Duffy’s eyes further Southwest Florida expansion

Posted March 13, 2015 | No Comments.


ESTERO, Fla. – Duffy’s Sports Grill landed smoothly in Estero last month, and the Naples area could be next on its radar.

The casual-dining restaurant with 28 locations mostly along Florida’s east coast opened mid-February at 21253 Stoneybrook Golf Boulevard, off Corkscrew Road and near Miromar Outlets, to what general manager Adam Badurek deemed a warm welcome from the community. The Estero location is the first Duffy’s on the Gulf Coast.

“We’ve got a great relationship with the golf course, for one, and we get a lot of business through them,” Badurek said of his restaurant that seats 320, including an outdoor patio area. “We reciprocate with each other, and there’s a real community feel around the entire neighborhood. Increasingly, too, as word-of-mouth gets out, we’re forming a lot of relationships with the residential communities on Corkscrew Road.”

Sandy Nelson, Duffy’s director of marketing, said Estero checked all the right boxes when it came to fitting into the restaurant chain’s expansion plans.

“We’ve been looking for a spot on the west coast of Florida for a while,” Nelson said of the chain that started in 1985 and is headquartered in Lake Park, Fla. “Then we found the one in Estero and just fell in love with the location. We thought it would be perfect because it’s a vibrant community that’s growing and bustling, and with the outlet mall there and Florida Gulf Coast University nearby, we felt it was a great spot with great exposure.”

Duffy’s isn’t anywhere near finished searching for additional spots on the left coast, either, Nelson added.

“We’re looking anywhere from Naples to Fort Myers, all over the west coast,” she said. “We expand opportunistically, specializing in re-branding second-generation restaurants when we do decide to expand.”

The Estero location has previously housed incarnations of Stoney’s Sports Café, Olympia Grille & Sports Lounge and Johnny Malloy’s Sports Pub.

“Because of the way we expand, most every Duffy’s has a different footprint,” Nelson said. “Some have 10 taps at the bar, and others, like the one in Estero, have 20. But whatever the number, you can always get your craft beers and the domestic and import staples at Duffy’s. And though we don’t have a traditional happy hour, we’re pretty well-known for our two-for-one drinks all day, every day.”

Nelson said Duffy’s has a menu that includes everything from salads and burgers to steaks and seafood.

“We prepare a lot of our food from scratch, and we use certified Angus beef in all our steaks and hamburgers,” she said. “The price-point is moderate, and we always try to do casual dining to the best possible level.”

In addition to the food, Nelson said Duffy’s family-friendly atmosphere is one of the chain’s top selling points.

“We’re a restaurant first,” she said. “‘Sports’ is in the name, but we’re not your typical sports bar.”

With more than 100 currently employed at its Estero location, Badurek said he’s not one to turn away any resumes.

“I’m always looking for qualified staff,” he said. “So if any self-motivated, high-energy people want to come be part of the Duffy’s team, I’m always taking applications.”

For more information, call (239) 301-0944 or visit www.duffysmvp.com.

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