Popeyes, Wawa, Moe's coming to UCF area
The new season brings new franchise developments in Orlando — and, this time, fast food is on the menu for construction.
With the city already home to more than 20 Wawas, there will soon be one on almost every corner.
During the summer, there are expected to be two grand openings of the famous gas station. One location will be on Orange Avenue near Downtown Orlando, while the other will be located close to the Fashion Square Mall on East Colonial Drive.
While the Fashion Square area has been home to numerous construction projects, hoping to change things around, people are anticipating new traffic for the otherwise-abandoned area.
"I think that particular segment of Colonial has a lot of upside and a lot of momentum right now. And I expect that to accelerate," said Frederic Guitton, chief operating officer for the Orlando investment-management company Trax Capital Management.
In the fall, Wawa plans to open up two more stations on East Colonial Drive. Also opening on East Colonial will be a new Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. An opening date has not been set, but it will be coming soon, according to its website.
Farther up the road, Waterford Lakes Town Center will soon be opening its way to the popular Mexican cuisine, Moe's Southwest Grill.
Expected to be 2,398 square feet, the made-to-order restaurant is set to stand at The Patio, between Pizzeria Valdiano and Pine Garden Restaurant. While there is not an exact opening date yet, customers can expect the restaurant to open this fall.
And it's not the only Moe's slated to come to the area. Not too far from campus, Oviedo will also soon welcome a Moe's with a twist — it will be conjoined with a Dunkin' Donuts.
The new Moe's and Dunkin' Donuts project, which is taking over the space of the former Bruster's Real Ice Cream on Lockwood Boulevard, will be a shared building housing both establishments, said Bryan Cobb, Oviedo city manager.
"I believe that the Dunkin' Donuts is going to be a drive through, and Moe's does not have a drive through," Cobb said. "Most likely they'll put a new building that will house the two restaurants. That's a vacant piece of land right now, so we definitely want to get it up and running again."
Also in Oviedo, but not quite fast food, a new BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse is almost completed and expected to open Aug. 11.
BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse will occupy the old Borders location on Red Bug Lake Road, across from Target and Chili's.
"We always welcome any new restaurant to the area," Oviedo mayor Dominic Persampiere said. "This is just another example of how companies realize how much potential there is to the Oviedo area. We're excited about it."
Unlike many restaurant chains, BJ's brews its own line of beers for diners. According to the BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse website, the chain offers 50 craft beers to go with 120 menu items.
The Oviedo restaurant marks the sixth BJ's location in the Central Florida area, following openings at the intersection of Sand Lake Road and International Drive in Orlando, Lake Buena Vista, The Mall at Millenia in Orlando, Kissimmee and Daytona Beach.
In addition to its pizza and beer, BJ's offers large-portion salads, appetizers, sandwiches, soups, pastas, entrées and desserts, including its popular Pizookie dessert.
"We are thrilled that our community has added another quality casual dining opportunity with the opening of BJ's," said Cory Skeates, president and CEO of the Oviedo-Winter Springs Regional Chamber of Commerce.