It's been a long time coming for local Panera Bread fans clamoring for their fix of fresh baked treats, soups, salads and sandwiches. They won’t have to wait much longer to get their mitts on fresh croissants, warm chocolate chip cookies and crusty loaves of artisan bread. The national bakery-cafe chain announced a June 13opening for its Eustis location on U.S. 441 across from Target at the traffic light.
The 4,783 square-foot cafe will have approximately 90 employees and offer a big selection of fresh breads, pastries, sandwiches, soups, and salads. Libations include crafted coffees, an assortment of teas, and frozen beverages. The location will also feature a convenient drive-thru.
The Eustis Panera Bread is owned by Covelli Family Limited Partnership, part of Covelli Enterprises headquartered in Warren, Ohio. The company is the largest Panera Bread franchisee with over 200 locations.
The company’s journey began in 1987 as Au Bon Pain, a bakery-cafe. In 1993, the company purchased a chain of bakery-cafes in greater St. Louis and later renamed those locations “Panera Bread.” In 1999, the Au Bon Pain locations were sold so the company could focus on the success of Panera Bread. Today, there are over 2,000 Panera Bread locations nationwide.
One of the area’s premier fitness facilities will undergo a major transition on June 1. Gold’s Gym in Mount Dora, a franchise location, will change its name to Fitness CF. The location is one of four Gold’s Gyms in Central Florida owned by the same franchisee.
The CF stands for Central Florida, not Cross Fit, although those fitness facilities commonly use that abbreviation. Other than the name and logo, all other aspects of the gym will remain the same. This includes rates, staff, classes, equipment and ownership.
Gold’s Gym corporation recently increased its franchise fees, which spurred the decision not to renew the franchise agreement. Moving forward under the new name allows Fitness CF more flexibility to expand without the limitations a franchise agreement typically imposes.
Fitness CF is located at 18840 U.S. Highway 441 in Mount Dora.
There are three words a business owner hates to hear: “Shut it down.” The exception, of course, is when it’s ordered by no-nonsense Jon Taffer, host of “Bar Rescue” reality series.
That’s the case at Sidelines, a sports bar and restaurant on Highland Street in Mount Dora. The casual eatery is currently the location of a closed set to produce an episode of the Spike TV series.
After a restaurant’s Bar Rescue application is approved and Taffer has surveilled the establishment’s service and food, he and his team provide expertise on everything from concept and decor to menu, service and cost savings.
Sidelines is currently closed so a hectic ‘Stress Test’ can be given to staff tonight to see how much additional training is needed. A expedited 48-hour renovation follows with the finished product being dramatically revealed to the owner and patrons on Wednesday night.
Stay tuned for the air-date of the Mount Dora’s "Bar Rescue" episode. Last year, another reality show, "Hotel Impossible Showdown" on the Travel Channel, declared Mount Dora’s Adora Inn as the winner of a hotel competition of three Florida properties.
To get off to a healthy start in Mount Dora’s retail environment, an impressive track record in the business is essential.
That’s exactly what Deanna Renda, the CEO of Naples Soap Company, is bringing to the company’s new downtown Mount Dora location.
The organic skincare company just leased the historic house at 331 Donnelly Street and hopes for a June 1 opening.
Mount Dora was an easy choice for Renda, a native Floridian, who has a passion for old Florida communities and recently revisited the Central Florida town.
“When I saw the building, it had a fantastic vibe,” said Renda of the quaint blue and yellow historic home that formerly housed the Painter’s Daughter boutique. The two-story building will mark the twelfth location for the Florida-based chain. The first store opened in Naples in 2009 with just 300 square feet. As the company grew, so did the stores, which now average 1,200 square feet.
The shop’s interior will be vintage-inspired and Renda and her crew plan on picking through Renningers Antique Center to uncover some unique displays.
“ I'm excited to fill this location with a tenant who really appreciates its unique charm and history,” said Sandi Weld, leasing agent with CFL properties. Weld believes Mount Dora shoppers are ready for quality, organic body products.
Naples Soap Company’s top selling products are its bath bombs and unscented sea salt soap bar. That particular bar, good for psoriasis, acne and rosacea, was the impetus for the company and its mission to develop effective products to help chronic skin conditions.
According to Renda, 90% of the store’s products are manufactured within 50 miles of Mount Dora.
“We’re really excited to be part of the Mount Dora community,” said Renda. The company expects to hire approximately five employees. Anyone interested in applying can email resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org
Phil and Kate Barnard and the new train car addition. (Photo by Trish Morgan)
The rapid and meteoric success of Mount Dora’s English pub was unexpected. Its interesting name often perplexed passersby, but its authentic fare and friendly proprietors quickly drew a loyal following of British expats and Mount Dora locals.
Now after almost 3 years, Magical Meat Boutique is beginning a very creative expansion project. The owners, Phil and Kate Barnard, secured a lease to the adjacent 1938 passenger train car that once served as the ticket office for the area’s vintage train. The extensive interior renovation of the train car will include new flooring and decor and elements that return it to its former glory. Vintage features found in a 1938 London Underground (Tube) train will also be added to complement the pub’s existing theme.
The popular restaurant and bar reaches capacity on weekends, and the added space allows for expansion without changing the location, according to Phil.
The initial plan is to use the train car on weekends for buffet dining and to accommodate private parties and murder-mystery nights. The other end of the train car will convert the ticket office into a small, retro bar.
The target for completion is the end of July to coincide with Magical Meat Boutique’s festive third birthday. However, Barnard has a more immediate project in the works to add approximately 1,000 square feet to their deck. That project is underway and is expected to be complete by the end of May.
Phil Barnard of Magicial Meat Boutique
“We’ll have extra seating and larger bands on weekends; extend our current bar to offer at least another six to eight draught ales; and eventually an outside bar or window to the patio,” said Barnard , enumerating the plans for the expanded patio.
“I can’t think of anything cooler than having this additional space completed and hopefully attracting more summer visitors to town,” said Bernard. “Not just to check us out, but also to sample all our wonderful neighboring stores, restaurants, bars and events.”
The back of the restaurant will have a decks, on off each floor. (Photo by Trish Morgan)
No doubt, Mount Dora offers some of the best sunsets in Florida. Fortunately, the void of lakefront dining to enjoy them will soon be filled.
A new waterfront restaurant, Boathouse on Lake Dora, is now in the design process. The targeted opening is currently the end of the fourth quarter of 2017 or first quarter of 2018. The downtown building sits at the entrance to historic Boat House Row next to Mount Dora Yacht Club.
The interior will have an airy South Beach decor and the restaurant will offer a casual, affordable menu featuring fresh seafood, gourmet burgers, steaks and salads with Caribbean-inspired flavors, according to the owners, Edna and Luis Gonzalez.
Owners Edna & Luis Gonzalez at the future site of Boathouse on Lake Dora. (Photo by Trish Morgan)
The couple became acquainted with downtown’s dining scene after they opened Las Palmas Cuban Restaurant over a year ago. Inspiration to build another restaurant came after receiving frequent comments from customers about the lack of waterfront dining in the city.
The two-story building is already zoned for commercial use and will provide lake-view seating for 150 customers inside. Additional seating will be on two decks, as well as a tiki bar. The approximately 3000 square-foot, family-friendly restaurant will also offer seating around two waterfront fire pits.
The view from the Boathouse on Lake Dora property. (Photo by Trish Morgan)
The couple purchased the property last week and plan at least $300,000 in improvements. Upgrades will be made with their neighbors’ input to provide minimal impact, according to the couple.
Boathouse on Lake Dora will provide limited dock space for customers, as well as free valet parking. The restaurant will seek a variance for off-site valet parking and already has secured a Highland Street lot with approximately 200 spaces that are estimated to be turned over twice a day. That is expected to yield parking for 400 cars daily. The valet stand is planned at 4th Avenue and McDonald pedestrian area, so the public can also use the service. Other downtown restaurants may opt to validate parking to make it convenient and affordable for their patrons.