BROOKSVILLE — The walls of Bonefish Grill are beginning to rise from the ground at the site of the county's newest shopping center, Cortez Commons at the corner of Cortez and Mariner boulevards.
Meanwhile two more businesses new to Hernando County have begun the county's permitting processes to open in the much-anticipated plaza.
In recent weeks the building department has received plans for a Bob Evans Restaurant and a Dick's Sporting Goods. They join businesses Bonefish Grill, Hobby Lobby, Mattress Firm and the Vitamin Shoppe, which are also going through the process.
According to the fact sheet provided by Bob Evans, the chain is in a growth phase and has concentrated its new restaurants in the 19 states where it currently has outlets.
Two new restaurants were added over each of the last two years, and this year and next year eight to 10 will be added, including the Cortez Commons location.
The new restaurants have undergone a remodeling to modernize design and layout and feature the modern farm aesthetic with an exposed oven and bakery.
According to Steve Davis, chairman and CEO of Bob Evans Farms Inc., "these new restaurants modernize our brand and stimulate local economies by creating both construction and an average of 80 hospitality jobs.''
"As for timeline, we anticipate construction will begin this summer and hope to open for business in the winter of 2014-15,'' said Kathryn Lecklider, company spokeswoman.
Bob Evans has more than 560 restaurants.
Founded in 1948, Dick's Sporting Goods offers a broad assortment of brand-name equipment, apparel and footwear, according to the company website.
An email seeking details about the Dick's Sporting Goods commitment to Cortez Commons was answered with a response saying there was no information available.
Barbara Behrendt can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1434.