Popular Louisiana chicken finger chain Raising Cane’s is expanding into Florida with first restaurant to open in February.
CLEARWATER — Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, a popular Louisiana-based fast food chain, has bought the Village Inn on Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard in Clearwater for $4.5 million.
The 1.39-acre property is at 2525 Gulf-to-Bay Blvd., west of Clearwater Mall and U.S. 19. It is on the south side of the road across from two other popular eateries, Chick-fil-A and Aussie Grill by Outback.
The sale comes just as Raising Cane’s begins its expansion into Florida with its first location in Miami Beach scheduled to open in February. The chain currently has more than 500 restaurants in 31 states and says on its website that it plans to open 100 new locations this year.
While the Miami location will be its first in Florida, the company has job openings posted for Boynton Beach, Pompano Beach, Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and Orlando.
Diners in Clearwater will have to wait a while, though. Jeff Dervech, the president of Dervech Real Estate, says in an email that “Village Inn will continue to operate at this location for the time being and will soon announce a new relocation address for this store.”