Crabby’s Oceanside restaurant to replace Cocina 214 in Daytona

Crabby’s Oceanside eatery to take over soon to be former Cocina 214 restaurant in Daytona Beach on an oceanfront Consolidated-Tomoka owned property that’s also home to LandShark Bar & Grill. Operators of new restaurant also own several Crabby’s restaurants in Clearwater-St. Petersburg area as well as St. Cloud.

DAYTONA BEACH — The operators of several restaurants in the Clearwater-St. Petersburg area have agreed to take over the soon-to-be former oceanfront Cocina 214 building here where they will open a new eatery called Crabby’s Oceanside.

The new restaurant at 451 S. Atlantic Ave. in Daytona Beach will feature fresh local seafood.

The new restaurant operator is a St. Petersburg-based company called Beachside Hospitality Group that currently runs seven eateries, mostly on Florida’s west coast: Crabby’s Dockside, Crabby’s Bar & Grill, The Salty Crab Bar & Grill and Salty’s Island Bar & Grille in Clearwater Beach, Crabby’s Beachside Bites at Tropicana Field Stadium in St. Petersburg, The Salty Crab Bar & Grill in Fort Myers and Crabby Bill’s in St. Cloud.

The company also plans to open a Crabby’s Dockside restaurant in Fort Pierce in April 2020.

Beachside Hospitality Group will take over the lease for the standalone Cocina 214 Tex-Mex restaurant here on Aug. 4. The new eatery is next door to LandShark Bar & Grille, just north of Sunsplash Park and the Volusia County Lifeguards Headquarters. The landlord for the two side-by-side restaurants is Daytona Beach-based Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co.

“Our goal is to hold on to as many current Cocina 214 employees as we can,” said Jason Zelenak, who will serve as acting managing partner for Crabby’s Oceanside. “We want to make this transition over to Crabby’s Oceanside as quickly as we can.”

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Ford’s Garage restaurant coming to Daytona’s Tomoka Town Center

DAYTONA BEACH — Site work has begun on a new restaurant at Tomoka Town Center with a vintage 1920s-era Ford Motor Co. theme: Ford’s Garage.

The eatery is set to go up just west of the Dave & Buster’s restaurant/video arcade that opened earlier this year.

It will be the first Florida east coast location for the fast-growing Tampa-based chain.

“We’re very excited to come to the Daytona community,” said Marc Brown, president of both the Ford’s Garage chain and its parent company 23 Restaurant Services, in a phone interview.

Brown said his company hopes to open its Daytona Beach restaurant by “late fourth quarter” and that it will employ approxomately 150 workers, 70 percent of which will be full time.

The chain’s website describes its restaurants as a “neighborhood burger and beer joint” specializing in gourmet burgers and craft beers.

“Ford’s Garage will give you the vibe of being in a 1920s service station to include vintage Ford vehicles, gas pumps, and fixtures,” according to the website. “Our bars feature prohibition-style elements of old brick, rich wood, and a hand-hammered copper bar top.”

Brown said prices for entrees at Ford’s Garage range from $9.95 to $17.95. The menu for each of the chain’s restaurants includes 12 “Hall of Fame” burgers named after prominent people in the community it services.

In addition, “We like to work with with craft brewers in each of the communities we’re in to feature their craft beers,” he said. “We offer over 150 different kinds of beer as well as wine and full liquor.”

John Albright, the president and CEO of Daytona Beach-based Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co., which sold the land where Ford’s Garage is now being built to Tomoka Town Center developer North American Development Group, said he has visited one of the chain’s restaurants in Tampa.

“It looks like an awesome presentation,” Albright said, adding that the chain offers “higher-end fast-casual dining.”

“They have a great presentation that’s family-friendly,” he said. “It’s got more of a sit-down, almost diner feel.”

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Hobby Lobby, others set to open soon at Tomoka Town Center

DAYTONA BEACH — The new “power lifestyle” retail center at Tomoka Town Center will welcome its first tenant later this month.

Hobby Lobby is set to open 9 a.m. on Aug. 27, confirmed Christy Gordon, store manager.

The arts-and-craft supplies store will be relocating from its soon-to-be old location four miles to the south at the Volusia Square shopping center at 2455 W. International Speedway Blvd.

“The 25th (of August) will be our last day,” she said of the store at Volusia Square which was the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma-based retail chain’s first Volusia-Flagler area location when it opened in September 2010.

Also moving to Tomoka Town Center from Volusia Square is the T.J. Maxx apparel store which is set to open at its new location on Sept. 6.

Another store set to open soon at Tomoka Town Center is Five Below, a retailer that sells a wide variety of goods all priced $5 or less, which will hold its grand opening Sept. 14, said store manager Stephen Bruton.

The store held a hiring event this past weekend where it was looking to fill 25 positions.

“You’ll be seeing more (Five Below stores) popping up for sure,” Bruton said.

Max Rivera, a superintendent for HGR Construction, was overseeing a construction crew working to build side-by-side stores for both Academy Sports + Outdoors and a combination Beall’s Outlet and Homecentric store at Tomoka Town Center.

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Unicorp plans $200M mixed-use project in Daytona Beach

By Jack Witthaus
Staff Writer
Orlando Business Journal

Unicorp National Developments Inc., one of the most prominent Orlando-based developers, is eyeing Daytona Beach for its next project featuring shops, restaurants and residential.

The developer is under contract for about 150 acres in the area, referred to as Tomoka, for a three-phase development near Interstate 95 and LPGA Boulevard. The $200 million project is expected to feature roughly 200,000 square feet of retail, 300 luxury apartments and 200 homes. Construction is expected to start in the first-quarter 2019.

“It’s a great growth area,” said Chuck Whittall, president of Unicorp. “We think with our project and things happening now, there won’t be a lot left in that market. We think the timing is just right.”

The first phase will feature about 100,000 square feet of shops and restaurants. No tenants have been signed, but Whittall said his company is speaking with about 30 different tenants. The first phase will be called Shoppes at Williamson Crossing and will be built on about 23 acres. The second phase is another 100,000 square feet of construction and should feature shops, casual dining and restaurants on about 13 acres. Apartments and homes will be part of the third phase on about 111 acres.

Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co. (NYSE: CTO), the largest landowner in Daytona Beach, is the seller. Jorge Rodriguez, executive managing director in Colliers International Central Florida, represents Unicorp in the negotiation. Terrence Hart, a senior director with Franklin Street, represents the seller.

A general contractor and architect have not been picked yet. Interested parties can reach out to Brett Mulligan at

Consolidated-Tomoka President and CEO John Albright said the area is attractive to retailers in part because of the $1 billion Latitude Margaritaville — an active-adult, mixed-use community now under construction in partnership with the Jimmy Buffett flagship business. In addition, that mixed-use development is near the intersection of Interstate 95 and LPGA Boulevard.

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Road to recovery? Amid vacancies, A1A successes sprout

New businesses, including Hard Rock, Landshark, hope to spark growth along A1A

DAYTONA BEACH — It was a tad chilly for morning margaritas on the Atlantic Ocean side of State Road A1A.

But that was the drink of choice in late January as area leaders toasted the opening of the Jimmy Buffett-branded LandShark Bar & Grill and adjoining, separately-owned Cocina 214 Tex-Mex eatery on a 6-acre beachfront lot just north of SunSplash Park.

“It has been a really fast year in making this happen,” said John Albright, president and CEO of Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co., landowner and developer of the $6 million dual-restaurant project at 451 S. Atlantic Ave.

“Our whole mission here is basically to get this property activated and get the beachside activated,” Albright told customers, employees, Parrotheads and local dignitaries assembled in the parking lot. “To me, this is the potential of Daytona Beach, and this is a start, and there’s a lot more to come.”

New development on A1A has long been overshadowed by the overwhelming number of vacant lots and empty storefronts that blemish the iconic roadway that runs north and south along the World’s Most Famous Beach.

The new restaurants are touted as a potential catalyst that can ignite other beachside development. A little more than a month after opening, both eateries are reporting healthy business, poised to become success stories along the 10.5-mile stretch of A1A from Ormond Beach to Daytona Beach Shores.

“We’re ecstatic at being here,” said David Crabtree, president and CEO of Orlando-based IMCMV, licensee of the restaurant chain started by Buffett’s Margaritaville Holdings company. “It has exceeded all our expectations.”

Lounging recently on one of the restaurant’s bright yellow, heavily branded wooden deck chairs, Crabtree caught the attention of Rich Torella, the restaurant’s general manager, to compliment him on two record days the previous weekend.

“Actually, every week has been a record week for this place,” Crabtree said. “We’re doing about 50 percent more business than we planned on doing. We’ve been received very well by all the tourists and local consumers, as well.”

Next door, as the early lunch crowd arrived at Cocina 214, restaurant co-founder Lambrine Macejewski echoed that satisfaction. The beachfront spot is the second location for the eatery, which has established a loyal following at its original Winter Park restaurant, which opened in 2011.

“We just had the Daytona 500 and we did really well with that,” said Macejewski, who is optimistic about the potential impact of other new projects on A1A. “It’s all great and positive. The community is full of wonderful people.”

Yet she also understands that two new restaurants are merely the start of a long process.

“It takes perseverance, especially when you’re trying to change big things,” Macejewski said.

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DSW shoes, Culver’s to join Dave & Busters at Daytona’s Tomoka Town Center

DAYTONA BEACH — As its fall targeted completion date draws closer, the “power lifestyle” retail center going up across the street from Tanger Outlets mall continues to add tenants.

The latest to sign on include DSW Inc. (also known as Designer Shoe Warehouse), a “best in class shoe operator,” and two eateries: Culver’s and Arby’s, said developer Jeff Preston, vice president of North American Development Group.

“We’re looking at an October-November opening for many of our tenants,” he added,

The planned 400,000-square-foot power lifestyle center is part of the 235-acre Tomoka Town Center development area on the east side of Interstate that includes Tanger Outlets, as well as a planned Sam’s Club store and a recently announced 276-unit luxury apartment community called Tomoka Pointe, which is set to break ground in late March.

Tomoka Town Center stretches from LPGA Boulevard on the north to Mason Avenue on the south and is bordered on the east side by Williamson Boulevard.

The 39-acre, 350,000-square-foot Tanger Outlets mall, which opened in November 2016, became the first development to be completed in the town center area, which does not include the Cornerstone Office Park on the southwest corner of Williamson and LPGA boulevards.

While Tanger offers more than 70 stores, including several national retail chains that opened their first-ever Volusia-Flagler area locations there, it only has a handful of eateries.

The initial phase of North American’s planned power lifestyle center will add several big box retail stores and restaurants to Tomoka Town Center.

Other tenants announced to date for the power lifestyle center include Dave & Buster’s, Hobby Lobby, Academy Sports + Outdoors, Burlington Stores, TJMaxx, Ulta Beauty, Tuesday Morning and Five Below.

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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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Developer buys more land near Tanger for Dave & Buster’s, Hobby Lobby

DAYTONA BEACH — With construction work proceeding on the first phase of its planned “power lifestyle center” just east of the Daytona Beach Tanger Outlets mall, a Canadian developer is moving forward with plans for the rest of its project.

North American Development Group recently completed its $6.2 million purchase of 27 more acres at the Tomoka Town Center development area on the east side of Interstate 95, south of LPGA Boulevard.

The latest purchase is of two vacant parcels, one at the northwest corner of Williamson Boulevard and Mason Avenue and one at the southwest corner of Williamson and Cornerstone boulevards, confirmed Mark Patten, senior vice president and chief financial officer for Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co., the Daytona Beach-based company that created the Tomoka Town Center development area.

The acquisition of the two parcels increases North American’s total land holdings at Tomoka Town Center to 88 acres with another 35 under contract.

North American has until the end of 2018 to complete its purchase of the remaining acreage, according to a news release issued by Consolidated-Tomoka.

The developer recently raised the exterior walls on the 60-acre initial phase of its power lifestyle center, with tentative plans to open by the start of the 2018 holiday shopping season.

Tenants announced so far include Dave & Buster’s, Academy Sports + Outdoors, and Hobby Lobby, as well as several restaurants and other retail stores.

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