1. Pasco

More restaurants to bloom in central Pasco County retail hub

Courtesy of Bloomin’ Brands
Courtesy of Bloomin’ Brands
Published Apr. 25, 2019

LUTZ — Bloomin' Brands plans a trio of restaurants, including its new Aussie Grill by Outback, for the Cypress Creek Town Center retail hub in central Pasco.

The company is proposing two sit-down restaurants, Bonefish Grill and Carrabba's Italian Grill, plus the quick-serve Aussie Grill at the corner of State Road 56 and Wesley Chapel Boulevard just west of Interstate 75, and across the highway from the Tampa Premium Outlets mall.

Combined, the restaurants will total nearly 15,0000 square feet and seat 496 people. Carrabba's will be the largest, capable of seating 229 people. The Aussie Grill will have seating for 72 and Bonefish will have space for 195 diners, according to preliminary plans filed with Pasco County.

The company's nearby properties include its signature Outback Steakhouse, about three miles away on Oakley Boulevard and another Bonefish Grill, 3.5 miles away on Bruce B. Downs Boulevard. That site has been open for 13 years.

Bloomin' Brands spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts confirmed the company's interest in the Cypress Creek Town Center, but said it was too early to provide additional details.

The Tampa-based Bloomin' Brands announced the first U.S. location of its new Aussie Grill by Outback last month when it said it would begin testing its burger-and-sandwich concept at International Plaza in Tampa. At the time, the company said it would open some locations in the Tampa market to monitor and fine-tune the concept.

In a fast-casual restaurant, customers order from a counter rather than being served by a dining room wait staff. Aussie Grill is Bloomin' Brands first foray into this concept. Its traditional sit down restaurants including its flagship Outback Steakhouse, plus Carrabba's, Bonefish, and Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar. The company said it has nearly 1,500 restaurants in the U.S.

The three Bloomin' Brands sites bring the number of open or planned restaurants within the Cypress Creek Town Center to more than two dozen, not counting the food court offerings within the Tampa Premiums Outlets mall.

The three restaurants are proposed for approximately 4 acres on the northeast corner of SR 56 and Wesley Chapel Boulevard, just east of where the Walk On's Bistreaux and Bar is under construction. It has a Lutz mailing address, but the property is marketed routinely as being in Wesley Chapel.

The property is owned by the Sierra family's Pasco Ranch Inc. Company Chairman and CEO Bob Sierra declined comment.

Watts said Bloomin' Brands has co-located its restaurants in other sites, including on International Drive in Orlando. At one time, a strip center at U.S. 19 and Regency Park Boulevard in west Pasco was home to both an Outback Steakhouse and a Carrabba's Grill, but the Outback closed a decade ago. In Trinity, an Outback Steakhouse and Bonefish are in close proximity, but in different commercial developments, on State Road 54.

Contact C.T. Bowen at or (813) 435-7306. Follow @CTBowen2.