Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Mall at University Town Center app launches

Screenshot of Mall at UTC app
The Mall at University Town Center now has a smartphone app that will serve as a pilot for Taubman Centers properties nationwide.

Taubman announced Tuesday the free app available for Apple iOS devices while an Android version will launch soon. Users can search for "Mall at UTC" in the app store.

Technology company MXM created the app using real-time mall-based navigation features using Bluetooth beacons from another technology company called SPREO.

These Bluetooth beacons are able to sense where a shopper is in the mall and send special offers and deals when they are near certain stores. That feature won't immediately be available but could in the future, officials said.

“Our new mobile app changes the shopping experience, bringing mall navigation and personalization to the forefront like never before,” said Ivan Frank, director of digital marketing for Taubman in a news release. “Taubman is pleased to be the leader in bringing this technology to shoppers to enhance their in-mall experience.”

SPREO Co-Founder and CEO Avi Sacajiu said, “Through our work with Taubman, we are leading the way in using radio frequency signals for precise navigation in large, multi-level spaces like The Mall at University Town Center. This is truly a unique amenity for shoppers.”

Check out the full story on Bradenton.com. Download the Mall at UTC app here in the App Store.

Here's what Taubman officials say users can do with the new app:

Map It:
Easily locate stores, restaurants and entertainment as you shop.
- With Bluetooth on, the “Map It” screen recognizes your location within seconds;
- Click to view the location of any store – and then click again for directions to that store from your current location;
- Navigation directions then appear, helping you navigate step by step and floor by floor to your destination.
Plan It:
Plan your shopping trip in advance, to get the most out of your visit.
- Add stores to your “Plan It” trip itinerary to make shopping a breeze. You can add stores to your itinerary any time by clicking on the “Plan It” icon.
Love It:
Save your favorite stores for quick information and a personalized experience.
- When you first install the app, you will be asked to mark your favorites;
- The app offers recommendations, including a personal “inspiration board” driven by your “Love It” favorites and their related stores;
- And you can customize your map simply by pressing the “Love It” filter so that only your “Love It” stores appear.

Here are other screenshots of the UTC app to give users an idea of what it can do:

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

TréborStyle opens at Westfield Southgate in Sarasota

A European-inspired jewelry store has opened in Westfield Southgate mall in Sarasota.

TréborStyle opened this week in the mall as it continues to fill vacancies lost from tenants leaving for The Mall at University Town Center.

“We’re thrilled to announce the addition of TréborStyle to Westfield Southgate,” mall general manager Jim Ralston said. “This is an exciting time for Westfield Southgate as we enhance our retailer mix and entertainment options.”

The jewelry company has been around since 2011 created in Sarasota and owned by Marilee Roberts, according to business filings with the state. Roberts formerly worked at Bamboo Homes in marketing and had her own fashion company in Sarasota in the 1990s called Designs by Marilee.

TréborStyle features handmade bracelets, earrings, necklaces and rings imported from Europe exclusively sold at TréborStyle. The store is located near Starbucks.

Bradenton Wawa to give away free coffee for 10 days

Bradenton Herald File Photo
When Wawa opens its first Bradenton location Thursday, it will be followed by 10 days of free coffee.

On Tuesday, the Pennsylvania-based convenience store and gas station announced the free cups of Joe as part of its grand opening plans.

“We are so excited to be continuing our year of celebration with our latest store in Bradenton, and we look forward to many more years of growth and success in this incredible community. Here’s to the next 50 years in Bradenton,” said Chris Gheysens, Wawa’s president and CEO.

Wawa will open at 8 a.m. Thursday followed by a ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. The store is located on the corner of U.S. 301 and Sixth Avenue West.

Kristin Segermark will serve as general manager of the store, the company also announced.

This will be the first of several Wawa stores over the next three years in the Bradenton and Sarasota area as the company continues its Florida expansion. The Bradenton store will be the company's 59th in Florida.

For the rest of down-low on Wawa's grand opening, check out our previous coverage.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Burger and Beer Joint now aiming for February opening

Provided Photo
The final full-service restaurant to open inside The Mall at University Town Center is still at least 45 days away.

Burger and Beer Joint is now expecting to open in early February, said Bill Herman, who is in charge of brand development for the Jupiter-based company.

The restaurant signed with the mall fairly late in the lease signing game, picking up the 5,300-square-foot space after Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar dropped out of the mall. Burger and Beer Joint originally expected to open by Black Friday before being pushed back to December.

Burger and Beer Joint will be located on the east side of the mall beside Kona Grill and will feature a 2,600-square-foot patio where live music is planned to be a staple. The restaurant is also hiring for floor managers.

The restaurant features an eclectic mix of sandwiches, salads and burgers, including the popular Hotel California with bacon and a fried egg. There's also a $150 10-pound mother burger for either anyone with a bottomless stomach or who has enough friends to split one.

The restaurant group signed on with Taubman Centers for a three-center deal that includes the Mall at UTC, the Mall of San Juan in Puerto Rico in March and Dolphin Mall in Miami to open in early fall 2015. Another location will be opening in the spring in City Place in West Palm Beach. The restaurant started in South Beach in 2009 before expanding to Miami's Mary Brickell Village. Last year, the company licensed its first store in Pembroke Pines.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Cutting cheese at Cortez Road Winn-Dixie

At Winn-Dixie's Shoppes at Paradise Bay, not only will store officials cut the ribbon for the grand re-opening tonight, but they will also cut the cheese.

The store, 7400 Cortez Road W., has a new cheese gallery at the front of the store staffed by a cheese steward who tends to the more than 100 artisan cheeses.

Joey Medina, regional vice president for Winn-Dixie, said the section was added because of  shopper demand and the area's affluent demographic.

Cheese stewards are sent to a so-called cheese college for training with Alco Fine Cheeses in Miami where they get the goods on everything from brie to Zimbro.

Bubba Chavez with Alco Fine Cheese was on hand this week to show how he scores and cuts a 75-pound wheel of parmigiano-reggiano. Check out the video above.

Here is the schedule for the grand re-opening:

Friday from 5:30–7 p.m.
Grand Opening
Winn-Dixie invites the community to join in the celebration and experience the store’s new amenities and offerings. Customers will enjoy product tastings, live entertainment and giveaways. A donation will be presented to Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee at 5:15 p.m. before the grand opening event.

Dec. 11 from 4–6 p.m.
Celebrate Delicious
Winn-Dixie will host an in-store holiday food celebration including sampling, a holiday cooking demo, wine and cheese tastings, face painting, live music and giveaways.

Jan. 8, 2015 from 5:30–7 p.m.
Fresh New Year
Winn-Dixie welcomes the Bradenton community to enjoy samples of healthy options from its newly expanded fresh departments, watch a cooking demo by the Florida Beef Council and enter to win giveaways.

Jan. 22, 2015 from 5:30–7 p.m.
Wine and Cheese Tasting
The first 200 customers will receive a giveaway at this customer appreciation event. Customers and neighbors are welcomed into the newly remodeled store to enjoy samples from the fresh departments, wine and cheese tastings and exciting raffle prizes.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Bradenton Wawa to open Dec. 18

Provided Photo
Manatee County's first Wawa will open Dec. 18.

Wawa will open its Bradenton convenience store at 701 First St. E., Bradenton, on the corner of U.S. 301 and Sixth Avenue.

The doors will open at 8 a.m. with a ribbon cutting scheduled for 10 a.m.

The grand opening will also include an event called the "Finest vs. Bravest" Hoagie Building Contest where five representatives from local fire and police departments will compete to see who can build the most hoagies in three minutes the traditional Wawa way. The winner and runner-up will each have $1,000 donated to the charities of their choice.

Members of the USO will sing the "Star-Spangled Banner" with a performance by the Suncoast Mummers String Band of Bradenton. Wawa will also present a donation to the Mummer's scholarship fund.

Wawa mascots Wally Goose and Shorti will also be on hand.

This is the first of several Wawa gas stations planned for Manatee and Sarasota counties over the next two years joining the dozens of stations that popped up in Tampa Bay and Orlando.

Site work has begun on another store on 4455 State Road 64 while the Pennsylvania-based company also has plans to build at 5301 14th St. W., and at State Road 70 and Lorraine Road, 4536 State Road 70 E. at Lockwood Ridge Road,county line at University Parkway and Honore Avenue, U.S. 301 and Myrtle Avenue in Sarasota and another in Venice.

Wawa signed a 20-year lease on Nov. 22 for its Lockwood Ridge Road and State Road 70 E. location, according to documents filed with the Manatee County Clerk, the same day GH & G Lockwood bought the entire former

Monday, December 1, 2014

Natural Comfort, Footgear Outdoor to open Dec. 15 in Mall at UTC

Two locally owned shoe stores will be set to open Dec. 15 in The Mall at University Town Center.

Natural Comfort and Footgear Outdoor will be opening stores on the first level near Saks Fifth Avenue, according to store employees. The stores are looking to fill five sales positions for each store as well.

The stores are owned and operated by Jim Atkinson who maintains a Natural Comfort location on St. Armands and is bringing back Footgear Outdoor after closing on St. Armands.

The Footgear store will also have a Sperry Top-Sider shop-within-a-shop as well.

Resumes can be sent to Atkinson at jim1227@live.com or contact Christopher Agresta at 941-388-1228 or Atkinson at 941-388-1735 between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Macy's unveils Black Friday deals online

Macy's is counting on both the power of online and SpongeBob to make its registers ring for Black Friday.

The retailer, which has a store at The Mall at University Town Center, unveiled Thursday its Black Friday doorbuster deals at macys.com/blackfriday. Deals range from 60 percent off men's outerwear , kitchen appliances $8 to $10 after rebate and up to $150 off Dyson vacuums.

Macy's will open starting at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving. and door busters will last through 1 p.m. Black Friday then another set of specials Saturday, Nov. 29 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The big holiday item Macy's is pushing is SpongeBob SquarePants and a holiday plush that can be had with Patrick and Plankton finger puppets, at macys.com/squarepants. In-store, customers can scan special hang tags to unlock SpongeBob content.

“This year, we’re adding another level of entertainment to our highly anticipated Black Friday doorbusters and specials,” said Martine Reardon, chief marketing officer at Macy’s. “As customers navigate their shopping route throughout the store, they will be able to score digital gift codes offering instant wins via Macy’s mobile app. This element of surprise along with a playful new commercial featuring our official holiday ambassador, SpongeBob SquarePants, is certain to add a new element of fun to our customers’ shopping experience on Black Friday this year.”

Macy's is also giving away instant win prizes by using the store's mobile app. Customers can scan QR codes in-store to enter the instant win experience during doorbuster hours and customers will see if they have won a digital gift code worth $10, $25, $50 or $250.

At the end of each hour, a new pool of prizes becomes available and customers can play again. See rules and alternate method of entry at macys.com/million. Customers can text “APP” to 62297 to download Macy’s mobile app.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Old Navy, Rue 21 coming to Sarasota Square mall

Old Navy will make its return to south Sarasota when it opens inside the Westfield Sarasota Square mall.

Old Navy filed a building application Wednesday with Sarasota County to open a new 13,616-square-foot store in the mall. Old Navy once had a store in the Sarasota Pavilion but closed in 2012 and is now home to a Bealls Outlet.

Old Navy, a member of the Gap family, also maintains a store at 117 N. Cattlemen Road in the District at University Town Center.

Old Navy will join H&M in the spring as well as Rue 21, which also filed building permits with Sarasota County this month.

The Pittsburgh-based company offers clothes and accessories for young adults

Rue 21 also has a factory store in the Ellenton Premium Outlets.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Mall at University Town Center to open Thanksgiving

The Mall at University Town Center at its opening on Oct. 16. FILE PHOTO
After getting stuffed with turkey, shoppers can stuff themselves inside The Mall at University Town Center for Thanksgiving this year.

The new two-level mall announced Tuesday that it will open from 6 p.m. to midnight Thanksgiving then reopen 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Black Friday. Not all stores will be open during that time and others, including department stores, will have their own hours.

For instance, Crate & Barrel announced this month that none of its stores will open for Thanksgiving while Macy's will open at 6 p.m.

Deals and hours for individual stores will be posted at www.mallatutc.com. Some of the specials posted on the mall's website include get $50 for every $150 spent at Tommy Bahama, 30 percent entire purchase at White House | Black Market and up to 50 percent off select cell phone cases plus receive a free screen protector with any purchase at Cellairis.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Mall at University Town Center H&M to open Dec. 1

Swedish-based clothing store H&M will open Dec. 1 inside The Mall at University Town Center.

The mall made the announcement on Facebook this week, signaling the largest tenant to open before the holidays. H&M occupies 24,000 square feet on two floors at the mall and will have its own escalator to move between each level.

H&M will giveaway up to $300 in gift cards to the first 200 shoppers in line and have some opening day specials starting at $5, according to the mall.

Also, shoppers who bring in a bag of unwanted clothing are entered to win a gift card valued up to $100.

As you can see above from sister paper The Bellingham Herald in Washington, H&M grand openings are quite the event.

Pure Barre to open West Bradenton studio

Exercise studio and women’s clothing store Pure Barre has announced it will open a second Manatee County location.

Pure Barre will open inside the Fresh Market-anchored Promenade shopping center at 6745 Manatee Ave. W., and is hiring teachers, according to the studio’s Facebook page.

Another franchise in Manatee County is also in a Fresh Market-anchored center, both controlled by Benderson Development, at 5275 University Parkway.

The studio is expected to open sometime from mid-December to early January, the owners announced at Facebook.com/PureBarreBradenton.

The upscale fitness center offers 55-minute and 75-minute exercise classes that are typically geared toward women though men are welcomed. The Spartanburg, S.C., company has more than 200 studios nationwide.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Bealls Black Friday 2014 ad leaked

Black Friday ad leaks have returned allowing some shoppers to get as giddy as a music fan seeing a set list posted from their favorite band before a concert.

And if you're a fan of Bradenton-based Bealls, you're in luck. BFAds.net leaked what appears to be this year's Bealls ad.

Bealls will open 6 p.m. Thanksgiving and stay open through 11 p.m. Friday, according to the ad, then reopen 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday. The biggest draw is that every store will raffle off a Guy Harvey paddle board worth $1,500. The first 200 customers in each store between 6  p.m. and 7 p.m. on Thanksgiving will be entered to win, according to the ad. Those customers will also receive a $5 coupon.

The Thursday sales from 9 p.m. to midnight will offer 60 percent off most items in the store including toys and holiday home items. Then midnight Thanksgiving to 7 a.m. Black Friday, a coupon is included for 60 percent off clearance items, that goes down to 50 percent off from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday.

Other deals listed include 50 percent off sterling silver and fine silver plate jewelry, $15 off Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda jeans, $9.99 juniors screen tees, $4,99 young men, kids and juniors tees, 50 percent off Disney "Frozen" tees and toys and a $50 Shark steam pocket cleaner.

Are any of these deals enticing enough to get you out of bed and into the store? Comment below.

Just how busy is the Mall at UTC Cheesecake Factory?

I wondered after The Mall at University Town Center opened how busy the restaurants would really be given how much the shopping center was hyped over the past year. And I got my answer at The Cheesecake Factory over the weekend.

I decided to meet up with a friend for coffee and cheesecake Saturday at 9 p.m., just as the mall is closing. I figured that Cheesecake Factory would be cleared out by then. The restaurant closes at 12:30 a.m. on the weekends, so maybe I guessed wrong.

The hostess said it would be an hour wait for a table for two. But get this: The wait was three hours long earlier in the day, according to the hostess.

I've called an upscale restaurant before that had about 20 tables and was told there was a six-month wait. I get it. But, three hours at Cheesecake Factory? 

That's both dedication and frankly, insane for a wait that long. Diners took advantage of the text-ahead seating so they could leave and go shopping and be notified when their table is ready, she said.

Let's say someone really waited the entire three hours. I'm guessing these folks brought along snacks if they came hungry to get a table at the Cheesecake Factory where one entree doubles as two meals. If not, someone would really have to pre-plan the shopping trip by getting their name on the list right after they ate lunch, go shopping for three hours and be hungry in time for a full meal.

A group of ladies was nice enough to walk over and tell me they were getting up so if we wanted to stalk their table, we were welcome to stand by and grab it because the first-come, first-serve high-top bar tables became competitive spots. Thank you ladies. We tried to pay it forward but by 10 p.m., the restaurant was significantly cleared out.

Our server remarked that while he kept busy, at least during that wait people had so much time to read the menu diners immediately knew what they wanted.

Obviously people love and will go to great lengths to eat at their favorite restaurant or to give it a try.

What's the longest you've waited or were willing to wait for a table at a restaurant? Chime in below.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Sam's Club taking broader approach for Black Friday

A Sam's Club member shops for toys. PROVIDED PHOTO
For some retailers, Black Friday doesn't have to be limited to one day.

Warehouse giant Sam's Club is attempting to lure shoppers into its members-only store with both a pre-Black Friday one-day sale and an event to bring in non-members after Black Friday.

Sam's Club announced that a one-day sale for members will start at 7 a.m. Nov. 15 with what the company is touting as Black Friday pricing.

Here's what Sam's Club is teasing for sale that day:
  • 60” Vizio Ultra High Definition Television: $998
  • Jawbone Up24 Wearable Technology: $69
  • .96 Carat Total Weight Diamond Fashion Pendant: $699
  • Hotel Luxury Reserve Collection 1,000 Thread Count Sheet Sets, available in king and queen sizes (Sam’s Club Exclusive): $69.98
  • Frozen Karaoke Set with Full Soundtrack (Sam’s Club Exclusive): $69.86
  • Children’s Frozen Robe and PJ Set (Sam’s Club Exclusive): $17.98
  • Cuisinart 14-Piece Ceramic Cookware Set: $79.98
“We know many of our members are excited to get a jump on their holiday shopping so we’re not making them wait for Black Friday,” said Rosalind Brewer, president and CEO of Sam’s Club said in a statement. “We’re going to bring members new items early and often throughout the holiday season. Our line-up of holiday events invites members to save, and provides all gift givers an opportunity to discover the value of member savings and enjoy new surprises on every trip into the club.”

Sam's Club maintains a Bradenton store off U.S. 301 and State Road 70 at 5300 30th St. E., and a Sarasota store off Fruitville and Cattlemen roads at 300 N. Cattlemen Road.

Sam's Club will be closed on Thanksgiving then reopen 7 a.m. Nov. 28, the day after Thanksgiving. SamsClub.com is offering free shipping on Black Friday-labeled items on Thanksgiving, too.

For shoppers who aren't a Sam's Club member, they can shop at Sam's on Nov. 29-30 for an open house both in-store and online. The company is promoting that items will have Black Friday prices, but what those deals are remain to be seen.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Michigan's Erbelli's coming to East Manatee

Michigan-based Erbelli's Gourmet Pizzeria, Italian Bistro & Pub will open its first Florida restaurant in East Manatee.

The pizzeria is in the midst of renovating the former Sopranos of New York at 8744 State Road 70 E in the Ranch Lake Plaza. The restaurant is beside Full Belly Stuffed Burgers and a Goodwill store that is coming soon in the former Sweetbay.

No opening date has been announced, but Erbelli's website lists a 2014 opening, likely putting the restaurant on track to open by the end of the year.

Erbelli's lists the East Manatee location on its website along with restaurants in Kalamazoo and Portage, Mich. The restaurant was founded by Greg Erb 21 years ago, according to Michigan newspapers.

The restaurants offer specialty pizzas, salads, pastas and a buffet. Erbelli's has also won numerous awards from Michigan-based media for both its food and service.

For more information, visit www.erbellis.com.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Chicken Kitchen targets Nov. 15 soft opening

Manatee County's first Chicken Kitchen expects to have a soft opening Nov. 15.

The restaurant shared the news on its Facebook page late Tuesday night:

Chicken Kitchen will be located beside Tijuana Flats in the Kohl's anchored shopping center at 5215 University Parkway. Brothers-in-law Gris Bettle and Justin Mattina of Bradenton are the franchise owners overseeing the fast-casual spot.

Chicken Kitchen, based in Miami, is known for its hour-long grilling process and aims to give a more personable experience than the cafeteria-line fast food restaurants. The signature items include Chop-Chop, a diced chicken that has a distinct chopping sound customers hear while in line. It also offers Wrapitos, which are grilled tortilla wraps.

Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/2014/04/02/5080430/manatee-natives-opening-chicken.html#storylink=cpy

Friday, October 24, 2014

Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza has projected December opening in University Town Center

Blaze Pizza assembly line. PHOTO PROVIDED
Quick-bake pizza concept Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza is projected to open Dec. 1 in the District at University Town Center.

The company, whose investors include LeBron James, is expanding throughout Florida including at 215 N. Cattlemen Road beside Panera and JoS. A Bank.

Other Florida locations to open by the end of 2015 include its first Florida location at Ft. Lauderdale's Uptown Center in November, Gainesville in December. In 2015, Blaze will open in Orlando near University of Central Florida, Davie near Nova Southeastern University and Tallahassee.

The Bradenton Herald first reported Blaze Pizza's deal with Benderson Development in August, when the developer also inked deals with AT&T, JoS. A Bank and DSW.

Todd Mathes, director of development for Benderson Development, expects the pizza joint to be open Dec. 1.

Blaze Pizza is kind of like the Chipotle of pizza with an assembly line set up making thin-crust pies that bake in three minutes. It is very similar to the Rise Pies that opened this month inside The Mall at University Town Center.

Blaze features gluten-free options, vegan cheese, wine and craft beer. The 11-inch pizzas typically cost under $8.

"Our mission at Blaze is really simple -- we're all about bringing the community a place where guests can connect, create and enjoy great pizza at crazy fast speed," said Jim Mizes, president & COO of Blaze Pizza in a news release. "If you think about it, there hasn't been a good way to enjoy a made-from-scratch pizza without the wait. Now there is. We believe this will be a game-changer in Florida."

The first Blaze Pizza restaurant opened on Aug. 6, 2012, in Irvine, Calif.

Manatee Dunkin' Donuts opens near U.S. 301 and S.R. 70

Another day, another Dunkin' in Manatee.

Dunkin' Donuts has opened its newest Manatee County location at 5259 30th St. E., just east of the Walmart Supercenter on U.S. 301 and State Road 70.

This Double D also features a Baskin-Robbins, which is the second such combo location in Manatee. The other Dunkin-Baksin is at 612 10th St. E., off of U.S. 301 in Palmetto.

The new location also offers a drive-thru in addition to its dining room, accepts mobile payments and Dunkin' Donuts Rewards.

Dunkin' maintains 10 Manatee County locations, three of which are located inside Hess gas stations. Dunkin' also plans to add full-service shops in Ellenton and on University Parkway near Tuttle Avenue.

Hours are 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. For more information, call 941-243-3881.

University Town Center Panera sets for grand opening

Panera's Table Tracker helps staff deliver
food to customers in the dining room.
Panera Bread is readying for its grand opening on Nov. 5 on Cattlemen Road.

Panera's franchise operator Harmony Food Service announced additional details for the newest Panera in the Bradenton-Sarasota area.

The new Panera, 215 N. Cattlemen Road, will have the company's new table service program, have outdoor seating, free WiFi and a private room. Panera is also one of the retailers and restaurants supporting the new Apple Pay service for iPhone 6 users to pay in lieu of a credit card.

Panera will be open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. 

“We are thrilled to open our newest bakery-cafe in Sarasota at UTC,” said Michael Flewelling the Operations Partner for the local Panera Bread franchisee, Harmony Food Service. “Our concept has been embraced by many surrounding communities over the past 13 years, and we look forward to sharing our signature Panera warmth here at University Town Center.”

The University Town Center location will also offer Rapid Pick-Up where online/mobile orders can be placed up to five days in advance and then picked up at a shelf near the entrance after it is pre-paid.

Panera is also trying to be more health conscious as the company recently announced that by 2016 it will remove artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives from its bakery-care food menu.

The UTC Panera will also participate in the Day-End Dough-Nation and Panera Cares Community Breadbox programs.

The Day-End Dough-Nation donates unsold bread and baked goods to help neighbors in need while the Community Breadbox are boxes at the registers where cash donations will benefit All Faith's Food Bank.

Half of the donations are used to help fund soup procurement and the other half is donated as cash to support the food banks’ efforts to provide quality, nutritious food to those in need.

For more information, call 941-556-5978.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bradenton Wawa now hiring

Wawa Bradenton rendering
The first Wawa in Manatee County is now hiring.

Wawa, on the corner of Sixth Avenue East and U.S. 301 in Bradenton, is under construction and is looking for customer service employees.

Those interested can apply at Wawa.com and click on careers or visit this link for Bradenton openings.

The Customer Service Associate must be able to work the register, coffee station, oven station and perform fuel pump inspections, according to the job description. Other openings are anticipated as the store expects to employ 45 people.

Wawa, 701 7th St. E, is scheduled to open in December. The gas station offers made-to-order hoagies, coffee, donuts and more. This location will have 20 pumps, outdoor seating and public art.

Other Wawa stations planned but not under construction in Manatee County include on 5301 14th St. W, 4455 State Road 64 E., and on the corner of Lorraine Road and State Road 70.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Another Starbucks opens in Bradenton

Starbucks Coffee has opened its newest cafe in Manatee County.

Starbucks has opened in a strip center at 5234 14th St. W., on the corner of 14th Street and 53rd Avenue West. Starbucks closed its shop on the corner of Cortez Road and 14th Street West as part of the move.

Hours are 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. The location offers coffee, tea, prepared foods, pastries and has a drive-thru.

Another Starbucks drive-thru is under construction on University Parkway west of Tuttle Avenue, 3604 84th Ave. Circle E., and is expected to open by the end of the year. 

Its competitor Dunkin' Donuts are often nearby and it won't be any different for the 14th Street location or on University Parkway. The new University Parkway Starbucks will have a Dunkin' Donuts west of the neighboring Culver's Frozen Custard.

Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts both maintain 10 locations in Manatee County. Dunkin', which some of its 10 stores are in gas stations, will increase its count by three with plans for standalone locations in Ellenton, State Road 70/US 301 and University Parkway.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Eddie V's looking to come to Sarasota

Pacific Swordfish at Eddie V's. Photo Provided
Orlando's Darden Restaurants has a strong presence in Manatee and Sarasota counties and looks to add one more to its lineup.

George Miliotes, director of beverage and hospitality for Capital Grille and Seasons 52, said he would love to bring Eddie V's Prime Seafood to Sarasota, but there's no timetable. It's the matter of the right location, he said.

Miliotes shared that tidbit during a media dinner Monday night at the new Seasons 52 after asked by chef Judi Gallagher about the possibilities of Eddie V's coming.

Eddie V's is more of a seafood equivalent of Capital Grille, though it also serves steaks, Miliotes said.

If Eddie V's comes to the area, the only Darden property not in the two-county area would be Bahama Breeze. The Yard House, a restaurant big on beer with 100-plus taps, will be coming to Benderson's Siesta Promenade on U.S. 41 near Stickney Point Road.

Darden's properties include Bahama Breeze, Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Eddie V's and The Yard House. Red Lobster was sold for $2.1 billion to a private equity company this year.

Celebrity appearances in abundance at Mall at UTC opening

Robert Taubman, left, president, chairman and CEO of
Taubman Centers with Marigay McKee, president
of Saks Fifth Avenue. (Photo by Charles Schelle)
If you ever wanted to meet certain celebrities, designers and top-level retail executives, this is the weekend to do it.

Several stores will have special appearances during the grand opening weekend and beyond.

Here's a rundown of the appearances:

  • HGTV's David Bromstad at Macy's — 10 a.m. ribbon cutting at north entrance and 1 p.m. fashion show in north parking lot
  • String Theory at Saks — 9 a.m. performance at ribbon cutting
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans at Champs Sports — 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Photography not allowed
  • Lovesac Founder Shawny D. Nelson — Will be in store throughout day.
  • Marigay McKee, president of Saks Fifth Avenue — 9 a.m. store ribbon cutting.
  • Joe Zeiden, co-founder and SVP Real Estate of Z Gallerie — 9:45 a.m. ribbon cutting appearance
  • Alexandra Dillard, granddaughter of Dillard's founder William T. Dillard and corporate merchandising manager for the department stores — 11 a.m. fashion show at Dillard's
  • Arthur Levine, designer for Tahari ASL — 11 a.m. fashion show at Dillard's
  • Nicole Miller of Nicole Miller Artelier — 1 p.m. fashion show at Dillard's 
  • Robert Taubman, chairman, president and CEO of Taubman Centers — 9:30 a.m. mall ribbon cutting.
Though not scheduled, several top officials who are celebrities in their own right have been spotted at the mall. They include:
  • George Miliotes, master sommelier and Darden Restaurants executive responsible for Seasons 52 plus wine program at The Capital Grille
  • David Gordon, president of Cheesecake Factory
  • Tina Goldfield, founder of Tees by Tina/TINA Stephens
  • Eddie Muransky, founder of Rise Pies Handcrafted Pizza and largest franchisee of Auntie Anne's Soft Pretzels

Dillard's has several big name appearances scheduled with some mentioned above. The entire list can be read here. Other events planned for Thursday from Dillard's:
  • Noon to 4 p.m. Meet Francine Porter, creator of Osmotics, a non-surgical facelift product.
  • 4 p.m. Meet Elan Savir for the Elan International Fashion Show.
  • 7 p.m. Meet Gail Hail Hartin, designer for Fresh Produce at a store fashion show.

Mall at UTC Apple store opening comes with teaser of new gadgets

Apple Store inside Mall at University Town Center.
When the Mall at University Town Center Apple Store opens Thursday, it will be extra special for Apple fans.

Apple is teasing a special event at 1 p.m. EDT to be live streamed from Cupertino, Calif., where the company is expected to unveil a new Mac operating system, computers, new iPads and launch date for ApplePay, the Associated Press reported.

As if the furor over the new mall and new Apple Store won't be enough Thursday, that will surely put it over the top for those in the store at that time. At opening, Apple will give away 1,000 T-shirts to the first customers through the doors starting at 10 a.m.

Stay tuned here for updates of action at the Apple Store inside the Mall at UTC.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Freebies and sales for Mall at University Town Center grand opening weekend (UPDATED)

Folks looking for freebies at the Mall at University Town Center will have several options.

The Mall at University Town Center announced Thursday a lineup of giveaways and discounts in store.

This list posted on the mall's website is in addition to the giveaways and shows the Bradenton Herald previously reported for Dillard's and Macy's:

Oct. 16

Apple: First 1,000 customers get a free T-shirt
Camicissima Milano: Use shirt fitting services and opportunities to win free cuff links, ties and in-store shirt embroidery, while supplies last.
Champs: Meet Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wide Receiver Mike Evans from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. (no photographs)

Oct. 18; stores open at 10 a.m.
  • Mall at UTC gift: Spend $350 or more any time through Oct. 16-19 and receive a limited edition UTC wristlet free
  • Forever 21: The first 300 customers in line at 10 a.m. will receive a randomly selected gift card valued at either $10, $20, $50, $100, or $210 redeemable at any Forever 21 location in the U.S.
  • Robert Graham: Free gift with purchase of $250 or more. Free in-store refreshments

Other deals:
American Eagle: Buy one get one 50 percent off
BRIO Tuscan Grille: Complimentary appetizer, bruschetta or flatbread with purchase of two entrees at lunch or dinner. Offer through Nov. 9.
Camicissima Milano: Free tie with $200 purchase
Chico's: Store will donate $10 for every leopard print scarf purchase through Oct. 31 to support cancer research
Everything But Water: Exclusive necklace to benefit Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC), a national information and support organization for sale for $38 with 25 percent of proceeds going to LBBC.
J.Jill: 20 percent off Oct. 23-26
L'Occitane en Provence: 10 percent off any $25 purchase Oct. 25– 26 and Nov. 1-2
Seasons 52: Sunset at Seasons featuring $5 small plates, cocktails for $8, 52 wines by the glass and more. Monday through Friday from 4 to 6:30 p.m. through Nov. 30
Smoothie King: $5 smoothies on Fridays

The mall opens at 10 a.m. Oct. 16. Find more deals on the Mall at UTC website.

What stores will not be open for Mall at University Town Center grand opening?

H&M is among the stores that will not be open for
the Mall at University Town Center grand opening. 
While more than 120 stores and restaurants are committed to opening at the Mall at University Town Center, not all of them will be open during the first day or weekend.

Eleven stores that have been building their units for the last several weeks to months will not be open on grand opening. Another 12 newly announced stores also will not be open immediately for the Oct. 16 grand opening.

Here is a list of the stores previously confirmed by the Bradenton Herald that will not be immediately open:

  • Anthropolgie
  • Arhaus Furniture
  • Burger & Beer Joint
  • Footgear
  • Francesa's Collections
  • H&M
  • Invicta
  • Kiehl's
  • Natural Comfort Footwear
  • Peter Elliot Blue
  • Yo! Sushi

These stores have not been previously announced and will also be coming soon:

  • 4D Gelateria -- Traditional Italian gelato
  • Aerie -- American Eagle Outfitters' lingerie store
  • Branche
  • Forever Nails & Spa
  • Free People -- Specialty clothing store with Bohemian designs meant for twentysomethings; a sister company of Urban Outfitters
  • Naracamicie -- One of the first U.S. stores for this Italian clothing store and first in Florida.
  • Royale -- Professional hair straighteners
  • Rudolph and Me -- Seasonal Christmas ornaments
  • Paris Paris -- Hair accessories
  • PINK -- Apparel by Victoria's Secret
  • Proactiv -- Skin care
  • Venus Mini Med Spa -- Non-invasive, non-surgical med spa that offer Botox and other injection services

12 more stores announced for Mall at University Town Center

The Mall at University Town Center officially announced Thursday its remaining list of retailers, revealing more stores coming soon to the new mall.

Here are new stores, kiosks and restaurants. No openings dates have been announced for these stores:

  • 4D Gelateria -- Traditional Italian gelato
  • Aerie -- American Eagle Outfitters' lingerie store
  • Branche
  • Forever Nails & Spa
  • Free People -- Specialty clothing store with Bohemian designs meant for twentysomethings; a sister company of Urban Outfitters
  • Naracamicie -- One of the first U.S. stores for this Italian clothing store and first in Florida.
  • Royale -- Professional hair straighteners
  • Rudolph and Me -- Seasonal Christmas ornaments
  • Paris Paris -- Hair accessories
  • PINK -- Apparel by Victoria's Secret
  • Proactiv -- Skin care
  • Venus Mini Med Spa -- Non-invasive, non-surgical med spa that offer Botox and other injection services

No opening date has been announced for these stores. These stores are in addition to stores that have been confirmed and are coming soon. Eleven others that will be ready for business on Oct. 16.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Sirard's Chocolate Cafe to have seasonal kiosk in Mall at University Town Center

Another Sarasota confectioner is committing to the Mall at University Town Center, but this one just for the holidays.

Sirard's Chocolate Cafe, 5170 Palmer Plaza Blvd., Sarasota, announced on Facebook Monday evening that it will have a seasonal kiosk in the mall from the VIP opening on Oct. 15 through Dec. 31.

The cafe/bakery/restaurant in the Publix-anchored shopping center  is operated by Carol Sirard, who opened her Clark Road location in 2012. The mall kiosk opening will be two years exactly from her grand opening on Clark Road, Oct. 15, 2012.

Before her Clark Road store, she was in the Coral Cove Mall on U.S. 41 near Stickney Point Road since 2005. Sirard announced in the post she'll sell her famous Sarasota Seafoam — a chocolate covered sponge candy — along with truffles, chocolate popcorn and other favorites.

The Mall at UTC, 140 University Town Center Drive, is scheduled to open Oct. 16.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Little information trickling out about Sarasota Dillard's (Updated)

Dillard's under construction at Mall at University Town Center.
Dillard's is building a mystery over  how it will transition from its Westfield Southgate Mall store to its new store at the  Mall at University Town Center this month.

The mall is only 17 days from opening, but despite little information being shared, a company spokeswoman assured that the new store will be ready for an Oct. 16 opening and actually may have a soft opening with limited hours prior to the 16th.

One detail the Bradenton Herald confirmed Monday is that the new Dillard's will be only one of 43 Dillard's in the country to showcase James Avery jewelry as part of a companywide partnership starting in mid-October.

The family-run jeweler out of Kerrville, Texas, will have its men's and women's jewelry showcased inside those Dillard's stores in only 15 states. Dillard's at the Mall at University Town Center, International Plaza in Tampa, Westfield Countryside in Clearwater, Florida Mall in Orlando and Pembroke Lake in Pembroke Pines are the Florida stores carrying the jewelry.

“As we enter our 60th year, we are very pleased to be entering this relationship with Dillard's, a company that shares our values of integrity, ingenuity, and a commitment to genuine, caring customer service. We are looking forward to working with the Dillard’s team to offer customers a nice selection of artfully crafted James Avery designs,” said Chris Avery, president and CEO of James Avery Jewelry in a statement.

Dillard's will have an announcement this week for more details about the new store, according to a company spokeswoman, and the Bradenton Herald will have a sneak peek of the store before the opening.

Time is ticking for Dillard's to transfer its employees to the new store and get ready.

Mall management said they have not heard from corporate officials what the plan will be for transferring employees to the new store. There was some trepidation Monday in one manager's comments on whether the new store will be ready for the grand opening on Oct. 16, though.

At the Southgate Dillard's Monday, the store looks like it could close any day, if not by this weekend. About half of the store is empty and the men's department is having a sale of 50 percent off the lowest ticketed price on most items. That was on top of a 65 percent off the original price. That means a $60 polo shirt could be had for $11 after tax. If shoppers are looking for any bargain deals at this Dillard's, get it now.

Employees said they still haven't heard anything from corporate, but one heard that they would be transferred Oct. 5. Store manager Phillip O'Nan said he has not been given any date by the corporate office. He directed all other questions to the company's headquarters.

A Florida-based Dillard's spokeswoman said she did not have that information Monday.

Another Dillard's spokeswoman told the Bradenton Herald earlier this month that the company hasn't decided whether the Southgate location will be a clearance center for awhile or close when the new store opens.

When Dillard's closed the DeSoto Square and Sarasota Square stores in November 2009 and December 2009, respectively, exact closing dates weren't announced until October 2009. 

Dillard's can go at its own pace in Southgate as the Little Rock, Ark., retailer owns that building. The new Dillard's will be a two-level 180,000-square-foot store while the Southgate store is a one-level, 97,000-square-foot store.

The Mall at UTC location will be the first new Dillard's store since 2010.

Capital Grille to open Oct. 17 at Mall at University Town Center

The Capital Grille under construction at The Mall at University Town Center.
Folks wanting a fine steak dinner at the new Capital Grille will have to wait one extra day.

The Capital Grille at the Mall at University Town Center will open Oct. 17, one day after the new mall opens.

The Capital Grille will be open seven days a week, serving lunch Monday through Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and dinner Monday through Thursday, 4 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 4 to 11 p.m. and Sunday, 4 to 9 p.m. The lounge is open daily. Reservations are recommended, but not required. Call 941-256-3647 or visit www.thecapitalgrille.com to make a reservation.

The Capital Grille, owned by Orlando's Darden Restaurants, is known for its dry aged, hand-carved steaks in an upscale environment.

The Capital Grille Sarasota seats about 276 people in the main dining room and three private dining rooms. The Sarasota location will also have a lounge area that extends to an outdoor patio area.

“Sarasota’s thriving business community, coupled with University Town Center’s retail focus, has provided an ideal location to introduce The Capital Grille to the area,” said Timothy Fanning, managing partner of The Capital Grille Sarasota. “We embrace the opportunity to provide guests with our unique dining experience and eagerly await the restaurant’s opening.”

The restaurant's dinner menu includes;

• Dry Aged Porterhouse Steak
• Bone-In Kona Crusted Dry Aged Sirloin with Shallot Butter
• Pan-Fried Calamari with Hot Cherry Peppers
• Lobster and Crab Cakes
• Seared Citrus Glazed Salmon
• Lobster Mac ‘N’ Cheese
• Parmesan Truffle Fries
• Classic Crème Brûlée

For those who don't want to plop down some hefty coin, The Capital Grille offers a lunch menu that features a Kona Crusted Wagyu Burger with Shallot Mayo, and the ‘Plates’ lunch menu, which allows diners a choice of soup or salad and an entrée for $18. The Plates menu offers seasonal selections with a fine dining twist.

The restaurant's wine list features more than 350 selections picked by master sommelier George Miliotes, who is on Twitter @TheWineExpert. Miliotes is only one of 219 master sommeliers around the world. His wine list includes affordable bottles under $30 as well as vintage and limited production wines. The Capital Grille also offers a private wine locker membership, too, where members get an inscribed brushed silver name plate on their locker.

The Capital Grille can also host special events with customized menus by executive chef Matthew Lewis.

So far, BRIO Tuscan Grille, Cheesecake Factory, Seasons 52 and Sophie's inside the Mall at UTC are scheduled to open Oct. 16. Burger and Beer Joint expects to open by Black Friday, leaving Kona Grill the only full-service restaurant not to have an announced opening date. Based on the certificate of occupancy on file, it ought to be open during the grand opening weekend.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Auntie Anne's, Rise Pies holding open interviews for new mall locations

Auntie Anne's Pretzels will hold open interviews this week for available jobs at its new Mall at University Town Center location.

Interviews will be held at its Sarasota Square Mall food court location, 8201 S. Tamiami Trail, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Both locations are hiring for crew members and shift managers, according to a job posting.

The franchise locations are being operated by Chestnutland of Boardman, Ohio, which is the largest franchisee of Auntie Anne's.

The same company is holding open interviews for a new pizza concept it's opening at the mall called Rise Pies.

Rise Pies will hold open interviews from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday at Hyatt Place Sarasota, 950 University Parkway, Sarasota. The pizza place needs both managers and crew members.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Godiva to hold job fair for new Mall at University Town Center store

Chocolate fanatics looking for a job will have a chance to apply for a gig at Godiva next week.

Godiva will have a job fair at the Courtyard Marriott, 8305 Tourist Center Drive, University Park, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 24.

The store is hiring for management, sales associates and part-time key holders.

Applicants can either apply in-person at the job fair or visit an existing Godiva location, which include Westfield Brandon, International Plaza and Westfield Citrus Park in Tampa.

The Mall at UTC store will be a 821-square-foot boutique located on the first floor of the mall, in the grand court.

Godiva will be part of a line-up of more than 100 stores and restaurants inside the mall when it opens Oct. 16

More Mall at University Town Center jobs can be found on this blog and at www.jobsutc.com.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Pre-plan shopping trip with map of Mall at University Town Center

Thanks to the great work of Bradenton Herald designer Alex Barrett, shoppers can try to navigate their first trip to the Mall at University Town Center.

The map below was created with information based on store announcements, interviews and permit information from Sarasota County Building and Development Services. Not all stores shown below will open on the mall's first day, Oct. 16. At least one restaurant confirmed as much, Beer and Burger Joint, which aims to open by Black Friday.

Spaces are shown to be representative of the mall and could change by opening, especially the size of the vacant spaces as permits continue to be filed. Mall officials expect store openings to last through spring of 2015.

Southgate Mall's Williams-Sonoma sets closing date for UTC move

CHARLES SCHELLE/Bradenton Herald
Another store at the Westfield Southgate Mall in Sarasota has set its closing date in preparation for a move to the Mall at University Town Center.

Williams-Sonoma has a sign at its store front telling customers it will close Oct. 1 so it can open its new store inside of the Mall at UTC on Oct. 16. 

The cooking specialty store joins Saks Fifth Avenue, announcing a firm closing date at Southgate. Saks told the Bradenton Herald earlier this month that it will close at 6 p.m. Oct. 6 and transfer all remaining merchandise to the new store.

Expect more of these types of announcements as Tuesday will mark 30 days until the new mall opens. It would appear that Dillard's is a good candidate to make such an announcement. 

After Labor Day, the Bradenton Herald also reported how the Southgate Dillard's hasn't received a shipment of new inventory in months and many racks had sales of 65 percent off. Many of those racks remain well after Labor Day, but the biggest difference is that the racks and shelves are noticeably empty and thin. The store could either close or become a clearance center, but no official announcement has been made.

The Mall at UTC Dillard's will be the Little Rock, Ark., company's first new store opening in the U.S. since 2010.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Banana Republic to hold job fair for new Mall at University Town Center store

Courtesy of Banana Republic
Banana Republic will hold a job fair Wednesday for its new Mall at University Town Center store.

The job fair will run from 1 to 4 p.m. at CareerSource Suncoast Sarasota, 3660 N. Washington Blvd., Sarasota.

Banana Republic is looking to hire store associates, according to the job posting.

All job candidates must register at www.employflorida.com, and upload a resume before the hiring event.

The two-level, upscale mall is expected to open Oct. 16 on the corner of Cattlemen Road and University Parkway.

For more job postings for the Mall at UTC, visit this listing of Mall at UTC job openings on this blog and on the CareerSuncoast website.

Cache to hold job fair for new Mall at University Town Center store

Women's clothing and accessories store Cache will hold a job fair Sept. 16 for its new Mall at University Town Center store.

Cache's job fair will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at CareerSource Suncoast Sarasota, 3660 N. Washington Blvd., Sarasota.

Cache is looking to hire a store manager, retail stylist and assistant manager, according to the job posting.

All job candidates must register at www.employflorida.com, apply for the jobs by emailing careers@cache.com before attending the job fair and gain a referral for the job before interviewing.

The two-level, upscale mall is expected to open Oct. 16 on the corner of Cattlemen Road and University Parkway.

For more job postings for the Mall at UTC, visit this listing of Mall at UTC job openings on this blog and on the CareerSuncoast website.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Rise Pies to hold job fair for Mall at University Town Center

Concept of Rise Pies at the Mall at University Town Center.
Rendering Provided
New fast-casual pizza concept Rise Pies will have a job fair next week for its Mall at University Town Center restaurant.

The company, based in Youngstown, Ohio, is hiring for assistant managers, shift managers and crew members. Assistant managers are salaried, receives benefits and eligible for bonuses, according to an ad by the company. Other workers can start at $9 per hour.

The fair will be held at the Hampton Inn and Suites, 8565 Cooper Creek Blvd., University Park from noon to 6 p.m. Sept. 10 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 11.
This will be the second Rise Pies location in the nation. The Herald spoke to the company's founders in January about the restaurant:
"It's the whole assembly line concept where you build your own pizza, pick your toppings and it cooks in a high-quality oven you'd see in a sit-down restaurant," Rise Pies President Eddie Muransky said. "It cooks in two-and-a-half to three minutes."
Rise Pies is part of the Chestnut Land Co. and Muransky Cos., owned by Eddie Muransky's father Edward W. Muransky. The company oversees most of the Auntie Anne's Soft Pretzel franchises plus an acute care hospital and a country club in Youngstown.
Auntie Anne's is also coming to the Mall at UTC, the younger Muransky said, and the pizza concept developed because he wanted to offer a pizza concept to pair with Auntie Anne's when they talked with malls for new locations. The company could help fill a pizza void for the 155 mall locations shuttered by Italian chain Sbarro this year.
The Muransky Cos. is teaming up with a Youngstown area chef, Vernon Cesta, to launch the company. Cesta and Muransky will open the first Rise Pies in Youngstown in August before opening the Sarasota County location in October.
"If you're not familiar with northeast Ohio, this is an old Italian immigrant community," Muransky said. "We have some of the best pizza around."
Cesta's recipes will replicated flatbread-style pizzas, he said. The pizza joint will offer more than 20 toppings, three crusts (including gluten free), six different sauces and seven different cheeses, Muransky said. There also will be about seven pre-set pizzas.

Muranksy's father Edward Muransky is a retired NFLer who won Super Bowl XVII with the Oakland Raiders.
Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/2014/06/24/5221294/mall-at-university-town-center.html#storylink=cpy

Friday, August 29, 2014

Update: Sarasota Chicken Kitchen aiming for November opening

Update: Chicken Kitchen now expecting Nov. 15 soft opening.

Original post:
Miami-based Chicken Kitchen is expected to open in mid-October and start hiring soon.
Rendering of the Sarasota Chicken Kitchen. Rendering Provided

The Herald reported in April how Gris Bettle and his brother-in-law Justin Mattina of West Bradenton are opening the poultry eatery inside The Market at University Town Center (formerly called University Park Center). The restaurant will be at 5215 University Parkway, beside Tijuana Flats.

Now as construction has moved along, Bettle said Friday that the restaurant is on track to start hiring in late September and hope to open mid-October, right when the Mall at University Town Center is expected to open.

Here is what you can expect from Chicken Kitchen from my April report:

"Chicken Kitchen is known for its hour-long grilling process and aims to give a more personable experience than the cafeteria-line fast food joints. The signature items include Chop-Chop, which is diced chicken dishes that customers can hear the distinct chopping sound while in line, and Wrapitos, which are grilled tortilla wraps.
"We only have all-white meat chicken, and we don't own a microwave or a freezer," said Bettle, a St. Stephen's Episcopal School graduate. "Everything's fresh, and the chicken is all natural, so it's raised antibiotic free."
Plus, the chicken shouldn't be warming in a container, waiting to be ordered.
"The food's coming right off the grill, and in 30 seconds it's right on your plate, and you're eating something that's freshly prepared," Mattina said, adding the experience gives a little bit of theater to dining."

The brothers-in-law said they hoped to tweak the operation and menu offerings a little bit to make the restaurant a better franchise model, something that the restaurant had an issue with through its history of promoting franchise opportunities and little to show for it.

Chicken Kitchen also has started a Facebook page, Facebook.com/chickenkitchencktb, which will encompass other potential Chicken Kitchen locations in Tampa Bay. The two have a five-year plan to open six restaurants in Tampa Bay.

Updated job listings for Mall at University Town Center

With Labor Day weekend here and the Mall at University Town Center opening in just under 50 days, I'm sharing the jobs information again for the mall as the original post is now buried on this blog.

Here's some basic places to search before we reach the comprehensive list I've rounded up below:

CareerSource Suncoast is listing mall jobs at www.jobsutc.com/jobs/. Not all jobs are listed there because it's up to the store to choose to list their jobs on that site.

Some of the stores are posting on Craigslist, but you will have to search for the mall keyword a couple different ways to find all of them. Try "Mall at University Town Center" "University Town Center" "University Parkway" and "Sarasota mall."

Here is a list of all the openings we could find online with links of where to apply:

Mall at UTC staff: Customer Service ManagerCustomer Service Rep

Universal Protection Service (Mall at UTC retail security), full-time supervisor and full- and part-time officers

Aldo, various positions, send cover letter and resume to careers@aldogroup.com

Apple, all positions.

American Eagle Outfitters, sales associate and store management. (Search for Sarasota)

Ann Taylor, various positions

Anthropologie, management and supervisors

Art of Shaving, various positions,

Aveda, store management, retail associates,

Auntie Annes, management and staff

Bebe, various positions. Submit resume at https://rn12.ultipro.com/BEB1000B/JobBoard/NewCandidateExt.aspx?Page=Resume

Bosestore manager 

Boston Properassistant manager

Brighton Collectibles, assistant manager 

BRIO Tuscan Grille, various positions. (Hiring center to be set up Aug. 25 at Keiser University, 6151 Lake Osprey Drive, Lakewood Ranch.)

Brooks Brothers, tailor, visual coordinator, supervisor

Brow Art 23, open applications

Burger and Beer Joint, general manager, assistant gms, kitchen manager and staff

Cache, various positions, email careers@cache.com

Calypso St. Barthstore manager and assistant manager

Cheesecake Factory, all positions

Chico's, various positions

ColdStone Creamery, general manager

Crate & Barrel, all positions

Dillard's, sales associates

Edward Beiner, full-time and part-time sales associates. Can also contact Omar Ruiz, chief operating director at 786-443-9109.

Everything But Water, various positions, email cover letter and resume to hr@everythingbutwater.com

Express, store manager

FastFix, various positions full and part time

Forever21, co-manager

Ghost Armor, retail rep

Godiva, store manager and sales associates

Gymboree, management and store associates

H&M, department manager, department supervisor and visual merchandiser

iAccessorize, repair technician

Invictastore manager and various positionsemail sales@invictawatch.com

J. Crewstore director and associate store manager 

J. Jillstore manager

Jackie Z Style Co., various positions. Send resumes and cover letters to jackie@jackiezstyle.com

Janie and Jack, management and sales associates

Kona Grill, all positions

Le Macaron, retail reps

L'Occitane En Provence, part-time sales associate

Lilly Pulitzer, management

LOFT, co-manager and sales associates

Lovesac, store manager

Lululemon, educator and key leader

LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, store manager

MAC, various positionssend resume to
Deborah Brown
Executive Director, Human Resources
M·A·C Cosmetics
130 Prince St, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10012

Macy's, various positions

Mandarin Express, download application

Mayors Jewelers, management and sales (Location listed as Miami)

Moleskine, full-time and part-time sales associates and store manager

PacSun, assistant store manager

Papyrus, sales supervisor

Peter Elliot Bluesales manager and sales associate

Pottery Barn, various positions seasonal and permanent (can also fill out applications at Southgate Mall store)

Rise Pies, general manager and assistant manager (Update: Hiring fair Sept. 11-12)

Robert Grahamstore manager

Seasons 52, all positions

Sephora, various positions (Enter 34243 in search)

Smoothie King, general manager

Solstice Sunglasses, store manager

Somavarious positions

Sophie's at Saks, line cook

Southeastern Guide Dogs, retail key holder

StarbucksMacy's is hiring for a Starbucks inside its store. Barista positions for the kiosk at the center court of the mall can be found here. 

Stuart Weitzman, sales associate

Sunglass Hut, sales associate

Swarovski, store manager

TINA Stephens, store manager

Tommy Bahama, store manager (When performing new search, select retail division then location for UTC jobs to appear.)

Tumi, sales associates, store manager

Vera Bradley, various positions

Victoria Secret, various positions full and part time

The Walking Company, all positions; can also send resume and salary history to careers@thewalkingcompany.com, ATTN: Human Resources

Williams-Sonoma, various positions seasonal and permanent (can also fill out applications at Southgate mall location)

Yo! Sushi, head chef, sous chef, assistant general manager

Z Gallerie, e-mail inquires to careers@zgalleries.com ATTN: Human Resources

Zales Jewelers, jewelry consultant