PORT RICHEY — Many restaurants pride themselves on sticking to tradition, but that often means they get stuck behind on technology and trends.
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s is a family-friendly sports pub franchise that has more than 150 locations across the United States, several of which are in Hudson, Wesley Chapel and Lutz. The Port Richey location recently got a makeover thanks to a Land O’Lakes family.
The location at 8717 Little Road, in the Ridge Plaza Shopping Center, was taken over by a new owner, Ken Foster, on Sept. 10. They only closed for one week, starting Oct. 12, before the first phase, the dining hall renovations, was debuted on Oct. 20. The grand re-opening was held the following Wednesday and continued into the weekend.
Foster grew up in Tampa and decided to take over the location after realizing that the furniture and appliances needed modernization.
“The location was very dated,” said Foster. “I wanted to streamline the restaurant into the 21st century, take the latest technology features that do exist in this industry and bring them to this area.”
The front and back of house received a complete remodel from floor to ceiling, literally. The dining room now has 24 big-screen televisions hanging over a new bar and dining furniture, as well as remodeled floor and ceilings. The dining hall was remodeled by Essex General Construction.
The next phase of renovations followed in the kitchen, carried out by BEST Construction. New & Nearly New Restaurant Equipment and Supplies, in Tarpon Springs, is supplying a majority of the equipment.
New kitchen appliances and features that will be installed include a self-filtering frying station, a charcoal grill, and a griddle. Planned additions to the menu include proteins like rib eye steak, salmon and pork dishes, as well as a larger selection of beer on tap.
“One thing that I like that this brand stands for is the quality of food that comes out of the kitchen,” Foster said. “They don’t take any shortcuts in regard to the quality of food. Like trying to hit a certain speed target, as other competitors to.”
Foster hopes to add more entertainment to the establishment, including trivia nights, karaoke, DJs, and, eventually, live music.
LeeAnn Foster, Ken’s wife, said they always wanted to own their own restaurant and saw Beef ‘O’ Brady’s as a perfect fit.
“This is one of those things where we’ve always wanted to get our own, and we love that Beef’s is a family community,” she said. “Family, sports we love them all.”
The staff from the previous owner are still employed by Foster and they were excited about the renovations.
Foster said, “It actually improved their morale.”
Ken and LeeAnn also have two sons, 18 and 15, who worked at the restaurant.
Ken is no stranger to the food business, and brought experience and knowledge from previous jobs, such as the Wendy’s corporate office, to help him go into business for himself.
“I worked in different facets in the restaurant industry. It gave me the tools necessary to partake in doing something on my own,” Ken said.
With a restaurant that has been around for over 20 years, returning customers are bound to make comments about the changes. And according to the new owner, there has been nothing but excited feedback.
“It’s been outpouring, the positive comments that have been coming from the community,” Ken said. “They have been very supportive. This community is a bigger, pleasant surprise than I had anticipated.”
John Dill was one of the first customers to step foot in the Beef ‘O’Brady’s location when it opened, in July 1996, and he has seen it grown to what it is today. As a long-time customer, Dill appreciates the changes that the restaurant has undergone.
“I like it, it’s very refreshing,” he said. “The new owner, Ken, is super amazing. It feels like I have known him for years.”
The renovations are ongoing, and the restaurant is open to the public.
Call 727-842-4757 for more information.