CEO of Orlando-based IMCMV, licensee of the restaurant chain started by Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Holdings company.

At 10 a.m. Jan. 25, Crabtree and Rich Torella, the restaurant’s general manager, will join area officials and business leaders for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open both Landshark and the adjoining, separately owned Cocina 214, also nearing completion on the 6-acre lot at 451 S. Atlantic Ave.

“We work very well together,” Crabtree said of the two restaurants, which intend to collaborate on promotions together in a grassy shared space between them. On Thursday, that area still was covered by fill dirt, one of numerous tasks to be finished before the eateries debut.

“It’s coming along,” said Torella, who has worked for 15 years in Margaritaville-branded restaurants. “The health inspector was here this morning and she was very pleased. We expect the parking lot to be poured in the next couple of days and then we can start loading in stuff: Tables, chairs, pots, pans, utensils, glasses and other small wares. Our retail inventory is coming on Monday, so we’ll have a lot of the hats and T-shirts.”

Vibrantly colored booths already line the walls inside and gleaming silver scaffolding overhead is in place to accent the Shark Cage, a rectangular interior bar with a capacity of roughly 40 customers and an ocean view. Outside, a similar-sized bar, the Shark Bait, is covered by a thatched tiki-hut roof.

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Jimmy Buffett’s Daytona Landshark Bar & Grill on target for January opening

DAYTONA BEACH — Despite the recent unwelcome presence of Hurricane Irma, construction remains on schedule to open two highly anticipated side-by-side oceanfront restaurants in January, according to officials involved in the project.

Roof trusses arrived this week on the construction site for the Jimmy Buffett-branded Landshark Bar & Grill and an adjacent, separately owned Tex-Mex eatery called Cocina 214 Restaurant & Bar.

The two restaurants are being built on the six-acre lot at 451 S. Atlantic Ave., just north of Sunsplash Park and Volusia County lifeguard headquarters. Both are targeting a late January opening, in time for the Rolex 24 at Daytona at Daytona International Speedway.

Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co. is the landowner and developer of the $6 million dual-restaurant project.

Irma didn’t result in any disruption of the construction, Consolidated-Tomoka CEO John Albright said on Tuesday. “Not anything significant,” Albright said. “We’re still on schedule for an opening in January.”

Scott Bullock, Consolidated-Tomoka’s vice president of real estate, added that the roofs on both restaurants are expected to be finished by the end of October.

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Locals cheer groundbreaking for Daytona’s Jimmy Buffett restaurants

DAYTONA BEACH — Drinking beer and margaritas before noon is not the norm for business leaders and elected officials, even at the World’s Most Famous Beach.

The several dozen who turned out to celebrate the groundbreaking Wednesday morning of two planned side-by-side oceanfront restaurants were happy to make an exception.

With complimentary bottles of Landshark Beer and cups of margaritas in hand, they toasted the occasion before scooping up dirt to signal the start of construction for a Jimmy Buffett-branded Landshark Bar & Grill and an adjacent, separately owned Tex-Mex eatery called Cocina 214 Restaurant & Bar.

The two restaurants are being built on the six-acre lot at 451 S. Atlantic Ave., just north of Sunsplash Park and the Volusia County lifeguard headquarters. Both are targeting a late January opening, in time for the Rolex 24 at Daytona at Daytona International Speedway.

Consolidated-Tomoka, which acquired the land in November, will own the land and buildings for the two-restaurant development. Albright in his comments Wednesday thanked the city and county allowing his company to obtain the necessary building permits in a timely fashion. “We want to get this going as soon as possible and open up here within seven months,” he said.

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