Latest in restaurant news


Published: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 1:49 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 1:49 p.m.

The new Pollo Tropical in Butler Plaza opened Friday with a full day of festivities that included surfing simulator contests, giveaways and a complimentary salsa bar.

The restaurant is at 3900 Archer Road in the former site of the Atlanta Bread Company and includes a drive-through. Menu favorites include grilled chicken, create your own TropiChop bowls and mojo roast pork.

Pollo Tropical started in Miami in 1988 and has more than 120 locations, including one in the University of Florida Reitz Union food court.

KC Crave

KC Crave of Jacksonville Beach will open a second location Tuesday in Gainesville in the former Calico Jack’s building at 3501 SW 2nd Ave.

The restaurant promotes a “sharing encouraged” menu of slow-roasted meats and fresh seafood through starter plates and larger sharing plates that range from $9.90 to $16.90. A full bar will include craft beers and self-pour beer taps.

The location will have live music with a dance floor and a private dining room equipped for media presentations.

Burrito Famous

The owner of Relish and the local Pita Pit locations has opened Burrito Famous in the tiny building at 3412 W. University Ave. that last housed a Subway.

Rob Roche said the concept is a modern twist on quick-service burrito restaurants with more mix and match options. Dishes range from $5.95 to $7.10 and include chicken, pork, baja fish, steak and tempeh options for burritos, bowls, tacos, salads and nachos with choices of rices, beans, cheeses, salsas, sauces and other topping choices such as fried plantains, cabbage slaw, garlic lime sauce, curry mayo, habanero mango salsa and pineapple. Beer and wine also will be sold.

The eatery has a pickup window and offers delivery. It is open until 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and until 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.

Radio stations

A Long Island radio broadcast company has an agreement to buy five FM radio stations in the Gainesville/Ocala market owned by Asterisk Communications of Fort Lauderdale.

JVC Media of Ronkonkoma, N.Y., is buying all of Asterisk’s stations for $3.5 million, according to John Caracciolo, CEO of JVC.

The stations are: Gainesville-based WXJZ 100.9 Smooth FM, WBXY 99.5 The Star and WYGC 104.9 105 The Game and Ocala-based WTRS 102.3 Thunder Country and WMFQ 92.9 92Q.

JVC has an agreement to start operating the stations on June 1, but the deal will not close until it is approved by the Federal Communications Commission, Caracciolo said.

He said JVC plans to invest in staffing and marketing and will add 15 employees over the next couple months in promotions, programming, DJs, sales and the business office. The five stations currently have 35 full-time and part-time employees.

Caracciolo said JVC is looking at a couple different properties downtown to move the Gainesville stations, which will have public views of the studios. The stations are currently at 4424 NW 13th St.

He said they will also research whether to keep the current station formats or make changes.

JVC Media owns four FM stations on Long Island, N.Y., and manages the Pennysaver Amphitheater. Caracciolo and Victor Canales formed the company with backing from Northwood Ventures, according to a news release.

Caracciolo said JVC has been looking to expand for awhile and has employees from the Gainesville/Ocala area.

Asterisk President Fred Ingham was not available for comment last Wednesday. The family company started with the purchase of WTRS in Ocala in 1983 and has also owned radio stations in Panama City and the Tampa/Clearwater areas.

Anthony Clark is the Gainesville Sun business editor.

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