LUTZ — Panini's Bar & Grill recently opened in the space that once housed Splash! An Ocean Grill. If the bustling crowd at 3 p.m. on a Tuesday is any indication, this place is off to a promising start.
Panini's began in Cleveland in 1986 as a quick stop for a beer and a sandwich. It has since grown into a full-menu, casual dining restaurant with 19 locations throughout northeastern Ohio.
The Lutz location is the first in Florida. General manager Bob Vance is a Cleveland native who was thrilled to see the familiar establishment arrive in the Sunshine State.
Panini's claim to fame is its signature Overstuffed Sandwich — fresh-baked Italian bread piled high with choice of deli meat, hand-cut fries and Panini's signature slaw. It is one of more than 90 menu items.
The bar is the focal point of the large indoor dining area, but there are also plenty of booths around the perimeter for families, as well as covered patio seating and an outdoor lounge area.
Beer connoisseurs will appreciate the 33 varieties on tap. Sports lovers can catch the game from any seat in the house, including the patio.
The Lutz location is in Northgate Square at 3973 Van Dyke Road. Hours are 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. daily. Happy hour is offered 2 to 6 p.m., and 10 p.m. to close, Monday through Friday. Call (813) 962-3479.
Westchase's Stone Chase closes doors
WESTCHASE — Just a month into running its first Florida operation, Panini's Bar & Grill is looking to expand and has its sights set on a prime Westchase location. In a move that took Westchase residents by surprise, Stone Chase Grill in the Publix shopping center — at the intersection of Linebaugh Avenue and Countryway Boulevard — shut its doors July 18.
There's no word yet as to why the establishment called it quits or if it will relocate, but Panini's is seizing on the opportunity to nab the vacant space. The details are being worked out and no opening day has been set.
For updates on an opening date, follow the Facebook page, Panini's of Lutz.
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