PACE — Scott Frantz, president of ACG BBQ LLC, has announced the soft opening date for the new Sonny's restaurant located at 5145 Highway 90 for - Oct. 7. The grand opening has been scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Oct. 21, with a ribbon cutting ceremony featuring Sonny's BBQ founder Floyd "Sonny" Tillman.

"We're very excited to be here. We've been trying to get out here for many years," Frantz said during a ground breaking last February. "This is a perfect opportunity to be part of this community and we are looking forward to supporting the community."

The growth in Santa Rosa County was another reason Frantz wanted to open the Pace restaurant.

The 6,601 square-foot restaurant will seat 175 guests and will feature its signature barbecue menu with all the trimming. This particular location will have a full bar, according to Susan Brady, marketing manager.

"It's the first Sonny's to have a full bar," Brady said.

Brady anticipated hiring about 106 employees for this location. If you want to apply, go to www.sonnysbbq.com/ then select the careers tab.

ACG BBQ LLC owns a total of 16 Sonny's franchises in Alabama, Florida and Georgia. Three of those restaurants are in Pensacola, located on 9th Ave, Chellie Road and Navy Boulevard. They also own the IHOP next door to the new Sonny's in Pace.

Frantz is passionate about barbecue. He started his career at Sonny's when he was 15 years old as a dishwasher and worked his way up. He also completed the Sonny's BBQ Pitmaster Program.

The corporate office for the ACG BBQ LLC is located in Sunrise, Florida. Frantz also has an office in Pensacola and works out of both locations as needed.

Tillman founded the restaurant chain in Gainesville, Florida, in 1968. The 90-year-old Tillman sold the company in 1991 to Bob Yarmuth, who continues as the company's owner and CEO today. There are now 113 Sonny's restaurants across the nine southeaster states.