Although the location and the smell of fresh coffee will be familiar, the business is a new one. Cafe Aroma is expected to open this Thursday in the downtown space formerly occupied by The Coffee Branch Cafe, which closed earlier this spring.
The new rustic coffee shop will feature premium Viennese coffee, as well as the usual espressos, lattes, cappuccinos and teas. For anyone desiring a nosh with their cup of joe, Cafe Aroma will serve up traditional morning offerings of muffins, bagels, croissants and Danish pastries. Pies, cakes and cookies will be added in the afternoons. Prices for treats will range from $1.25 to $5.00.
“We are hoping down the road to open up the deli portion of the cafe and be able to serve breakfast and lunch items,” said Reginia Kelly who co-owns the coffee shop with her husband Dan.
The Kellys plan to create a friendly atmosphere with occasional special events on some evenings that include trivia, live music, poetry readings and painting classes. They are also planning “give back” nights that support less fortunate members of the community. This is a natural part of their business, since the couple also runs Feed the Need Central Florida, a Seminole County non-profit that helps feed the hungry.
Cafe Aroma is located at 144 W. 5th Avenue in downtown Mount Dora and will be open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and later for special events. Free wifi and cell phone charging stations are available for customers.
UPDATE (5/15/18) : Bravo Supermarket in Mount Dora is currently scheduled to open May 31.
Residents will soon get a more diverse choice of grocery retailers in Mount Dora. Bravo Supermarkets, a 70-store chain that offers authentic Hispanic ingredients and other items, will be opening on Donnelly Street and U.S. Highway 441 in the Harbor Freight shopping center.
The New York-based chain has stores throughout the Southeastern and Northeastern United States and caters to value shoppers. Founded in the 1990s, Bravo Supermarkets range between small neighborhood bodegas and large grocery superstores. The stores typically range from 7,000 to 25,000 square feet.
There is currently no opening date, but updates will be posted on our Facebook page. For more local news and events, sign up for the free monthly issue of Mount Dora Buzz hereand follow Mount Dora Buzz on Facebook.
UPDATED 9/25/18: Owner now expects to open in mid-October, 2018 Do what you love and love what you do. A practice many strive for, but few achieve.
Terese Roth is one of the lucky ones. She has loved baking as long as she can remember. In 2016, she opened her online bakeshop, Allyson A Bake Shop, named after her mother, who inspired her passion. The business provided a way for customers to buy premium cakes and other baked goods online for parties, business meetings, gifts and other occasions.
Now Roth has decided to expand into brick-and-mortar retail and chose downtown Mount Dora as the location for her first store. Allyson A Bake Shop will replace Cupcake Delights at 122 E. 4th Avenue and should be open by the end of June.
The bake shop’s best selling cakes are the Oreo and the mixed berry, while the lemon scones and mini crumb cakes are also top sellers. Other items include assorted muffins, cookies, pound cakes, Nutella brownies, millionaire’s shortbread, banana bread and more. Individual treats and cake slices sell in the three dollar range, according to Roth. Allyson A. Bake Shop will also serve specialty coffees, hot tea, soft drinks and bottled juices.
Meanwhile, the website will continue to cater to larger orders so items are ready when the customer walks in the door.
“Mount Dora is a lovely and charming community with lots of interesting people I hope to meet through my shop,” said Roth. “Since Mount Dora is also a vacation destination, this location creates an opportunity to introduce my products to visitors and hope they return frequently to this community.”
Roth spent most of her career as an emergency medicine doctor, before hanging up her stethoscope to launch her online bake shop in Pittsburgh in 2016. She moved to Orlando the following year.
The excitement is palpable. When Epic Theatres announced in 2016 it was planning a state-of-the-art multiplex in Mount Dora, movie-lovers waited anxiously, with every passing month seeming like an eternity. Read more
(AUGUST UPDATE: The retail store now has another small location in downtown Eustis) Local carb lovers now have another spot to satisfy their cravings. A new baked goods retailer in Mount Dora, aptly named European Breads, finally opened in a tiny pink building in Mount Dora just a mile north of downtown. The business, tucked in a small building on Highway 441, has undergone preparations to open for several months.
The shop features fresh-baked Ciabatta in various flavors, Belgian loaves, sourdough bread. Olive loaves and savory focaccias. The soft-crusted loaves are baked off-site at other bakeries and delivered to the store every morning.
Customers with a sweet tooth certainly haven’t been ignored. The store also sells cookies and a large selection of croissant pastries with various fillings baked daily on the premises.
Owner Francis Walsh, a 1984 graduate of Mount Dora High School, also offers breakfast and lunch on the go with their stuffed pastries like ham and cheese, spinach with feta, and mozzarella with tomato.
European Breads is located at 2355 Old Highway 441 in Mount Dora.
For more local restaurant news and more, sign up for the free monthly issue of Mount Dora Buzz here. For other local events and news, follow Mount Dora Buzz on Facebook.
UPDATE: Soft opening now scheduled for Monday, April 16.
The Midwest just moved a little closer. Chicago’s famous Italian restaurant chain, Rosati’s Pizza Pub, revered for its deep-dish pizzas and hot Italian beef sandwiches with au jus, will soon have its soft opening and a grand opening will follow later this month.
The current incarnation of Rosati’s started in 1964 in Chicago, but the family’s Italian restaurants can be traced back five generations to the 1890’s in New York. Fast forward to today and the business has grown to two hundred locations nationwide.
In addition to the Chicago-style deep dish pizza, Rosati’s also offers thin crust, double-dough and gluten-free pizza options. Chicken Parmesan, lasagna and other pasta dishes are served, as well as salads and hot sandwiches. Appetizers include fried dough nuggets with garlic butter, fried ravioli and pizza bread.
The new Mount Dora franchise is owned and operated by a father and son team, Mike Dowell Sr. and Mike Dowell Jr. This is the pair’s second restaurant; they opened their first Rosati’s in Apopka six months ago.
The restaurant, located at 18750 U.S. 441, has completely transformed the space previously occupied by Blackbear Smokehouse and Backwoods Smokehouse and Grill. In addition to the aged brick reminiscent of Old Chicago, the interior boasts a tastefully arranged collection of sports memorabilia and 17 large screen TV’s. The space also has an expansive full bar with a happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m., plus a separate room with two pool tables.
(AUGUST 2018 UPDATE: The project at Sharp's Mobile Home Park is dead, according to the seller. The property is still for sale.)
If all goes as planned, downtown Eustis will have a new waterfront residential community.
The proposed Lake Eustis Club would redevelop Sharp’s Mobile Park and two adjacent parcels on Bay Street and Lakeshore Drive to make room for 86 new single-family homes.
According to the developers, Lake Eustis Club will be designed in a Key West style and offer 1,200 to 1,400 square-foot bungalows in four different floor plans. The community, adjacent to Ferran Park, will feature a community pool, clubhouse, lakefront boardwalk and gated entry for residents. Added greenspace and road beautification along Lakeshore Drive, in addition to the renovation of a commercial and residential building at the front of the community on Bay Street, will complete the project. The developers also plan to raise the elevation and mitigate existing drainage issues before construction on the residential units begins.
The site plan, future land use, and Lake Eustis Club subdivision will come before the Eustis City Commission for a vote in the near future. The approximate current gross density is 21.3 units per acre. The proposed plan is approximately 10.4 units per acre, according to a city official. The city’s CRA Board has already approved a redevelopment agreement.
The three parcels, including the 119-pad mobile home park, total approximately 11.5 acres. The sale is anticipated to close at the end of April.
Once the sale of the parcels is finalized, Lake Eustis Club groundbreaking is targeted for November 2018, and the project is expected to take 3 to 5 years to complete. Parcel pre-sales will begin this May.
The project’s developers are WJ Capital, LLC, and Jacob P. Smith Building Company, owned by Lake County residents Wendall and Jacqueline Husebo and Daniel DiVenanzo respectively.
In its day, it was one of the few family entertainment venues in North Lake County. Tucked off U.S. Highway 441, Adventure Cove was all but abandoned 5 years after the business was put on the market and subsequently shuttered. To no one’s surprise, deferred maintenance began to pile up. Read more
By today’s standards, the Pony Express seemed faster than the wheels of change at the United States Postal Service (USPS).
The mail service first announced last June it was considering relocating its Mount Dora location due to the current 711 N. Donnelly Street location being too small. The USPS operated out of the approximately 5,340 square-foot space for over 50 years. It has been seeking at least a 9,000 square-foot facility to accommodate the needs of a growing community.
Now the USPS has zeroed in on a building in an outparcel of a shopping center at 2600 Old Highway 441. The space, previously occupied by The Rodeo, is approximately 10,000 square feet. Although this is currently the only existing location found to meet the USPS requirements, the required USPS Final Decision Letter has not been issued.
The USPS required that the new location must be within a mile radius of the Donnelly location and be leased at a square-foot rate close to their current rate. Ideally, the space would also have a loading dock or the opportunity to build one.
Last July, a public meeting was held to provide preliminary information. This was followed by a second public meeting on March 1, because the USPS expanded the boundary area for a new Mount Dora location. Once the location has been officially finalized, Mount Dora Buzz will provide an update.
Foodies have been salivating for months waiting for the opening of Tavares’ newest eatery. They will no longer have to claw at the door, as Burgers Tacos Waffles (BTW) finally starts dishing out its specialities in early April.
Rebecca and Craig Williamson’s idea was to combine three different food truck concepts that whip up fresh street food and build them into a single brick and mortar location. Most of the warm industrial decor of the fast-casual restaurant was crafted by the Williamsons from salvaged finds like vintage windows, wood pallets and weathered, corrugated tin.
True to its name, the restaurant will feature a variety of fresh, inspired burgers, tacos and waffles rotating according to seasonality. The menu offerings are enough to make lovers of gourmet street food drool.
The Angus burgers are made with BTW’s own combination of brisket and short-ribs seasoned with a house-blend of spices. “Chicken & Waffles” are made on a malted buttermilk Belgian-style waffle. Other savory offerings include Korean BBQ tacos, “BFD Burger” (“Breakfast for Dinner” burger), poutine with stout and short rib gravy, and “The Shroom” vegetarian taco.
Sugar junkies can indulge in dessert waffles made with housemade banana bread or red velvet batter and covered in decadent toppings. Overall, there are more than thirty items on the menu. Entrée prices range from $7- $18.
“Our goal is to offer high-quality, delicious food at a reasonable price. All while encouraging people to try some deliciously handcrafted food that they may not have thought about making themselves,” said Rebecca, who hopes to start working with some farms to bring in fresh, local ingredients.
This is the Williamsons’ second business venture in downtown Tavares. In 2015, they opened Bru Tap House, a popular craft beer bar located next to BTW. The bar will now be able to serve patrons BTW food that pairs with its 30 craft beers on tap.
Rebecca, raised by two parents in the restaurant industry, said. “I can remember when I was a little girl unwrapping pots and pans in restaurant kitchens.” Eventually, she would tend bar and manage several different restaurants since her beginnings at a Perkins at 16.
BTW is located at 115 E. Main and will be open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner and closed on Mondays. On Fridays and Saturdays it will stay open until 1 a.m. to accommodate a late-night crowd.
One of the largest buildings in downtown Mount Dora changed hands last month. The Sunset Building, located at Third Avenue and Baker, was purchased by two local developers, G3 Development and Baker Groves, Inc.
The three-story, 15,000 square-foot building will be renovated and rebranded as “301 Baker.”
G3 Development and Baker Groves have partnered on local projects for over 20 years, including spaces at 1502 Donnelly Street and 2110 Donnelly Street. Their newest acquisition will be managed by GC Development, made up of managing partners Bill Baker and Gerry Guenther. Guenther’s two sons, Austin and Jake, will also be actively involved in the project.
The renovations are expected to be completed this summer to create modern office space in downtown Mount Dora. Improvements will include updates to the building’s Mediterranean Revival façade, reconfiguring the interior layout to accommodate private restrooms for each suite, and improving the terrace and balconies to maximize outdoor space and access to the building’s Lake Dora views.
The building’s largest tenants, Wave Asian Bistro and Synergy Salonspa, will remain. Prior to the sale, the building was also home to Baker Street Artist Studios. The artists were given notice to relocate during renovations and chose to permanently move after learning the property’s improvements would yield higher rents than they had previously paid.