ORLANDO, Fla. – A Pennsylvania-based restaurant that serves steak sandwiches is opening its first Florida location in Dr. Phillips on Friday, but it’s not quite what you might think.
“Yeah, we are not a cheesesteak. You know I think a lot of people are gonna think that we’re Philly cheesesteak,” said Tracy Barone, the newest franchise owner of Nick Filet.
Nick Filet, which first opened in the Philadelphia area in 2018, serves filet mignon sandwiches and lobster rolls which all come on the bread used by all great Philadelphia sandwich institutions, Amoroso’s rolls.
The new Dr. Phillips location, 7600 Dr. Phillips Blvd., is only the fourth Nick Filet location to open — the other three are in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Barone and her family decided to set up shop in the Orlando area after their daughter started school at the University of Central Florida during the last fall semester.
“We love Florida. We visited here often, and we just decided to make the change and come down and open a restaurant, down here,” she said.
Prior to this, Barone worked as a teacher in the Philadelphia area.
“I just believe in the product it’s great food and, and I really just, you know... we wanted to try something new. We think that this area would really like what we’re offering.”
The owner of the chain seems to agree. According to Barone, Nick Kline — the Nick in NIck Filet — has moved down Central Florida and is helping out with the opening of this new location.
“We moved here in August, Nick moved here in February to help us get this up and running and he has plans for more stores in the area — coming soon,” Barone said.
Between Barone and Kline, Central Florida could see a significant expansion of the Nick Filet brand.
“Of course, we’re hoping to open a few more and I know he (Kline) definitely has one opening here, you know, somewhere soon,” Barone said. “We’re not exactly sure how many, but we’d like to bring it to everyone who would like it.”
According to a press release, the company’s national expansion will also include 10 stores in the Dallas area over the next 5 years.
Barone’s franchise is set to open on Friday with a ribbon-cutting at 10:30 a.m. and the store officially opens its doors at 11 a.m. The first 50 customers will get a free small fries of their choice — Old Bay, parmesan truffle or regular.
“We’re just really excited to get open here and you know start serving everyone,” Barone said. “(It’s) a family business, so it’s mostly my family that’s going to be working in the store and we’re just excited to get it out there and have people try something new.”