The long-dormant stretch of S.R. 56 from Wesley Chapel Blvd. to I-75 has been bustling the past two years. On the south side of 56, development has boomed with the Tampa Premium Outlets, Costco, Cheddars, BJ’s Brewhouse, Longhorn Steakhouse, Culver’s, Chick-fil-A and others, with more yet to come.
Now, it looks like the Cypress Creek Town Center North development across S.R. 56 is starting to catch up.
According to Pasco County building permit records, at least 10 other businesses — including Tex-Mex restaurant Chuy’s and psychedelic pizza place Mellow Mushroom, are in construction on the more than 200 acres of property on the north side of S.R. 56 owned by the Sierra family’s Pasco Ranch, Inc.
The coming businesses, all of which are located on Sierra Center Blvd. (which runs through the Cypress Creek Town Center North development), will join the recently opened Ford’s Garage, Pollo Tropical and Wendy’s (which opened the day we went to press), as well as the soon-to-open Taco Bell, all on the north side of 56.
Another popular restaurant, Bahama Breeze Island Grill, is planned a little further to the east of Chuy’s. The owners of that restaurant, which specializes in Caribbean-inspired food and tropical drinks, had their pre-application meeting with county planners on Jan. 30. Bahama Breeze is expected to be roughly 8,000-sq.-ft. with an outdoor seating area.
Mellow Mushroom and Chuy’s Tex-Mex will add to the area’s quickly growing chain food scene. Tennessee-based Hutton Development is building a strip center between the Taco Bell and Bahama Breeze site that will have seven tenants (including Mellow Mushroom).
While new to the New Tampa/Wesley Chapel area, Mellow Mushroom is a chain founded in 1974 in Atlanta, and has more than 150 locations in the U.S., including Brandon, Clearwater and West Tampa.
It serves up a variety of specialty pizzas and dozens of different craft beers while specializing in creating an atypical vibe and unusual decor. It offers vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free alternatives as well. Some have referred to Mellow Mushroom as a “hippie” pizza place, as many locations pay homage to the tie-dye style.
Chuy’s is a Tex-Mex chain headquartered in Austin, TX, and established in 1982. It now boasts nearly 100 locations nationwide. The nearest to Wesley Chapel is in Kissimmee, one of the restaurant chain’s five Orlando-area locations. It also has locations in Tallahassee and Gainesville, and is building one in Jacksonville.
Chuy’s offers made-from-scratch Tex-Mex inspired dishes, and varies the look of each link in its chain. According to county permit records, the Wesley Chapel Chuy’s will be 8,492-sq.ft., with 605 of those for an outside patio.
While no opening date is available, let’s hope it’s before Jan. 8, Elvis Presley’s birthday. Each Chuy’s has a shrine to Elvis, and his birthday is celebrated each year at the restaurants with a party…often with an Elvis impersonator.
Many of these new locations appeared on a map produced by leasing agents last year, but one that did appear on that map (that we also ended up showing on our map of the area in our April issues) but is apparently not coming to Cypress Creek Town Center North is Newk’s Eatery. A spokesperson for Newk’s said that the company, based in Jackson, MS, is looking at other options in the Wesley Chapel area, but had no specific locations.
Green Grocer Alert!
And, it’s not just restaurants coming to the north side of S.R. 56.
County permitting records reveal that a Men’s Wearhouse, Great Clips, Mattress Firm and T-Mobile store are on the way, as well as a Five Below discount store, which caters to the pre-teen and teen market and doesn’t sell anything more expensive than $5.
Founded in 2002, Five Below has nearly 600 stores nationwide. The nearest locations are in the North Pointe Plaza on N. Dale Mabry in Tampa, and in Plant City. The Wesley Chapel location will be 8,960-sq.-ft.
Permitting also shows a 24,230-sq.-ft. PetSmart and 89,995-sq.-ft. Dick’s Sporting Goods store coming to the Cypress Creek Town Center, as well as a Burlington Coat Factory. We were unable to find out before our press time how the new Dick’s store would affect the sporting goods chain’s existing Wesley Chapel location in The Grove plaza off S.R. 54
If you think the restaurant scene along S.R. 56 is becoming crowded — which is likely to add almost 20 dining choices in a half-mile or so stretch, the grocery store scene may not be far behind.
Hutton also met with Pasco County planners last month to propose a development of 3.84 acres on the northeast corner of S.R. 56 and Wesley Chapel Blvd. that has appeared on our map as “Regency Shopping Center.” That development (west of Ford’s Garage) would encompass a 35,320-sq.-ft. retail center, which will include a 23,820-sq.-ft. grocery — expected to be a green or boutique grocer — and the remaining 11,500 square feet will house general retail stores.
The proposed grocery store would be just northeast (across S.R. 56) from the proposed Aldi store, and east (across Wesley Chapel Blvd.) from a possible 16,000-sq.-ft. grocery store in the Brightwork Crossing project (north and west of Walgreens; look for more about this new development in a future issue).
Even though many locals still wonder if we’ll ever have anything other than a Publix or a Winn-Dixie in the Wesley Chapel area, these three new stores and the new Costco means a much more competitive marketplace for your grocery dollar is coming very soon.