REAL ESTATE

New restaurant concept to debut at Celebration Pointe

BY Al Urbanski

The Keys, a concept that blends seafood and serenade, has signed a lease at Celebration Pointe the newest arrival on the burgeoning retail scene in Gainesville, Fla.

The three partners in the restaurant have long experience in the region. Real estate professional Tony Espetia is the former owner of Rum Runners and Fat Tuesday in Gainesville. Brad Heron is the owner of Rockeys Dueling Piano Bar. Diego Ibanez is the co-owner of Emiliano’s Café, a family-owned restaurant that started as a bakery in the early 1980s.

“The region really needs an authentic, fresh seafood restaurant that reflects the unique feel of Florida that incorporates exceptional entertainment,” Espetia said.

The Keys is scheduled to open this summer at Celebration Pointe, a million-sq.-ft.-plus mixed-use development in Gainesville, home of the University of Florida and a significant regional health care complex. Other tenants include a Regal Cinemas RPX theater, Nike Factory Store, and the 140-room Hotel Inidigo.

RaCo Real Estate principal Ralph Conti, a development partner in Celebration Pointe, welcomed what he called a fresh concept to the market. “Tony, Brad and Diego bring a tremendous combination of many years of diverse experiences and local ownership,” he said.

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