The Steak-K-Bob at Saltgrass Steak House.

Restaurant and retail news is golden.

And, it seems, never ending. Already this year tentative plans have been revealed to build a Rock & Brews Restaurant on the south side of S.R. 56 just east of the Tampa Premium Outlets, right next to a proposed Saltgrass Steak House.

Both are part of the Cypress Creek Town Center Development of Regional Impact (DRI).

Nothing seems to get our readers more excited than news about the Cypress Creek Town Center.

In January of 2018, we broke the news about Earth Fare, HomeGoods, Chipotle, Walk-Ons Bistreaux and Blaze Pizza coming to the already burgeoning commercial and retail development on S.R. 56. It was the most popular story on our website all year, with twice the traffic as the story that was second — an update on the diverging diamond interchange (DDI) that should begin construction at I-75 and S.R. 56 any day now.

Chuy’s was one of 2018’s popular restaurant openings.

In fact, Cypress Creek-related stories and maps (2) — touting the arrival of restaurants like Chuy’s and Mellow Mushroom as well as many others — held the Nos. 3 and 6 spots on our 2018 web traffic rankings.

Wesley Chapel was gripped by Cypress Creek Fever in 2018, and there’s still so more to come. Earth Fare, HomeGoods, Walk-Ons and Blaze should all open in the first quarter of 2019, Chipotle just recently opened, and vertical construction has begun on Hobby Lobby, Burlington, Five Below and others.

The list of new places being built all across Wesley Chapel is seemingly endless. In addition to Mellow Mushroom, Chuy’s, Bahama Breeze and the Hyatt Place Hotel on the north side of  S.R. 56, there was MOD Pizza and Nationwide Vision At Home on the south side near the Tampa Premium Outlets. 

A little to the east of I-75 on 56,  the Hilton Garden Inn hotel on the south side opened and in the Wiregrass Ranch DRI a few more miles to the east, the even newer Fairfield Inn on the north side of 56 did as well, as did Nothing Bundt Cakes highlighting a slew of new stores at the Shops at Wiregrass. 

Main Event could be open by the end of the year.

Main Event Entertainment is building an entertainment center offering bowling, laser tag, adventure courses and food and drink, between the outlet mall and I-75 (in the same area as the Rock & Brew and Saltgrass Steak House proposals).

Along with the new Wiregrass Sports Complex, which broke ground in 2018, and an indoor athletic facility at Wesley Chapel District Park, those complaining about there being nothing to do in The Chap should hopefully find some peace.

And, the development wasn’t limited to places to shop and eat — houses are going up at near-record levels, and Wesley Chapel broke ground on one fire station (No. 38) while revamping another (No. 13 on Old Pasco Rd.)

Getting to those places might be an issue in 2019 (early frontrunner for Story of the Year!), as the DDI at S.R. 56 and I-75 is just one of a number of major roadway projects being built in Wesley Chapel.

While the S.R. 56 extension from Meadow Pointe Blvd. to U.S. 301 in Zephyrhills made great progress basically out of view in 2018, the DDI will begin work smack dab in the middle of it all. Combined with the widening of S.R. 54 from Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. to Zephyrhills that started in 2018, driving in our area should be interesting in 2019.

But hey, at least there’s someplace to go.

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