Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce members and ambassadors were in attendance Oct. 19 at the ribbon-cutting for the Bahama Breeze Island Grille in the Restaurant Courtyard at Westfield Brandon.
There, William "Bill" Rinaldi, the restaurant's culinary manager, gave a check to representatives of the Bill Carey Unit of the Boys & Girls Club in Brandon, at 213 North Knights Ave.
In turning over the check, Rinaldi said he did not know the amount of money raised at the restaurant's community day of dining during the restaurant's pre-opening training week.
Then the envelope was opened, and the amount was revealed.
"I'm excited it was $1,500," Rinaldi said after the outdoor ribbon-cutting ceremony. "We want to make sure everyone is taken care of and has the opportunity to do everything they want to, and especially kids."
Rinaldi said he relocated some 2,600 miles to the Greater Brandon area to be involved in his third Bahama Breeze opening. He also helped open Bahama Breeze restaurants in Jacksonville and Massachusettes.
"We have been wanting to put one in Brandon, in this mall, for so long," Rinaldi said. "It's just been such an up- and-coming area. We have a Bahama Breeze in Rocky Point, but that's so far and traffic can be crazy."
Rinaldi said the Greater Brandon area is attractive in part, but not solely, because of its high number of young families.
"We cater to everybody," he said.
Served are seafood, chicken and steak menu items featuring "the colorful ingredients of the island," Rinaldi said. Among the more popular menu items, he added, is the Cocounut Shrimp, Jerk Chicken Pasta and the Baby Back Ribs glazed with a sweet and smokey barbecue sauce.
The Bahama Breeze Island Grille is in the Restaurant Courtyard at Westfield Brandon, at 805 Brandon Town Center Drive. Call: 813-681-0904. Visit Bahama Breeze online for hours and menu offerings.