Restaurant roundup: Hardee’s, Las Margaritas and Newk’s

By Anthony Clark | The Gainesville Sun

Hardee's is returning to Gainesville after a 10-year absence.

Renovations started Monday in the former Whataburger at 7300 Newberry Road just west of Interstate 75.

The fast-food restaurant should open in late October or early November, District Manager Mark Robinson said.

Hardee's offers burgers and other sandwiches as well as a breakfast menu. The location also will include the company's Red Burrito Mexican menu.

The store will hire 50 to 60 people starting about a month before opening. Those interested can visit hardees.com/jobs and enter a ZIP code.

Hardee's had four locations in Gainesville that closed around 2001 after the franchisee lost them in foreclosure, including one near the new location at 7700 Newberry Road in what is now Krystal burgers.

The other former Whataburger at 3545 W. University Ave. is still listed as available for lease.

Las Margaritas reopened

Las Margaritas Mexican restaurant reopened Aug. 3 in its new location at 4405 NW 39th Ave.

Owner Alberto Roman built the larger, 5,500-square-foot building with more parking after 13 years at 4401 NW 25th Place off of 43rd Street.

Roman also owns La Tienda Latina and Mexico Lindo.

The new location has a revamped menu with seafood tacos, burritos and quesadillas, and a new look.

“Our goal was to make it look like a piece of Mexico inside with the decor, decorations and art. There's a water fountain in the middle,” Roman said.

Newk’s Express Cafe coming

Newk’s Express Cafe will open in Gainesville by February 2012.

Owner Larry Smallwood, who owns two Zaxby’s in Alabama and two convenience stores in Georgia, has agreed to open three Newk’s locations — in Gainesville, Ocala and The Villages.

The fast-casual restaurant was created by the founders of McAlister’s Deli in Oxford, Miss., and now has 35 locations in seven states.

Newk’s serves salads, oven-baked sandwiches, California-style pizzas, soups, cakes made by Newk’s Bakery Company, wine and beer.

The restaurant had not signed a lease for a Gainesville location by late Wednesday.

Virginia MacKoul

Virginia is a graduate from the University of Florida's College of Design Construction and Planning with a degree in Sustainability and the Built Environment, and a minor in Urban Regional Planning. Virginia joined the Front Street team in 2011, as an intern. Upon graduation, Virginia joined the Front Street team full-time as the Director of Client Services. Ms. MacKoul’s addition furthers Front Street’s continued growth and expansion within Gainesville and other North Central Florida markets. She was promoted to Director of Marketing in 2014 and now manages the firm’s team of interns and oversees all marketing and branding activity. Virginia was born in Boston and moved to Lee County, Florida in 1997. Virginia graduated her high school's International Baccalaureate program and started at the University of Florida with a focus on Architecture. Virginia shares Front Street's passion of giving back to the community and those in need. Virginia's hobbies include photography, cooking, football, movies, music, and spending time with her dog, Brinkley.

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