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Business Last Updated: Mar 19, 2014 - 9:50:38 AM

Two popular island businesses to expand
By Elizabeth Bush
Mar 19, 2014 - 9:42:50 AM

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Japan Karate
Orlando's Pizza

Two of Daniel Island’s most popular and long-term businesses will soon be expanding. Orlando’s Pizza and Japan Karate Institute announced last week that both will be taking over the spaces beside their establishments at 295 Seven Farms Drive.
Orlando’s pizza
Orlando’s, owned and operated by Dave Orlando, will gain an additional 1600 square feet when they expand into the space formerly occupied by Island Overstocks. The extra room will allow the business to increase its kitchen size and seating capacity, as well as provide equipment upgrades. Orlando says he has been mulling over the idea for some time.
“It was the right time probably a year and a half ago,” he added. “It’s always busy and there are never really any down days anymore. It’s been really good. We just try to keep it simple and consistent with good service.”
Orlando’s business formula, as well as his appetizing menu choices, clearly appeal to his growing customer base. The pizzeria opened its doors to the community in September 2004 and has had steady success ever since.
“It’s been great,” said Orlando, who bought out his brother, Chris’, share of the business in late 2007. “Business has grown year after year exponentially. It’s been really a good move for us out here.”  
Orlando is most excited about enhancing his kitchen space, which he estimates will take up about two-thirds of the addition.
“It’s crazy right now with the storage in here,” he said. “We’re looking forward to having more space to operate.”
Plans call for work to be completed in three phases, with little if any disruption to business operations. The building’s landlord, Hill Construction, will be handling the build-out, said Orlando. The project will also include a new bar area for beers on tap and other beverages, two additional restrooms, and an outdoor patio at the back of the restaurant. Orlando expects the construction to take about six to nine months to complete.
“We’re really excited,” he added.
Daniel Island resident Glenn Raus, owner of Japan Karate Institute (JKI), is equally thrilled about his business expansion. His decision to grow the “Dojo” comes on the heels of JKI’s 10th anniversary celebration last fall. Raus, known to his students as “Sensei Glenn,” will be adding another 936 square feet when he extends JKI into the space currently occupied by the “Nancy Mace for Senate” headquarters.
“This will allow me to do a lot of the things that I wanted to do,” said Raus. “…It’s exciting! I’m looking forward to the challenge of making it work.”
Raus opened JKI in October of 2003, when he began offering classes on the second floor of his current building, in an exercise facility known then as The Field House (now East Shore Athletic Club). After about nine months, they outgrew the space. By July 2004, JKI settled into its current home on the first level.  
Raus said Hill Construction will also handle construction associated with his expansion, although he expects it to be minimal. They will add a door to transition between the two areas as well as a karate floor, in addition to a few other enhancements. The extra room will be a welcome change.
“One of the things I’ve noticed is I now have some classes where I’ll have upwards of 30 kids on the floor and that’s starting to push things,” said Raus. “It’s starting to get to capacity on the earlier (afternoon) classes. This will allow me to alleviate some of that while still maintaining the level of quality and value of our classes.”
The increased square footage will allow Raus to offer classes simultaneously. He plans to add 14 new students to his after school karate program for the 2014-2015 school year, and possibly some “mothers morning out” programs. JKI currently offers programs for youth, families and adults.
“It gives me a lot of flexibility,” he said. “It will also allow me to separate even more by age and experience level.”
Raus recently signed a new, five year lease, to include his expansion.
“I’ll have the same space at least until 2019, but we have no plans to ever move,” he said. “I kind of want to be able to sit here one day and say we’ve been here for 30 years!”
Construction on the JKI addition will begin in July, added Raus, with classes in the extra space beginning as early as the start of the new school year.

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