For now, the cries of local residents for more upscale retail options will remain unanswered. Instead, a national discount chain will be opening a sizable location in Eustis.
Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, a Pennsylvania-based chain, has 269 stores and expects to open on Bay Street in Eustis in late August. The 33,000 square-foot location is in the same renovated shopping center as Planet Fitness. Currently, the closest store is in Leesburg.
The company touts itself as being one of the nation’s largest retailers of closeout merchandise and excess inventory. Perhaps their slogan, “Good stuff cheap,” says it best. Ollie’s buys overstocked or old packaged items, so shoppers will find brand name products in colors, patterns or packaging from the previous year.
A representative for the retailer said the Eustis store is expected to employ 45-55 associates.
The name leaves no questions. A new baked goods retailer in Mount Dora, aptly named European Breads, is planning to open in a small building in Mount Dora just a mile north of downtown. The Old Highway 441 location will sell fresh-baked Ciabatta, Belgian loaves, Miche and sourdough bread. The baker and owner, Francis Walsh, also plans on offering Italian breads like focaccia, bread knots and bialys.
Customers with a sweet tooth certainly haven’t been forgotten. The bakery will also feature a large selection of croissant pastries with various fillings. Costa Rican, Guatemalan and Ethiopian coffees will also be available. The bakery is located on Old Highway 441 next to The Wine Cellar. There is no word on an opening date. The planned hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The transformation is jaw-dropping. The once nondescript restaurant interior has been transformed as if it were a segment on an HGTV show.
Mount Dora’s newest restaurant, The Loft Cafe, is expecting to open in mid-February after a complete renovation of its second floor space in the Renaissance Building on Donnelly Street. The rustic-chic interior offers a warm ambiance for diners to enjoy vegan and traditional dishes that aren’t currently offered in the historic downtown. The focus will be on serving delicious 'clean' food that many diners now seek.
A fresh herb garden graces one wall, while rustic shutters crafted of reclaimed wood frame the windows, and eclectic chandeliers grace the two dining rooms. Two rolling barn doors separate the kitchen from the two dining rooms. Tucked into a nook there is also a large farm table that can be reserved for special parties. The is also a bar area for patrons to enjoy beer, wine and specialty coffee drinks.
The friendly chef-owner, Jimberly Staubs, and her husband did all the renovations themselves, as well as the creative interior design. Their passion for the project resulted in a stunning space with no detail ignored.
The cafe will serve breakfast and lunch, as well as brunch on Sunday. The brunch will feature a mimosa and bellini bar along with separate traditional and vegan buffets. The menu will offer stuffed French toast, strata, an oatmeal bar and an ever changing list of breakfast and lunch offerings not found in the area.
Staubs previously owned a restaurant in Naples and visited Mount Dora for the first time last February. She and her husband intended to stay for one month, but felt at home and ended up staying for three. Eventually, the couple bought six acres in Eustis where they plan to build a house. Meanwhile, Staubs began the search for her perfect Mount Dora restaurant space and found it in the heart of downtown in the upstairs space formerly occupied by Mr. Cebiche. The restaurant is located at 411 North Donnelly Street on the second floor. The restaurant is expected to open later in February. Stayed tuned to Mount Dora Buzz on Facebook for an opening date.