Rocco Quaranto, co-owner of the Peño Mediterranean Grill franchise, announced this week that the restaurant's third Wilmington location will be at 7037 Wrightsville Ave., the former home of Chops Deli in Wrightsville Beach.
Quaranto said an unnamed franchisee has been scouting locations in Wilmington for some time. When this space became available, all parties agreed it was a prime location.
“We do a lot of catering and there are quite a few offices nearby,” Quaranto said. “This location has great access to several neighborhoods and of course the beach.”
The building is currently undergoing a complete renovation, all the way down to the studs, according to Quaranto. He said that while each Peño Grill has its own look and layout, they are designed to have their own style and vibe.
“It’s definitely an older building that has changed hands several times so it’s in need of some significant updates,” Quaranto said. “We believe in starting from scratch and taking care of any underlying issues upfront.”
Quaranto said that in addition to the interior changes, the exterior of the building will be updated as well. He hopes to have an area for outdoor seating and the building will have a drive-up window for call ahead orders.
This will be the sixth location for the locally based franchise, which operates two Wilmington locations, a newly opened Jacksonville location and two South Carolina locations, one in Charleston and one in Myrtle Beach. A Charlotte location is expected to open in just a few weeks.
While Quaranto said it is still a bit too soon to say exactly when the Wrightsville Avenue location will open, he is hopeful it will be either late December or early next year.
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