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MIAMI-Tarpon Bend Restaurants plans to procure five to 10 new restaurant sites throughout South Florida and possibly north to Orlando, FL. To reach that goal, the company hired the Prakas Group Inc., a full-service commercial brokerage firm that specializes in restaurant and nightclub brokerage, as the exclusive agent to represent it in its expansion plans.

The average projected cost to open each Tarpon Bend restaurant is $1 million to $1.5 million, for a total cost of $5 million to $15 million for the expansion. The company is looking to make each restaurant around 6,000 sf to 7,000 sf. Based on this, the expansion would consist of a total of approximately 32,500 sf for five restaurants and 65,000 sf for 10.

Currently, Tarpon Bend has locations at Weston Town Center in Weston, FL, and at Himmarshee Village in Downtown Fort Lauderdale, FL. The Restaurant People, a Fort Lauderdale-based restaurant management group in operation for more than six years, manages Tarpon Bend.

The company’s growth plan calls for adding the new locations within two years, according to Athan Prakas of the Prakas Group. The next Tarpon Bend location will open within 55 Miracle Mile on Aragon Road in Coral Gables in Miami-Dade County. This location is planning a spring 2004 opening.

“Tarpon Bend is one of the hot new regional restaurant chains,” he says in a statement. “The management group is well-capitalized and has experienced principals who were previously managers of the Houston’s restaurants. The Tarpon Bend ‘fisherman’s hangout’ concept has become a hit in the marketplace with its casual yet upscale menu and live entertainment. It has great appeal in urban areas.”The Restaurant People also owns the Side Bar in Himmarshee Village, the Himmarshee Bar & Grill and River House Restaurant on the New River in Fort Lauderdale.Formed in 2000, The Prakas Group obtains sites regionally and nationally for many restaurant groups, including the new Hard Rock Casino Hotel project in Hollywood.

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