Sandra Whetsell of Cape Coral saw the promotion and couldn’t resist. She arrived at Page Field Commons shopping center in Fort Myers at 3 a.m. Wednesday and found herself first in line at Southwest Florida’s newest restaurant.
Logan’s Roadhouse, which first opened in 1991 in Lexington, Kentucky, celebrated the grand opening of its 136th restaurant at 5043 S. Cleveland Ave. It did so by giving each of the first 100 customers in line a $25 gift card for 12 consecutive months. It also presented a check for $10,500 to Community Cooperative, a Fort Myers soup kitchen.
By 11 a.m., the Logan’s line snaked around the side of the building, which previously housed an Office Depot store and, prior to that, a restaurant called Hops.
Like Hops did years ago, Logan’s serves homemade yeast rolls.
“It’s amazing to be in Fort Myers,” said John Kibler, who moved from Gulfport, Mississippi, to be the restaurant’s general manager. “I always wanted to retire here. It’s great to see the energy and the excitement.”
The energy included members of Bishop Verot High School’s cheerleading team and Fort Myers High School’s drumline.
Elected officials were on hand, including Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson and Lee County commissioners Mike Greenwell and Brian Hamman, who is also the president of Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce.
“We’ve been looking at this site for two-and-a-half years,” said Cam Campbell, senior vice president of Logan’s Roadhouse. “We thought we would do really well here.”
Campbell said he anticipated doing about $20,000 in sales on opening day. This marked the chain’s second Florida location, following one in Kissimmee.
“That’s one of our biggest locations,” Campbell said, and he anticipated similar success for this one.
Burgers cost in the $12 range while steaks, grilled over mesquite, start at $13.99 and go up to $33.99 for a 22-ounce prime rib.
The concept is very similar to Texas Roadhouse, which also grills steaks and serves homemade yeast rolls. Texas Roadhouse in Fort Myers opened in July 2012 off Dani Drive, but Logan’s Director of Communications Ryan Russell pointed out the first Logan’s opened in 1991 and was followed by Texas Roadhouse in 1993.
“Logan’s Roadhouse is the original roadhouse,” Russell said.
The company that owns Logan’s Roadhouse also plans to open a J. Alexander’s later this year at what used to be the Buca di Beppo restaurant at 8860 Tamiami Trail N. in North Naples.
For now, it is focusing on the new Logan’s, where Whetsell ordered the teriyaki glazed chicken.
“Why?” Whetsell said when asked why she arrived in the middle of the night. “My husband and I eat out every day. So we could really use this. And I love the menu.”