Tell us your wishlist for North Lakeland

South Lakeland has gotten a fair share of new businesses this year, but there’s plenty to be excited about on the north side of town.

An aerial shot of North Lakeland shows the Lakeland High School football and baseball fields

What would you add to north Lakeland?

Photo by LALtoday

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In the last few months, we’ve covered new restaurants, hospitals, and housing developments coming to the city of Lakeland. While we do our best to cover everything from north Lakeland to south Lakeland, we can’t help but notice that the south side has welcomed a hefty amount of those developments (think: 4 Rivers Smokehouse, Aldi, Fresh Kitchen, etc.). It’s safe to say that you’ve noticed it too:

Instagram comments about North Lakeland pasted over an aerial shot of Lakeland.

Our Instagram followers are hoping for fresh things on the north side.

Photo by LALtoday

Coming soon to north Lakeland

If you live on the north side, here are a few things you can keep your eyes on or try for yourself:

  • Crumbl Cookies, 919 Lakeland Park Center Dr., Ste. 370 | While an opening date is TBA, you can already find signage between PetSmart and Van Spa & Nails, just a short walk away from Dick’s Sporting Goods, Ross, Ulta, and more.
  • Crave Hot Dogs & Barbecue, 2250 Griffin Rd. | Construction has started at Lakeland’s newest ax-throwing venue with hot dogs, barbecue, and a self-pour draft wall located in a former bank.
  • Miller’s Ale House, 919 Lakeland Park Center Dr. | A north Lakeland location for this American-fare restaurant was announced last year. According to plans for Lakeland Park Center, it will sit next to Ford’s Garage, just off of US-98 and Lakeland Park Center Drive.
  • Jona-Bells Cafe, 3135 Knights Station Rd. | The wait is over for fresh-squeezed juice, açaí bowls, coffee, and matcha on Lakeland’s north side.
An illustrated map sits beside a satellite map of the same spot; pins point to the location of a future Miller's Ale House in north Lakeland.

Plans for Lakeland Park Center’s future Miller’s Ale House location, left; satellite map of the same site, right

Plans via RPT Realty; Satellite map via Google Maps

Here’s where you come in — we want to know what you want to see on Lakeland’s north side. While we don’t have the power to will your ideal shopping center, restaurant, or attraction into existence, we can put together the ultimate wishlist for the north side.

Answer this two-minute survey to tell us what you want to see come to north Lakeland. Your answers may appear in a future article.

Your north Lakeland wish list

The results of our survey are in.

A pie chart shows our readers' top priorities with Dining (55%) Recreation (18%) and Other (26%) making up most of the graph.

We asked and you answered: Here are your top priorities for north Lakeland.

Graphic via LALtoday

As for “other,” our readers submitted specific wishes for north Lakeland. Additionally, they chimed in via the comments of our Facebook and Instagram posts. Here are a few of your thoughts.

Lakelanders are hungry for popular chain restaurants on the north side. In particular, Red Robin, The Cheesecake Factory, Tijuana Flats, Pollo Tropical, Capital Tacos, P.F. Chang’s, Chicken Salad Chick, TGI Friday’s, and Portillo’s received shoutouts from our readers.

  • “An AUTHENTIC Italian Deli with Salamis, sandwiches, REAL, REAL, FIRST COLD PRESSED OLIVE OIL, CHEESES. I could go on & on.” — Lenore F.
  • “Love to see healthy food options not just chains on N.Lakeland 🥲" — @court_sheffield
  • “Cheescake Factory, Kobe Japanese steakhouse, attractions such as indoor go-cart” — Selena M.
  • “Any good sushi or Thai plz I’m begging” — @bianx___
  • “J. Burns’ Pizza!” — @bunnyberrigan
  • “Trader Joe’s, Tiki Docks, expand The Joinery, Metro Lagoon!!!” — @doriangrayphoto
  • “Specialty tea like tea largo that is on the south side” — Alison T.
  • “Mod Pizza or Dutch Bros” — @schokoeis16
  • “Trader Joe’s, Greenwise, CAVA, a Self-Serve Draft Beer & Wine Arcade” — @carolineernstes
  • “Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, mezcalito grill, date night things to do, more upscale restaurants, update the mall or a new one lol” — @laurawh86
  • “P.F. Chang’s to go, Foxtail Coffee and Sprouts. Put them all together in an outdoor walkable area.” — @joebearmad

It’s no surprise that Trader Joe’s was mentioned literally dozens of times between social media comments and our survey. Here are a couple of reader comments including more grocery store requests.

  • “Trader Joe’s, Costco, Whole Foods, Sprouts, World Market, Indian restaurant, Torchy’s Tacos, Din Tai Fung” — @serenebean95
  • “Trader Joe’s or Sprouts please!!!” — @xo.sarahaha
  • “Costco !!!” — @ggmooney1
  • “Specialty grocery chain” — James R.

Your requests for the north side went beyond dining. Many readers shared hopes for recreational things to do, both indoors and out.

  • “Parks, recreation places for kids” — Terri Y.
  • “Putt-Putt and other date night stuff” — @kerbertoast
  • “A new shopping mall” — @shay_dio
  • “A book store please” — Bart D.
  • “Orange Theory” — @anadams_4567
  • “A big park” — @sanchez_wicho
  • “Another big gym like Crunch Fitness or similar” — Joe B.
  • “I’d like to see a public pool. I hate having to drive to Kelley Rec and every time I looked into Simpson it was closed.” — @carey.vrg
  • “Need more parks with shaded paved trails.” — Marisol A.
  • “More retail & food less residential… Was hoping a Dave & Busters in the old Sears building but now it’s turning into apartments.” — Jill M.
  • “A nice outlet shopping center” — Monica A.
  • “Another Painting With a Twist” — @toribrady