Center Point will add grocer, restaurants and more by summer

This is amazing! and we need to talk about it! 

The gateway center to Lakewood Ranch's Waterside district is adding more selections for local residents.

Several new businesses are under construction in the Center Point plaza and preparing to open throughout the spring and summer. Center Point, located on the southeast corner of University Parkway and Lakewood Ranch Boulevard, is being developed by Casto Development.

Destination restaurants Owens Fish Camp and Ruth's Chris Steak already are open in the center.

Grocery

Lakewood Ranch residents will be introduced to Chamberlin’s Natural Foods this spring. It is a store where shoppers won't have to sift through conventional offerings because all of the produce is organic. 

An exact opening date can’t be set because the building has to pass inspections and the shelves need to be installed and stocked. According to Chamberlin's, it will take about a week to fill the 10,000-square-foot grocery store with food and supplements.

Chamberlin’s calls itself a specialized natural grocer with stringent ingredient standards and personalized service. 

“All of our new items go through a rigorous new item review to make sure that all the ingredients meet our standards,” Director of Operations Amanda McCollum said. “We don’t necessarily subscribe to any particular type of diet, we just want to support people in their health journey.” 

The shelves aren’t in yet, but the refrigerators, freezers and a grab-and-go station are in place. Chamberlin’s will offer soups, smoothies, an organic salad bar, fresh sandwiches and a sushi bar with ramen and poke bowls.

“One of the good relationships that we’ve been able to cultivate locally is with A Good Human (a food wholesaler) out of Sarasota,” said Chris Lane, the director of Retail Merchandising. “Kate Harvey is the owner, and she’s going to be a prominent role player here. We’ll be able to offer really high-level vegan faire.” 

Chamberlin’s is part of The Healthy Edge Retail Group, which includes sister companies Earth Origins Market and Akin’s Natural Foods. Six of the company’s stores carry grab-and-go products from A Good Human. 

The meals are sold wholesale to grocery stores, but are made from scratch with fresh ingredients. 

With so many ready-made meals available, the store will offer indoor and outdoor seating.

“The Lakewood Ranch market is currently controlled by Publix,” said Michael Chadwick, Managing Director of Southeast Development for Casto. “On the west side (of Interstate 75), you have Whole Foods. Now, there’s a Fresh Market going up to State Road 70 (at The Green). We worked to bring something different that went with the health and wellness type of atmosphere we were trying to create.” 

Restaurants

Ruth’s Chris Steak House anchors Center Point on the corner of University Parkway and Lakewood Ranch Boulevard, and Owens Fish Camp anchors the south side, but other anchor restaurants are on the way. Bar Italia, which will be located in the center of Center Point, is coming soon and another restaurant, 131 Main, will open where University Parkway meets Business Boulevard. 

Bar Italia is planning to open over the summer. The restaurant was inspired by the Italian restaurants found in New York City with white tablecloths and scratch kitchens.

Lakewood Ranch will be Bar Italia’s fifth location. It operates under NCR (Next Cool Restaurants) Ventures. 

“Lakewood Ranch is such a great area,” NCR founder and CEO Rick Doody said. “We have a good feeling about this one.” 

Doody has done business with Casto before. He opened up a Brio Italian Grille in Winter Park Village in 2000 and a Bar Italia in 2023. Chamberlin’s also had a store in Casto’s development in Winter Park. 

“If we didn’t do deals with Ruth’s Chris, Tommy Bahama, Arhaus (furniture store), Chamberlin’s and Bar Italia over in Winter Park, I don’t know if they’d be here,” Chadwick said. “Obviously it was a positive experience for both sides. We really enjoyed working with all of them.”

Tommy Bahama anticipates its Marlin Bar and retail store will open in early fall. 

New to a Casto development and a little further out construction-wise, 131 Main is planning on opening in the first quarter of 2025.

Lakewood Ranch will mark the first 131 Main in Florida. There are four others in North Carolina. 

The upscale restaurant will have 185 seats with a large outdoor patio. 

Since lunch and dinner aren’t the only meals of the day, Toasted Yolk is aiming to start serving breakfast in July. The cafe serves lunch, too, and features an extensive bar menu.

The “Rise ‘N’ Shine Punch” is mixed with orange and pineapple juices, passionfruit syrup and Bombay Sapphire gin. 

Coffee and more

Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii, where even the ice is made out of coffee, is aiming to open in mid-June. 

“It’s subject to change, but right now, nothing is staring us in the face as a problem,” CEO Michael Miller said. 

Fun fact about Miller: He doesn’t drink coffee. 

“It drives my wife crazy,” he said. 

His wife, Amy Miller, loves coffee, and Miller said that’s enough for the both of them. More important than his beverage preferences, Miller understands “ohana,” which is the Hawaiian word for “extended family.” 

It’s also the name of the nationwide customer rewards program at Bad Ass, but customers of the Center Point location will be privy to a perk beyond discounts.

The coffee shop is 2,500 square feet. It will offer comfortable seating for about 45 people, wifi and a television. Miller said the space will be available for community organizations and groups to use after hours, free of charge. 

The community has already given high marks to the next business to open in Center Point, Sport Clips. Michelle and Nick Choat own two other franchises in Bradenton and Sarasota. 

“Our Bradenton location ranks in the top 5% of all the Sports Clips locations in the country (there are over 1,800),” Michelle Choat said. “We are pretty proud of that. We were also awarded Manatee Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year in 2018.”

Sport Clips caters to men and boys with sports constantly playing on TVs around the salon, but women are welcome, too. The salon opens April 10.

Club Pilates has also set a date to open. The club will be soft opening by hosting a VIP launch party on Aug. 8.

🔎Article provided by: Lesley Dwyer from Observer ( https://www.yourobserver.com/news/2024/mar/25/center-point-grocer-restaurants/ )

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