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When it launches at 7 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 29, Skillets’ 12th restaurant will be the first of eight dining spots opening in The Pointe at Founders Square, the new mixed-use development on the southeast corner of Immokalee Road and Collier Boulevard in North Naples.

Although Skillets vary slightly from location to location, regulars can expect the same scratch menu for breakfast and lunch and the same homespun décor with knotty pine paneling. But the new restaurant looks similar to Skillets’ newer design of restaurants built in Venice, Sarasota and Bradenton along the Gulf Coast after the initial locations in Collier and Lee counties.

“It’s more striking with high ceilings and more spacious and open,” said Ross Edlund, who founded Skillets in Naples more than 25 years ago. Edlund continues to operate the local restaurants even after a private equity firm acquired a majority stake in his concept in 2016.

The new 3,800-square-foot Skillets has outdoor dining but it does not have a Pioneer Room, a private dining room that other area locations have, Edlund said.

The new location was a longtime coming for Edlund, who said opening restaurants is more complicated now for a variety of reasons. “It used to be you could open a restaurant from inception to opening in six months, now it’s a year and a half,” he said.

Skillets is starting a location in Boca Raton, which will be its first restaurant on the east coast of Florida. “We’re going to have some more sites over there in the next couple of years. We also are going to be doing a site in Port Charlotte next year,” Edlund said.

Bacon and eggs and pancakes are still the top items ordered at Skillets, but power salads and avocado toast have become very popular items, Edlund said. “We’ve been involved with Blue Zones now for seven years. We’ve had a nice increase in Blue Zone items,” he said.

Meanwhile, the dining-centric development of The Pointe at Founders Square will see the opening of many other restaurants within the first quarter of this year. Coming soon are I Heart Mac & Cheese and More, Crisp & Green, Fuji Sushi Bar & Asian Kitchen, Slicers Hoagies, South Street City Oven and Grill, Tacos & Tequila Cantina and Outback Steakhouse.

The new Skillets, 8845 Founders Square Drive, will be open 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

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