Bloomin’ Brands has begun construction on a new flagship restaurant for Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, about a half-mile from its corporate headquarters in Tampa. The restaurant giant intends to duplicate the concept, on a smaller scale, in all its new Fleming’s locations — beginning with one to be built in the UTC area in east Manatee County, starting in July.
The new restaurant in Tampa is on the site formerly occupied by Roy’s and next to where Fleming’s currently operates. It sits on a stretch of Boy Scout Boulevard in Tampa, across from International Plaza and near Tampa International Airport, that features a corridor of restaurants including Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant and Eddie V’s Prime Seafood on the high end and Outback Steakhouse and Miller’s Ale House on the middle end.
The new Fleming’s, which Bloomin’ officially began construction of Tuesday at a ceremonial groundbreaking, will be 13,000 square feet and include space to serve up to 375 guests. The restaurant will include outdoor patio dining and courtyard areas as well as two separate experiential wine and cocktail bar areas and five private dining rooms.
The current restaurant employs about 90 people, the company says, and that will grow to about 115 at the new one.
The plan is for it to open in the middle of next year. The existing Fleming’s will become a new concept Bonefish Grill, says Bloomin’ Brands’ CEO David Deno.
Company officials say the look of the new Fleming’s was inspired by the architecture and design diners see in Napa Valley. Guests, the company says, “will enter through a dramatic foyer with a spectacular porte-cochere and can expect a new open floor plan that combines a free-flowing, light and airy feel with a fully connected, intimate dining experience.”
According to Bloomin’ among the features going into the new flagship restaurant are:
- A glass wine vault that holds 2,700 bottles of chilled wine.
- Geometric architecture “evocative of wine country.” Earth toned, neutral colors and artisanal paint features.
- A “large scale vineyard inspired chandelier to represent the beautiful vines found in Napa Valley.”
- Pebble shell bar representing the coastlines of Florida and California. (The first Fleming’s opened in 1998 in Newport Beach, a wealthy enclave in Southern California.)
This new look won’t just be for the flagship location.
“We have 70 Fleming’s around the United States and hope to have 100,” Deno says. “They will all have this look and feel.”
The plan, Deno says, is for new locations to adopt the new concept as they open and for existing locations to get some of the elements. New restaurants will be about half the size of the flagship.
The first of these will be a new 7,000-square-foot Fleming’s that’s to be constructed in Manatee County beginning in July. According to Manatee County property permit records, the restaurant is being built at 8306 Tourist Center Dr., on the site of a former Ruby Tuesday. That's in the the fast-growing UTC area, near where grocery chain Trader Joe's recently announced a new location is forthcoming.
Tampa-based Bloomin’ Brands started in the 1988 when it opened the first Outback Steakhouse in the city. Today, the company owns Carrabba's Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill and Aussie Grill by Outback. It operates more than 1,450 restaurants globally and employs more than 87,000 people.
Revenue for the first quarter of 2023 was up 9.1% from the previous year, to $1.24 billion.