What recently opened and what’s coming soon

A large number of new national and regional restaurant and fast food chains have recently announced their foray into Florida. Some restaurants are even expanding their presence in the area with the announcement of new locations.

This includes Chicago-based Portillo’s, Southern staple Cook Out, and California-headquartered Jack in the Box.

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Here’s a look at the restaurants planning to soon set up shop in Orlando and Florida, as well as some that have recently opened:

Raise the cane

There are three Raising Cane’s locations currently open in the Orlando area, with a few more on the way.

Here is an overview of the locations now open:

  • Orlando: 7105 Palm Parkway
  • Orlando: 12040, chemin des Pionniers
  • Kissimmee: 8170 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Road

The city of Daytona Beach confirmed in February that a new location would open on International Speedway Boulevard. The popular chicken finger restaurant also confirmed to FOX 35 that two other locations, in Winter Park and Altamonte Springs, are also in the works.

Additionally, another location near the University of Central Florida is also planned. It will occupy Del Taco on Collegiate Way, directly across from UCF’s main campus.

Here’s where they are and when they’re expected to open:

  • UCF: 12025 Collegiate Way (start of work planned for December 2024 with a restaurant opening planned before the end of 2025)
  • Daytona Beach: 2451 International Speedway Boulevard. (opening planned for late summer/early fall 2024)
  • Altamonte Springs: 766 East Altamonte Drive (expected to open late fall 2024)
  • Winter Park: South Semoran Boulevard and Scarlet Road (expected to open fall 2024)

Jack in the box

Jack in the Box announced in February that it would bring 10 locations to Orlando. Earlier in June, the fast-food chain known for its late-night burgers and curly fries revealed plans to open 10 additional locations in the region. That’s 20 locations coming to Orlando.

It’s not yet clear where exactly these sites will be located or when they plan to open.

Jack in the Box road sign, Buellton, California (Photo: Geri Lavrov/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Portillo’s

Portillo’s announced June 18 plans to open its seventh location in Florida and its third in the Orlando area by the end of the year. This new location will be located in downtown Waterford Lakes, just south of UCF’s main campus in Orlando.

The Chicago-based chain has been on a roll in recent months, expanding its presence in Florida. Here’s a look at the six locations currently open:

  • Brandon: 1748 West, Brandon Boulevard.
  • Clermont: 1251 East, highway 50
  • Kissimmee: 8041 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Road
  • Orlando: 7715 Palm Parkway
  • St. Petersburg: 2302 Tyrone Blvd. NOT
  • Tampa: 2102 E Fowler Ave.

FOX 35 previously reported in September that the chain got the green light to build another location in Lady Lake along US-27/441. No further details about this location have been announced.

Cook

Cook Out, a late-night fast-food chain known for its extensive menu including burgers, hot dogs, barbecue and milkshakes, recently purchased two properties in the Tampa area. These would be the North Carolina-based chain’s first locations in Florida.

According to Hillsborough County land records, Cook Out purchased two deeds in the Tampa area at the following locations:

  • 5501 E. Fowler Avenue, Temple Terrace
  • 16215 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa

Cook Out did not list these two Florida locations under the “coming soon” tab on its website. It is not yet known when these sites will open.

Big hamburger

California-based Fatburger opened its first Central Florida location in Celebration in February. This is Fatburger’s second location in Florida; the first opened in Riverview, near Tampa.

Photo by Moses Robinson/WireImage

Buc-ee’s

Buc-ee’s currently has two locations open in Florida: in St. Augustine and Daytona Beach.

The travel center giant confirmed to FOX 35 earlier this month that another location in Ocala is close to opening. The 74,000-square-foot location, which is one of the largest store designs outside the state of Texas, will soon be built just off the Interstate 75 and NW 49th Street interchange.

A spokesperson for Buc-ee’s said construction typically takes about 16 months from the start of work to build a travel center. That means this Buc-ee’s in Ocala could open as early as mid-2026 using this timeline.

Additionally, another location in St. Lucie County is in the works. The company formally submitted a site plan to the county in February for a location on the southeast corner of Indrio Road and Interstate 95 in Fort Pierce. The proposal has not yet been approved.

LULING, TEXAS – JUNE 12: Buc-ee’s convenience store is seen on June 12, 2024 in Luling, Texas. Texas-based convenience store and gas station Buc-ee’s has become the largest convenience store in the world with more than 100 gas pumps and 75,000 m² of space.

Wawa Drive-Thru

Wawa opened Florida’s first-ever self-driving drive-thru in Largo in June. It is located at 2530 E. Bay Drive in Largo, about 5 miles southeast of Clearwater in Pinellas County.

This location marks the third Wawa offering drive-thru only in the United States.

Florida’s first Wawa drive-thru is now open in Largo. (Photo: Wawa)

Friendly

Friendly’s opened its third Florida location on June 1 near Disney Springs at 8600 Vineland Ave. #101.

It is one of 100 locations in the United States after the chain closed nearly two dozen locations in 2022-2023 in the northeastern United States.

MOORESTOWN, NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES – 04/04/2012: Friendly Restaurant. (Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Dutch brothers

Oregon-based Dutch Bros Coffee opened its first location in Winter Park in late May. This is the third location to open in Florida following its stores in Clermont and Davenport.

Thin chickens

Arkansas-based Slim Chickens opened its first Orlando-area location in Celebration in February. This is the 13th location in Florida.

Slim Chickens opened its first Orlando area location on Monday, February 26, 2024, in Celebration, Florida. (Photo: Thin Chickens)

Belly

Chicago-based Potbelly opened its first-ever location in Orlando in January. It is located at 2714 E. Colonial Drive in the Milk District’s Colonial Landing Plaza. This is the fourth location in Florida; the other three locations are in the Tampa area.

Twelve more Potbelly locations are expected to open in Orlando over the next seven years, the company said.

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