Influx of eateries

New dining options getting set to open in Gainesville


Construction workers have broken ground on the new Sonic drive-in restaurant in the 1900 block of N. Main Street. The restaurant, which offers carhop service, is scheduled to open by April 1.

MICHAEL C. WEIMAR/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Saturday, January 31, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 31, 2004 at 12:24 a.m.
Gainesville's list of restaurants will expand in the next couple of months with the addition of a Bonefish Grill, a Sonic Drive-In, and a second Pio's Pasta Co.
The Sonic, which offers carhop service, is under construction on N. Main Street and is scheduled to open by April 1. It will have 28 stalls for customers to drive into, place their order and have it delivered to them at their vehicle. Patio seating also will be available. The restaurant will open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and will feature its trademark chili cheese Coney dog, as well as onion rings, fries, burgers, wraps and more.
The N. Main Street restaurant will be the first of several planned for the area, said Dennis Porter, whose Edgemont, Ark., company, Galadco, holds the franchise for the restaurant.
Porter said he will be hiring about 70 employees, with a 50/50 mix of full-time and part-time slots.
Sonic (NASDAQ/NM: SONC) originally started as a hamburger and root beer stand in Shawnee, Okla., called Top Hat Drive-In, then later changed its name to Sonic. Last year the company, which has more than 2,700 drive-ins in 30 states, had $2.4 billion in total sales.

Bonefish Grill

On the southwest side of town, Gainesville's first Bonefish Grill is scheduled to open in Butler Plaza on March 8, according to John Cooper, president of the Tampa-based restaurant.
"We'll offer an extensive variety of grilled fresh fish, cooked over a woodburning grill, using hard oak," Cooper said.
Bonefish also offers a variety of hand-cut pork and beef, and freshly prepared pasta and chicken dishes.
The restaurant will be open for dinner at 4 p.m., Monday-Sunday.
For an average price of about $17, diners can enjoy a meal that includes their fish entree (or other type of entree), a choice from four different sauces for fish, a salad and a seasonal vegetable, Cooper said.
About 85 employees - half full-time and half part-time - will be hired, he said.
Bonefish Grill was founded in January 2000 by Tim Curci and Chris Parker in St. Petersburg. A couple years later, they partnered with Outback Steakhouse. There now are more than 35 Bonefish Grill restaurants around the country.

Pio's Pasta Co.

Downtown Gainesville, 6 S. Main St., is where the second Pio's Pasta Co. is set to open by the end of February or in early March, according to owner Peter Corsa. He also has a Pio's at 4320 SW 20th Ave.
"We're just trying to make sure all bases are covered," he said, adding that some renovation will be done at the site.
The restaurant features Italian cuisine, with lunch entrees ranging on average from $4.99 to $9.99, and dinner from $9.95 to $26.95. The downtown site will be open Wednesday-Sunday for lunch and dinner, and closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, he said.
Doris Chandler can be reached at (352) 374-5094, or chandld@gvillesun.com.

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