Groundbreaking Ceremony held in Kimball for the new Tony Roma’s

The anticipation for months over exactly “what” was coming to the vacant lot at the entrance to Kimball Crossing finally got the answer a few months ago, and it was made official today with the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the new Tony Roma’s location.

County Mayor David Jackson and Tony Roma’s officials break ground at new location in Kimball Crossing on Monday…  Contributed Photo

MaCity and county officials including County Mayor, David Jackson, were on-hand for the ceremony along with community partners including the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, and many of the employees that will be launching this new restaurant location, expected to open in the next six months.

The anchor property, located at 105 Kimball Crossing Drive, in the Kimball Crossing shopping center was home to Shoney’s for well over 25 years, before the location closed in the late 2010s.  The building sat vacant for several years with many wandering what would eventually happen to the building and lot.

It was announced earlier this year that a new franchise of Tony Roma’s, the casual dining family restaurant famous for their premier barbecue ribs, steaks, and other fare would be coming soon.  The American-based restaurant chain has locations across the globe, with over one hundred locations on five continents and is one of the most globally-recognizable names in the restaurant industry.

The first Tony Roma’s opened in Miami, Florida in 1972, with their signature baby back ribs emerging as one of their house specialties. In 1976, Clint Murchison, Jr., owner of the Dallas Cowboys NFL team purchased most of the U.S. franchise rights and founded Roma Corporation, with growth of the chain expanding  rapidly both nationally and internationally into the 1980s and 1990s with locations in such big cities as Los Angeles, CA, Orlando, FL, Tokyo Japan, Madrid Spain, and others. Tony Roma’s serves its signature Ribs, World Famous Onion Loaf, and other steak, chicken and seafood entrees to thousands of guests every day.