Former Outback Steakhouse Partner To Develop South Florida R.j. Gator's

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Mike Costello, a former partner with Outback Steakhouse and Stonewood Grill & Tavern, has joined the R.J. Gator's team to develop the South Florida market. As part of a partnership with area president, David Moliver, the two have made a commitment to open between six and eight R.J. Gator's restaurants within the next five years.

The first of these locations is scheduled to open October 1 in Cutler Ridge, just south of the Miami metro area, on the corner of US-1 and Eureka Drive (SW 184th Street). With more than 20 years experience in the restaurant industry, Costello was involved with Outback Steakhouse in Long Island, New York for 10 years, three of which he was recognized as the "Partner of the Year." After working with Outback Steakhouse, Costello transferred to West Palm Beach, Florida to begin area development for Stonewood Grill & Tavern's southeast market. Soon after, he was approached by R.J. Gator's, a Florida Sea Grill & Bar based in Jupiter, and in May 2005, he joined the team as an area operations manager. "I immediately saw R.J. Gator's as a strong company with a lot of potential," said Costello. "Many of the things that caught my eye with Outback fifteen years ago are apparent in the brand that R.J. Gator's is building now." Since opening with one location on Indiantown Road nearly 20 years ago, R.J. Gator's has grown to a 22-unit chain with locations throughout the southeast. The company has experienced record growth this year, increasing its size by more than 50% with a total of 12 openings scheduled.

Each of the new locations are between 4,000 and 6,000 square feet and feature an updated décor, including open air kitchens, U-shaped indoor-outdoor bars, large covered patios, waterfalls, raw bars, full-service take-out areas and plasma screen televisions throughout. Mr. Tim Timoteo, who founded R.J. Gator's in 1986, came to Florida from Pennsylvania, where he owned a successful chain of steakhouses. Searching for a concept that would stand out among the others, he created a casual Florida-style restaurant with a hometown atmosphere and a Caribbean-influenced menu. "With its unique ambiance and high quality casual seafood, R.J. Gator's has created a niche in the casual dining segment," added Costello. "It is for this reason that I am confident in its potential to be a great investment." For more information, please visit www.rjgators.com.

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R.J. Gator's Florida Sea Grill & Bar
609 N. Hepburn Ave.
Jupiter, FL

Phone: (561)575-0326
Fax: 561)575-9220

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