Lazy Dog Boca Opens its Doors. The Newest Hot Spot in Town

Introduction

Lazy Dog is a restaurant chain specializing in globally-inspired comfort food with locations primarily in the western United States. Founded in 2003 by Chris Simms, Roshan Mendis, Steve Price, and Larry Nusbaum, Lazy Dog got its start in Huntington Beach, California. They saw an opportunity to create an upscale yet approachable dining experience for guests to relax and unwind after a long day. The name Lazy Dog comes from their commitment to providing a welcoming and cozy environment where people can kick back and be lazy like man’s best friend. With a focus on shareable menus, craft cocktails, and scratch cooking, Lazy Dog has become a popular neighborhood gathering spot across multiple states. The restaurant’s motto is “go. eat. love. leave happy.” (Lazy Dog Restaurant Menu Prices)

About Lazy Dog

Lazy Dog is an upscale bar and restaurant chain that was founded in 2003 in Huntington Beach, California by Chris Simms, Steve Price, and Roshan Mendis. The concept behind Lazy Dog was to create a cozy, inviting environment centered around sharing plates and craft beers (Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar opens Town Square location). The restaurants have a rustic-chic vibe with a fireplace, wood accents, and artwork featuring dogs. Lazy Dog has an extensive menu focused on shared plates and specialty cocktails. They are known for dishes like their artisan flatbreads, seasoned fries, and signature craft beers. As of 2023, Lazy Dog has expanded to over 30 locations across several states.

Lazy Dog’s Expansion

Lazy Dog first opened in 2003 in Huntington Beach, California. For several years, Lazy Dog remained a local restaurant with just a few locations in Orange County, California. In 2012, Lazy Dog began expanding into new markets across multiple states, starting with locations in Colorado, Illinois, and Texas (Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar Plans Four New Locations, 2018). The expansion accelerated in 2015 when the company partnered with private equity firm Freeman Spogli to fund additional growth. By 2018, Lazy Dog had opened over 20 locations across 9 states, with plans for continued expansion nationwide.

lazy dog expanded from just california to 9 states by 2018 through a partnership with private equity firm freeman spogli.

According to Chris Simms, CEO of Lazy Dog, the expansion allowed Lazy Dog to spread its unique culture and brand: “As we continue our disciplined growth, we remain committed to thoughtful innovation and providing our guests with a one-of-a-kind experience” (NRN, 2023). The company specifically targeted vibrant markets like Denver, Chicago, and Houston to introduce new customers to Lazy Dog’s differentiated concept and menu.

Lazy Dog Comes to Florida

In 2015, Lazy Dog announced plans to expand to Florida by opening its first location in the state in Boca Raton (source). Florida represented an exciting new market for the restaurant chain, which up until that point had focused its locations primarily in California, Colorado, Illinois, and Texas.

The Lazy Dog team recognized the potential to bring its unique “West Coast vibe” and customer experience to the east coast of Florida. Known for its menu of shareable plates, signature cocktails, and scenic patio dining, Lazy Dog saw an opportunity to attract foodies, families, and dog lovers in the Sunshine State.

Selecting Boca Raton

Boca Raton was an ideal location for Lazy Dog to expand to based on its demographics and dining scene. As a fast-growing, affluent area with a large population of families, Boca offered a robust customer base for Lazy Dog’s family-friendly restaurant concept. The city’s household incomes are among the highest in South Florida, indicating that residents have disposable income for dining out. Boca Raton also attracts wealthy tourists and seasonal residents who were expected to appreciate Lazy Dog’s craft beer and California-inspired menu.

boca raton was an ideal expansion location for lazy dog due to the demographics and lack of direct competitors.

Furthermore, Boca Raton lacked a restaurant quite like Lazy Dog, presenting an opportunity to bring something new to the market. While the dining scene contained plenty of chain restaurants and upscale eateries, there was room for a polished yet approachable concept like Lazy Dog focused on scratch cooking, local craft beer, and all-American dishes. Lazy Dog felt it could differentiate itself from both expensive fine dining spots and more mainstream casual chains.

With its affluent demographics, seasonal tourism, and lack of direct competitors, Lazy Dog determined that Boca Raton would be fertile ground to introduce its concept and grow its Florida presence. The location allowed Lazy Dog to fill an unmet need in the local dining market while appealing to Boca Raton’s family-oriented community and upscale visitor base.

Preparing the Boca Site

The Boca Raton Lazy Dog location was carefully prepared to bring the authentic Lazy Dog dining experience to South Florida. The restaurant took over a large space that formerly housed another restaurant next to the Town Center Mall. Extensive renovations and buildout of the space commenced in early 2021 to transform it into Lazy Dog’s newest location.

The kitchen was completely redesigned and outfitted with new equipment to enable Lazy Dog’s scratch cooking techniques. Decorators brought in rustic finishes like reclaimed wood, leather booths, and stonework to create the signature Lazy Dog lodge aesthetics. The large space was configured to include the restaurant’s signature features like a big timberframe bar, crackling stone fireplaces, and a warm and inviting dining room.

No detail was overlooked in redeveloping the location to match the high standards Lazy Dog is known for. Everything from the artisan light fixtures to the comfy seating was carefully curated to bring the cozy, upscale casual vibe to Boca Raton. The Lazy Dog team was thrilled to prepare a stunning new space to share their passion for food, drink and hospitality with Florida residents and visitors.

Grand Opening

lazy dog boca raton held a lively launch event with food samples and entertainment to celebrate its opening.
The Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar in Boca Raton officially opened its doors on October 16, 2018 (Source). The restaurant held a festive launch event to celebrate the occasion. Local residents and foodies gathered at the Boca location for the highly anticipated opening. The restaurant transformed into a lively party venue, with celebratory decor, music, and entertainment. Guests were able to sample Lazy Dog’s signature dishes passed around by servers. The launch event created buzz and excitement for the new addition to the Boca community.

Response from Locals

The new Lazy Dog restaurant received an enthusiastic response from the local Boca Raton community when it opened in 2022. Many residents were excited to have the popular California-based chain open its first Florida location right in their own backyard (1).

Reviews on sites like Yelp and Google praised Lazy Dog’s family-friendly atmosphere, unique menu items like braised short ribs and Beeler’s pork shank, and signature craft cocktails like the Strawberry Mojito and Pomegranate Martini. Several customers remarked on the “beautiful,” “stylish” interior décor and furnishings imported from Bali that make the restaurant feel upscale yet cozy (2).

The service was complimented as being “super friendly and attentive,” with reviewers highlighting the restaurant’s efforts to accommodate special requests and dietary needs. Overall, most locals agreed that Lazy Dog would make a great spot for casual dining, happy hours, and special occasions in Boca Raton.

While some expressed concerns about potential noise or waits during peak times, most reviewers said Lazy Dog filled a niche in the community that was missing. The positive reception reflects locals’ appreciation for Boca Raton continuing to expand its dining and entertainment options.

(1) https://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Lazy-Dog-Boca-Raton-Reviews-EI_IE1891365.0,8_IL.9,19_IC1154153.htm

(2) https://venue-marketplace-customer-service.sparkgrid.cfd/

Ongoing Success

the boca raton location has seen ongoing success with bustling crowds and stellar reviews since opening.
Since its opening in late 2018, the Lazy Dog restaurant in Boca Raton has seen tremendous ongoing success. The restaurant consistently draws crowds of locals and visitors alike, with guests raving about the food, drinks and atmosphere.

Lazy Dog’s Boca Raton location has built a reputation for providing excellent service and high quality meals in a welcoming environment. Their menu of rustic American dishes, signature cocktails and extensive craft beer selection continues to be a huge draw.

The restaurant’s performance has exceeded expectations. Revenues and profits have been strong thanks to bustling dinner services, busy weekend brunches and a vibrant bar scene. Lazy Dog has become one of the most popular and successful restaurants in the entire Boca area.

With stellar reviews and ratings across the web, it’s clear that Lazy Dog has found an enthusiastic audience since first opening its doors in Boca Raton. The restaurant shows no signs of slowing down as locals, food critics and out-of-towners keep coming back.

The Future

Lazy Dog has big plans for expansion in Florida in the coming years. According to sources Lazy Dog plans to open at least two more locations in Orlando in 2023. The company sees Florida as a prime market for growth due to the high tourism and relocations to the state (Orlando Sentinel). In addition to Orlando, Lazy Dog is scouting locations in Tampa, Jacksonville, and Miami for new restaurants.

Lazy Dog’s VP of Real Estate told reporters “Florida is one of our top priorities for expansion over the next 3-5 years.” The company plans to invest over $20 million into opening at least 10 new Florida locations. Their growth strategy focuses both on tourist hotspots as well as fast-growing residential areas (Orlando Business Journal).

As Lazy Dog continues to expand rapidly across the country, they see Florida as a key growth market. Their flexible restaurant formats allow them to open locations in malls, lifestyle centers, and standalone parcels. With innovative dining concepts and a family-friendly vibe, Lazy Dog aims to become top-of-mind for Floridians looking for an enjoyable casual dining experience.

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