Commission approves site plan for BBQ restaurant at retail center

The Lady Lake Commission has approved a site plan for a new barbecue restaurant at the site of a rapidly developing retail center on U.S. Hwy. 27/441.

Mission BBQ will be located at Earth Fare Commons, the new shopping center being constructed at the intersection of U.S. Hwy. 27/441 and Fennell Boulevard, next door to Lady Lake Town Hall.

This exterior rendering was part of the Mission BBQ site plan presentation before the Lady Lake Commission.

Miller’s Ale House opened Dec. 2 at Earth Fare Commons and has already become a popular draw with its parking lot frequently overflowing.

The development will also include an Earth Fare grocery store, a retailer that markets healthy eating options. It is scheduled to open next year.

The Maryland-based Mission BBQ chain was founded by Bill Kraus and Steve Newton. The restaurants have a very patriotic feel to them. Mission BBQ features prominent displays honoring the military, police officers and first responders. Mission BBQ has been expanding rapidly throughout the eastern half of the country. Mission BBQ expects to end 2019 with 95 locations.

The restaurant will share a 5,362-square-foot retail space. The plan calls for 115 parking spots.

The developer of the project is the Benchmark Group, which previously brought in Best Buy, Sam’s Club, Stein Mart and Kohl’s.