Englewood Construction, a global commercial construction firm based in Lemont, has started on several construction projects, including Outback Steakhouse restaurants in Downers Grove and Springfield.

Englewood's restaurant group has begun construction on a new 6,882-square-foot Outback Steakhouse in the Mainstreet Square Shopping Center at Butterfield and Finley roads in Downers Grove. Scheduled to open early next year, this location joins more than a dozen other Outback Steakhouses in the Chicago metropolitan area. Dallas-based GHA Architecture is the project architect.

Tampa, Florida-based Bloomin' Brands also tapped Englewood to construct a 6,524-square-foot Outback Steakhouse near Wabash Avenue and Veterans Parkway in Springfield, Ill. It joins other new retail developments in Sherwood Plaza, a shopping center undergoing redevelopment just south of White Oaks Mall.

Englewood recently completed an Olive Garden Italian Restaurant in Utah and a new Trader Joe's in Iowa.

The contractor has also recently started construction on three food service projects for Rosemont-based US Foods Inc. in Hanover, Maryland, La Mirada, California and Phoenix.

US Foods, a food company and distributor to restaurants, health care, hospitality, government and educational facilities, hired Englewood Construction to remodel three of its test kitchen and training facilities. Scheduled to be complete early next year, the interior remodels will accommodate the latest kitchen and training equipment.

Englewood will build a classroom-style arrangement around a condensed version of the standard cook line, with a ventilation hood over open flames, a fryer, skillet and griddle, according to Di Santo.

"The variety of our recent restaurant, grocery and food service projects definitely speaks to our depth of expertise in these sectors, our reliability as we perform jobs for repeat clients, and our national capabilities that allow us to successfully deliver projects across the country," said Englewood Construction President William Di Santo.

"These jobs also reflect the strength we're observing in the food and drink industry as the economy continues its upward trend. National restaurant chains are seizing opportunities to add locations, while grocery brands and food service companies are also expanding their footprints and enhancing facilities to match growth in the market."