by Ardie Arvidson
A ribbon cutting for the new Texas Roadhouse was held at noon Monday with the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce and its ambassadors participating along with restaurant staff and management.
The restaurant officially opened for business at 4 p.m. Monday. It is located in front of Magnolia Mall at 2691 David H. McLeod Blvd., next to IHOP.
Texas Roadhouse is famous for its hand-cut steaks, fall-off-the-bone ribs, fresh-baked bread and made-from-scratch sides.
The atmosphere is lively and family-friendly. The wait staff is known to break out in a line dance without any notice. It makes a special deal of birthdays, too.
Florence’s community-themed western décor includes items representing the Darlington Raceway, first responders, local schools, a jukebox and more.
As does every other Texas Roadhouse, the new Florence restaurant has a painting of an American Indian, said Jackie Brown, LSM coach.
The Indian is a trademark, she said, and was started by Wayne Kent Taylor, founder and owner of the first Texas Roadhouse in Clarksville, Indiana.
She said one mural she is especially proud of is the one that features a local first responder taken from a photo.
Brown said the company is built on partnerships with the communities where they reside.
On Friday and Sunday, the restaurant was open by invitation-only to give their staff practice and to raise funds for two local charities, I Play Florence (Friday) and the Care House of the Pee Dee (Sunday). Money was raised through individual donations and drink orders during the evening.
On Friday night, the guests raised $1,988 for I Play Florence. And on Sunday, guests raised $2,802 for Care House of the Pee Dee.
Both organizations were represented at the ribbon cutting on Monday and were presented ceremonial checks. They presented plaques to the Texas Roadhouse in appreciation.
Managing partner Andrew Ivester said he is very excited to be in Florence, and he wants to have a successful partnership with the community.
“We are excited to partner with these amazing organizations and can’t imagine a more meaningful way to celebrate our opening,” he said.
“I am thrilled to be here.”
Larry DePasquale, a market partner with restaurants in South Carolina and parts of Georgian and North Carolina, said he has 11 stores and has been patiently waiting for a long time for the right spot to open up in Florence.
“When this property (on David H. McLeod Blvd.) came available, we grabbed it,” he said. “We love the people here. They have been very welcoming. I have met a lot of people in the short time we have been here.”
He said Texas Roadhouse is involved in the communities where they are located.
He said they have a full-time employee dedicated just to working with the community.
The Texas Roadhouse was started in 1993 in Indiana. The restaurant chain has more than 525 locations in 49 states and seven countries. Its headquarters is in Louisville, Kentucky.
Texas Roadhouse brings nearly 200 new jobs to Florence. The restaurant has a seating capacity of approximately 300.
Texas Roadhouse is only open for dinner during the week. The restaurant is open for lunch on the weekends.
Florence hours are 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 to 10:30 p.m. Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday and 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
For more information, call 843-536-4507.
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