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If you go by there now, there’s nothing really to see. But sometime in September or October of 2022 a parcel of land and a parking lot next to the mall Town Center at Boca Raton will be site of the resplendent Restaurant Row.
The dining destination will have space for four or five restaurants. Already El Camino and Pubbelly Sushi have signed on.
“We have a lot of existing fans in Boca that have been asking us to open a location in the area,” Andrea Petersen, managing partner with Pubbelly Sushi tells the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “And [we] cannot wait to have the opportunity to introduce the concept to people who don’t know us, as we don’t think there is anything quite like Pubbelly in the area.”
Brandon Belluscio, the restaurateur behind Modern Restraurant Group, which owns El Camino, thinks that the concept will resonate with the Boca Raton audience.
“I think people will love it,” he says. “Our Delray Beach location gets tons of traffic from Boca Raton, so I think they’ll be thrilled to have one in their own neighborhood.”
Both restaurants have committed to the two end spaces on the property.
“What we’re trying to do is really transform the landscape and food and culture in Boca Raton,” explains Eric Hochman, chief investment officer for the project’s Boca Raton-based developer PEBB Enterprises. “We’re trying to bring new-to-the-market restaurants.”
He also says that the 22,500 square feet of construction will be “a modern architectural gem” and adds, “This Restaurant Row is going to be one of kind. There’s going to be nothing like it in the area. We’re [curating] restaurants that are top notch, that are well appointed on the interior with lots of outdoor seating in front of the space…and a wide and grand valet drop-off area.”
Hochman has his own prediction for how Boca Ratoners will interact with the property.
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“I see maybe people going to have cocktails and light tapas in one restaurant and then meet up with friends and sit down and have dinner in another restaurant — without having to leave the property. One property. One valet dropoff. Of course we’ll have garage self-parking, too.”
Construction broke ground this week on the property situated near where Butts Road and Town Center Road meet. Locals will have probably already done the mind-mapping in their heads and realized that the dining venue in central Boca Raton is a busy hub of retail, office and hotel traffic. This was the draw for PEBB Enterprises, which owns and operates properties in 10 states, including 11 in Florida,
“It’s surrounded by class A office buildings,” Hochman says. “We know a lot of the tenants. Everyone we spoke to is very excited to have this kind of amenities for lunch and dinner. There’s also a fair amount of hotels in central Boca and in and around the surrounding area. They have business travelers as well as travelers coming in to stay, to visit families and maybe they don’t want to stay at their home. Those hotels historically have had high occupancy.”
El Camino’s Belluscio agrees with all of that, saying Modern Restaurant Group “loved the project from the start. And we were taken with the idea of being in what we saw as the first really big development of this kind in Boca Raton in many years.”
But aside from the analytics, there’s a sentimental reason he and his business partners Brian Albe and Anthony Pizzo want to open a location in Restaurant Row.
“Boca Raton has a special place in our hearts as it’s where we met as teammates before El Camino many years ago, so it’s a little like coming home for us.”