Rusty Bucket Making Leap To Florida For 1st Restaurant Outside Midwest

Rusty Bucket Restaurant and Tavern must be taken with this steamy weather of late given its newest restaurant addition. The Columbus-based pub chain says it plans to make its first move outside the Midwest with a Naples, Fla., restaurant expected to open up next year.

The site, which will be the 16th Rusty Bucket, will be in the 53-acre Mercato mixed-use development, a project anchored with a Whole Foods Market Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) store and a 12-screen movie theater. Mercato also has 15 restaurants, including a fellow Columbus-based brand in Bravo Cucina Italiana, and more than 20 upscale retailers in addition to condominiums.

The 4,300-square-foot Rusty Bucket will seat 150 inside and another 75 on its patio with indoor and outdoor bars. The formula that has been so successful in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana isn’t changing — sports on the televisions; casual burgers, sandwiches and entrees in the belly; craft beers, wine and cocktail specials in the hands.

The 11-year-old chain has jumped back into growth mode in the past year-plus with renovations at some of its older units and new taverns opening at Easton Town Center last month and in Mason in October.

Dan Eaton Columbus Business First | July 16, 2013