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Bento Cafe Eyes Winter Park for Future Expansion

Read the Full Article on Orlando Business Journal.

While Bento Cafe is close to opening its newest eatery near the University of Central Florida, the chain already has its sights set on bringing its Pan-Asian cuisine to Winter Park and three other Florida markets.

The Bento Group — which operates Bento Cafe, as well as Kasa Tapas & Raw Bar and Mochi Frozen Yogurt — looks to open a Bento Cafe possibly in Winter Park on Orlando Avenue near the recently opened Trader Joe’s, according to a spokeswoman from the restaurant group. The location would be the fourth Bento Cafe in Central Florida.

The Bento Group currently operates Bento Cafe locations in downtown Orlando at the Chase Plaza and one in the Dr. Phillips area at the Rialto Plaza, and will open its third Orlando-area restaurant in late fall at the new Plaza on University across from UCF.

The 3,800-square-foot restaurant will feature indoor and outdoor seating for 150 guests, as well as a full liquor bar — the first Bento cafe location with a bar in Orlando. The eatery at 12250 Strategy Blvd., Suite 443 also looks to hire 50 people.

But that’s not all for the college buddies David Yu, Jimmy Tung and Johnny Tung, who started the Bento Group in 2002 in Gainesville.

Bento Cafe — which currently has six locations throughout North and Central Florida — has signed a lease for a new 3,000-square-foot Bento Cafe in Tallahassee at 1708 W. Tennessee St. near Florida State University, and has its eyes set on a possible second location in midtown Tallahassee.

In addition, the group looks to enter the Tampa Bay and South Florida markets in 2015, with the plan to open 40 Bento Cafe locations within the next five years.

Check back for more as this is a developing story.