ORMOND BEACH – Starting next week, fans of the Bonefish Grill restaurant in Ormond Beach will have to travel a little further to satisfy that urge.
The oceanfront restaurant at 814 S. Atlantic Ave. in the Harvard Square Mall will close for the last time on Sunday, according to its parent company, Tampa-based Bloomin ‘Brands, Inc.
The Bonefish Grill location which opened in 2019 at the Volusia Mall will remain open, said Elizabeth Watts, spokesperson for Bloomin ‘Brands.
âThe Ormond Beach restaurant will be closing due to the expiration of our lease,â said Watts. âMany of our employees will have the opportunity to transfer. Those who do not will receive compensation.
A “For Rent” sign was posted outside the restaurant last weekend by the property’s owner, The Jaffe Corporation, an Ormond Beach rental and management company specializing in high-end shopping malls, shopping centers anchored in grocery stores and office buildings for over 40 years.
Sam Jaffe, executive vice president and chief leasing officer of the company, has confirmed that Bonefish Grill’s lease expires at the end of the month. He said Jaffe had been in talks with the catering company for some time about ways to extend the deal.
âWe are disappointed to see them go,â Jaffe said. âWe had spent, my God, the best part of the year trying to work with them to stay there.
“This is a great restaurant that has filled a great niche in the area. They have decided to close their doors despite our best efforts to work with them in a very fair manner.”
“A very difficult period”
Although the restaurant industry as a whole has faced economic challenges as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Watts said the impact of the virus had not played a role in the decision to shut down stores. gates to the Ormond Beach site.
“It’s due to the expiration of the lease,” she said by email. The Ormond Beach Bonefish Grill opened in January 2006, Watts said.
According to statistics from the National Restaurant Association, more than 500,000 restaurants of all types of businesses – franchisees, chains and independent – are experiencing unprecedented economic decline due to the impact of the pandemic.
According to the association’s research, about 17% of restaurants – more than 110,000 establishments – have closed due to the impact of the pandemic. About 10,000 restaurants have closed in the past three months alone.
Sales are significantly lower for most independent owners and franchisees, the association reports, but their costs have not fallen proportionately. Research shows that 59% of operators say their total labor costs as a percentage of sales are higher than they were before the virus hit.
Going forward, 58% of chains and full-service independent operators plan to continue holidays and layoffs for at least the next three months, the association reports.
âIt has been a very difficult time for the industry,â said Costa Magoulas, dean of the College of Hospitality and Culinary Management at Daytona State College. âAll major companies are reviewing their operations, streamlining and downsizing as much as possible to prepare for the return of the industry.
âBonefish has a strong chain. But I have to believe that a lot of restaurants suffer from it. All you have to do is look at the stats there. “
Jaffe said he understood sales were good at Ormond Restaurant.
âThe year has clearly been difficult for everyone, in most sectors,â he said. “Restaurants have certainly been affected, but luckily the overwhelming majority of our tenants have done very well and continue to rebound very well.”
In anticipation of prospects for a new restaurant to occupy the Bonefish Grill space in Ormond Beach, Jaffe said he has already received promising inquiries about the property.
âI have several very good irons in the fire for a great replacement restaurant that takes over this building,â he said. “That being said, anyone interested in this property should feel free to call.”
The building offers 6,600 square feet of space on a busy section of State Road A1A, Jaffe said. While he has yet to meet with the restoration company to find out what equipment would be left behind, “usually when that happens they just leave pretty much everything.”
âIt’s in excellent condition,â Jaffe said. “It should be a great opportunity for someone out there.”