Make us your home page
Instagram

New look for new Beef O'Brady's in Hudson

HUDSON — A few weeks ago, Cheryl Valinaggi banged on the door of the Beef O'Brady's under construction at State Road 52 and Hays Road.

"When are you going to open?" Valinaggi, a longtime customer of the family pub chain, asked the construction crew inside.

She and her husband, John, were thrilled when the new location finally opened — and even more excited when they discovered this is not your old Beef's.

Gone are the paneled walls, green paint, heavy wooden bars and Tiffany-style lights. The Hudson restaurant uses a new design with fall shades of burnt orange and gold, dark wooden tables and lighter wood floors. The bar tops are sleek black granite, and brushed steel pendants dangle from the ceiling. Corrugated metal is wrapped around the bar's base, giving it a more industrial vibe.

"This is awesome. I love the color. I love the stone," said John Valinaggi, tapping the stonework that encases the back wall of the bar.

Ding, ding, ding. That's exactly what Beef's management wants to hear.

This new location, which opened last week, is the second in the nation of what company executives call "Beef's 2.0," a new prototype to usher the family-friendly bar-and-grill restaurants through a tough economy and into the future.

"Companies over time tweak things to sort of stay with the trends and help them improve the business model," said Beef's CEO Chris Elliott, who's been with the company since March 2010.

A year in the making, the new design concept is a result of working with ideas from four separate focus groups at the 26-year-old company's headquarters in Tampa. The focus groups were made up of Beef's customers only. The goal was to update the restaurants' look without losing their identity. (Beef's signature green still remains on the restaurant seating, for instance.)

"The last thing we wanted (customers) to do was say, 'That's not Beef O'Brady's," said Elliott. "We just wanted to take the next step."

In the new design, the bars have enhancements such as digital sports and news tickers that scroll the latest information above the bar (not yet installed in the Hudson location). More beers, including several craft brews, are on tap. "Community tables" in the bar area easily accommodate eight to 10 people.

But the most important upgrade, said Elliott, are the large flat-screen, high definition televisions that dot the walls throughout the restaurant. In Hudson, 25 TVs hang on the walls. A 111-inch projection screen serves as the centerpiece on the back wall.

"We know we lose customers in the stores where the franchisees have not upgraded their TVs," Elliot explained. "People don't want to go somewhere and watch a TV that's not as good as the one at home."

What the 2.0 concept does not include: a price increase.

"We're very sensitive to the impact the economy has on our customers. We're working really hard to keep prices down and our value up," said Elliott.

The Hudson location is not a full 2.0. It is smaller, with 2,800 square feet and 150-seat capacity, rather than the 4,000-square-foot, 170-seat prototype, so it doesn't have the space for a meeting room. While this restaurant does offer takeout, the larger prototype has a designated takeout area in the front. The larger locations also have booths with inset TVs.

The 2.0 design has been a huge hit in its first location in Lake Jackson, Texas, which did $217,000 in business in its first full month — an amazing feat, said Elliott.

"We weren't in our core market, which is Florida and Tampa, in this economy and we set a company sales record, so that's pretty encouraging," he said.

Chris Overbeck, who owns the Hudson restaurant with his wife, Teresa, said he had been eyeing this store's location for two years, but back then the rent was too high and management didn't want to budge on the price — until a year later. Overbeck, who with a partner owned another Beef's at Hudson Avenue and Little Road from 2001 to 2006, knows the area well. This new site at the Hays Road Town Center is about two miles west of the Suncoast Parkway and close to Fivay High School and Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High.

"This is one of the busiest corners," said Overbeck, who with his wife owns another Beef's at U.S. 41 and Sunset Lane in Lutz. "Knowing Hudson, I've always wanted to get back here."

He said he spent about $500,000 in franchise fees, inventory and build-out costs for this latest venture, and he thinks it's money well-spent. Opening day far exceeded his expectation, he said.

"We opened the doors and got flooded," he said. "And every night we're on a wait."

He's noticing repeat customers already.

Fast facts about Beef O'Brady's:

Founded: in 1985 by Jim Mellody, who wanted to develop a neighborhood pub where friends and families could gather to enjoy good food and sports in a casual, fun atmosphere.

First location: Brandon

Number of restaurants: 212

Locations: 22 states in the southeast and Midwest, but California and Idaho will soon see their first Beef's. The idea is to take the chain international, with a plan of increasing the locations to 300 over the next five years.

Next 2.0 location: a corporate-owned restaurant being built at Busch Boulevard and 56th Street in Temple Terrace, set to open later this year.

New menu item: Pizza. The chain is test marketing its own pizza at eight restaurants, including at the new Hudson location. Other new items include hand-breaded chicken tenders and fresh Angus burgers. A new lunch menu is also available with meal deals.

New logo and taglines: The newer signs have a different look with lettering that is easier to read from the street. Beneath the name are the words: "Good food. Good sports." Cover of menu now reads: "Where game time meets family time."

Main competitors: Chili's, Applebee's and Buffalo Wild Wings.

New Hudson location: 14851 State Road 52, at the Hays Road Town Center. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Owners are Chris and Teresa Overbeck. Phone number is (727) 379-WING.

New look for new Beef O'Brady's in Hudson 10/06/11 [Last modified: Thursday, October 6, 2011 8:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Last steel beam marks construction milestone for Tom and Mary James' museum

    Growth

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom and Mary James on Wednesday signed their names to the last steel beam framing the 105-ton stone mesa that will be built at the entrance of the museum that bears their name: the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art.

    The topping-out ceremony of the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art was held Wednesday morning in downtown St. Petersburg. Mary James (from left), husband Tom and Mayor Rick Kriseman signed the final beam before it was put into place. When finished, the $55 million museum at 100 Central Ave. will hold up to 500 pieces of the couple's 3,000-piece art collection. [Courtesy of James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art]
  2. Heights Public Market to host two Tampa Bay food trucks

    Business

    TAMPA — The Heights Public Market announced the first two food trucks for its "rotating stall," which will feature new restaurants every four months. Surf and Turf and Empamamas will be rolled out first.

    Heights Public Market is opening this summer inside the Tampa Armature Works building.
[SKIP O'ROURKE   |   Times file photo]

  3. Author Randy Wayne White could open St. Pete's biggest restaurant on the pier

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETERSBURG — The story begins with Yucatan shrimp.

    St. Petersburg Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin, pilot Mark Futch, Boca Grande, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, and author and businessman Randy Wayne White,  Sanibel, exit a Maule Super Rocket seaplane after taking a fight around Tampa Bay off the St. Petersburg waterfront, 6/28/17.  White and his business partners are in negotiations with the City of St. Petersburg to build a fourth Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille on the approach to the St. Petersburg Pier with a second event space on the pier according to White. The group met near Spa Beach after a ground breaking ceremony for the new pier. "We want to have our business open by the time the pier opens," said White. Other Dr. Ford restaurants are located on Sanibel, Captiva and Ft. Myers Beach. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times
  4. Guilty plea for WellCare Health Plans former counsel Thaddeus Bereday

    Business

    Former WellCare Health Plans general counsel Thaddeus M.S. Bereday pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to the Florida Medicaid program, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set, acting U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow of the Middle District …

    WellCare Health Plans former general counsel Thaddeus M.S. Bereday, pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to the Florida Medicaid program, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set, acting U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow of the Middle District of Florida stated Wednesday. [LinkedIn handout]
  5. DOT shows alternatives to former Tampa Bay Express toll lanes

    Transportation

    TAMPA — State transportation officials are evaluating at least a half-dozen alternatives to the controversial Tampa Bay interstate plan that they will workshop with the community over the next 18 months.

    Florida Department of Transportation consultant Brad Flom explains potential alternatives to adding toll lanes to Interstate 275 during a meeting Wednesday at the DOT’s Tampa office. Flom presented seven diagrams, all of which swapped toll lanes for transit, such as light rail or express bus, in the I-275 corridor from downtown Tampa to Bearss Avenue.