Potbelly and Poke Poke - Sushi Unrolled are two restaurant chains with new locations in Brandon.

The northeast corner of Falkenburg Road and Causeway Boulevard has brought six new restaurant options to Brandon residents. In the new Falkenburg Commons, there are three freestanding restaurants and a strip of restaurant chains. Culver’s was the first of the stand-alone buildings to open in 2018. On the opposite end of the plaza, Texas Roadhouse and Bubba’s 33 operate out of their own buildings. Between the buildings is a strip of counter-service dining options: Potbelly Sandwich Shop, Poke Poke – Sushi Unrolled and Five Guys.

“Especially on this side of the Gulf Coast of Florida, there are a lot of Midwest transplants, specifically from the I-75 area,” said Potbelly manager Ronnie Asmar. “There are a lot of people that came in here super excited that moved to Florida who haven’t had Potbelly in years. So, I’m really excited to be here for those people who haven’t had it.”

Potbelly is new to Brandon residents and features both sit-down and drive-through options for diners. The restaurant celebrated the grand opening of its second Tampa location (the other is located off Dale Mabry) on June 14. With 23 employees, the fast-casual sandwich shop offers toasted subs, salads, soups and shakes perfect for a quick lunch or dinner out.

“We have a lot of really cool specialty sandwiches,” said Asmar. “We’re the only national sandwich shop that sells shakes, and our shakes are really popular.”

Next door is Poke Poke-Sushi Unrolled, which hosted its grand opening on July 7. Customers can order custom poke bowls with meat, vegetables, sides and sauces. Poke Poke emphasizes serving fresh and nutritious foods that are filled with flavor for Brandon residents.

“What’s really cool about it is that these locations in Florida actually have a boba bar inside of them,” Asmar explained about the neighboring restaurant. “So, they have a full boba drink menu as well as cereal infused ice cream.”

Five Guys, located at the opposite end of the strip, will be opening soon as well. The additional two spaces will not be restaurants, but new service-oriented buildings are expected.

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Lily Belcher
Lily Belcher is a writer for the Osprey Observer. She started as an intern in the summer of 2020 and has continued to write for the Osprey Observer since completing her internship. Lily is majoring in mass communications at the University of South Florida and is a staff writer for the university’s paper, The Oracle. She enjoys writing about local nonprofit organizations and community role models who have made an impact on her hometown.