Rascal Flatts has started another group – but not the kind you might think. The trio has formed the Rascal Flatts Restaurant Group and will begin developing theme restaurants throughout the U.S. and Canada, according to CountryMusicIsLove.com. The Flatts have partnered with Philip Lama and Eric Soe to develop the restaurant chain, which will open its first location in Phoenix next year and will launch 10 other locations around the country by 2014.

The Phoenix restaurant will reportedly be 14,000 square feet, with a state-of-the-art soundstage, an indoor/outdoor bar and retail space. Other locations scheduled to open in 2013 include Columbus, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Raleigh, NC; Minneapolis, Minn. and Long Island, NY, with Charlotte, NC; Tampa, Fla.; Boston, Mass. and Madison, Wisc. set to open the following year.

Flatts bassist Jay DeMarcus is apparently eager to take on some other new responsibilities, as well. He told a radio station last week that he would love to fill that open seat on the "American Idol" stage if Brad Paisley or one of the other rumored new candidates doesn't take it.

"I would really like a shot at doing it," Jay told CMT Radio. "I don't know if I could swing it with the time commitments to Rascal Flatts. It's something I'd really, really love to do but I think they've got far better talent in mind than me!"

He likely won't have time to juggle that along with his new restauranteur duties, his Rascal Flatts gigs, his radio show on Clear Channel's iHeartradio, his production projects for other artists, and of course his biggest job of all –- as Dad! He and wife Allison welcomed their second child last month, Dylan Jay. So we doubt he's getting out of diaper duty that easily!



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