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The popular LIME Fresh Mexican Grill, which got its start in a tiny Miami South Beach storefront in 2004, is expected to open its 16th restaurant in the spring or summer of 2022 in Disney’s under-construction Flamingo Crossings Town Center.
It will be the second LIME Fresh in Orlando. The rest are in the Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.
Vinay Rama, CEO of Mandala Holdings, said that when he acquired LIME Fresh in 2018, there were seven restaurants, all franchised. He grew it into 14 franchises in southeast Florida.
When he expanded the market into Orlando, he refreshed the brand, remodeling and modernizing the insides, outsides and menu. Both the existing store in Lake Nona and this new one in Flamingo Crossings will be corporate-owned.
LIME Fresh has an interesting backstory. It was created by businessman John Kunkel. He sold to Ruby Tuesday’s which grew the chain to 30 and then closed the corporate locations. Rama bought the chain — now seven franchised restaurants — from him and added seven more franchises before building these two corporate-owned restaurants in Orlando.
“LIME is not just a restaurant; it’s an experience that has kept people coming back for years. It’s all the pieces coming together, great ingredients, prepared with care at a perfect location, and always evolving menu with the classics,” he said.
“We’re honored to be a part of Flamingo Crossings Town Center as it will further enhance our Orlando presence and introduce visitors from around the world to LIME,” Rama said.
“We are bringing the same fresh perspective (to Flamingo Crossings) that LIME has always been known for,” he said.
“No freezers. No microwaves. Just great food, good vibes and all the homemade salsa you can handle,” it proclaims on its website.
And, the chain is civic minded, offering help to worthy causes on its website. “From happy hours for local causes, to sponsoring events and giveaways, we love to give back to the communities that we call home.”