It's a daunting undertaking. The termite fumigation of an entire historic block filled with retail, restaurants, offices and apartment dwellers could be a logistical nightmare. However, as some downtown Mount Dora businesses and residents prepare for next week's termite tenting, other local businesses have generously pitched in to help.
The large fumigation project involves nine historic buildings, five different landlords, thirty-seven businesses, and five apartment residents. Business owners and residents will not have access to their leased property during the process.. Weather permitting, Massey Services of Eustis will begin the fumigation process on Monday by enclosing the entire east side of the 400 block of Donnelly Street in a tent for three days to rid the structures of dry wood termites.
Residential tenants had to be relocated during the process. Dave Hurley, owner of Peter Pan Properties, whose properties aren’t included in the fumigation, made his two downtown cottage apartments on Alexander Street available at no charge to displaced residents.
Another downtown landlord, Carol Fuller, owns The Fuller Building on 4th Avenue and donated the use of that building for merchants’ products requiring climate-controlled storage. To assist the four restaurants affected, Grimm DePanicis and Mount Dora Center for the Arts permitted the use of parking spaces behind their building for refrigeration and freezer trailers. The landlord for the restaurant, CFL Properties, secured and funded the shared trailers for the eateries to help ease the hardship caused by the interruption.
"All of our affected retail, restaurant, office, and residential tenants have been rock stars of cooperation, patience, and understanding during this interruption of their business and personal lives. For this, I am truly and personally grateful," stated Sandi Weld, the primary landlord's leasing agent. "CFL Properties takes seriously our responsibility to preserve and protect these historic buildings and keep them safe for our tenants. Without tenant cooperation, my job this past month would have been a nightmare. With their support, the plans are all coming together. "
All the businesses are expected to reopen on Thursday, June 30th, and the community is encouraged to support those downtown businesses to help offset losses.
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'The third time is the charm' as the saying goes. However, in this case the third time may be the third charm.
Cyndi & Eddie Goff selected Mount Dora to open their third 'Painting with a Twist franchise and will offer their first class on June 23. The storefront, located on US 441 in the Hobby Lobby shopping center, will provide customers with a studio environment, paint, a canvas and brushes for an evening with friends that results in a completed piece of art styled from one of the company's copyrighted pieces. The concept is more entertainment than art instruction and a staff member is always on hand to facilitate and ensure a good time.
The company started in 2007 in Louisiana and now boasts 273 franchise locations nationwide. To assure an easy and fun experience for the novice painter,Painting with a Twist uses its own artwork for guests to replicate. Customers are welcome to bring their own beverages, including wine or beer to help get their creative juices following.
The couple opened their first location in Ocala in 2014 after Cyndi had been employed by Painting with a Twist for three years. The Goffs, along with a partner, have since purchased another franchise in Gainesville. "The charm, the people, everything about Mt Dora is so inviting and delightful! We have even started looking at real estate here", said Cyndi. The company prides itself on combining fun and painting in a primarily adult venue with classes being for ages 18 and over.
To accommodate different age groups, there will also be Family Fun Saturdays and Teenage Tuesday sessions. As a local fundraising event, the studio will host Painting with a Purpose' to give back to the local community. In 2015, the Ocala location raised over $15,000 for community charities, according to Cyndi.
The US 441 location has easy accessibility and plentiful parking to accommodate the studio's capacity of 60-70 painters. The Goffs have already hired and trained their initial staff of six.
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What's better than scoring big at a yard sale? A big yard sale with more to score.
Renningers Antique Center hosts the biggest and longest yard sale in Central Florida June 17 to June 19. The outdoor event will feature three days of antiques, vintage, collectibles, plants, produce, household goods, tools, designer clothing and more.
In addition to shoppers hunting for the deal of the century, sellers cleaned out their garages to hawk their treasures in one of the reserved spaces at Renninger's Antique Center.
The longest yard sale runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Get more events for Mount Dorahere
The smell of buttered popcorn just got closer. Mount Dora's Epic Theatres scheduled its ground breaking for this Friday.
Site work will then begin on the 12-screen multiplex being erected on the land between Target and Walmart. The theater's expected opening is early summer of 2017, according to an Epic representative.
The state-of-the-art theater will feature reclining seats, beer and wine, optional reserved seats and an enhanced concession menu.
The 50,000 square foot theater is a greatly anticipated $10 million project. Currently, local residents travel to Leesburg or Apopka to view movies on the big screen.
In addition to the theater space, there are five and a half acres of adjoining land available for development. The land is suitable for restaurants and a medium retail anchor tenant requiring 20,000 to 40.000 square feet.
Stay up-to-date on the theater's opening and other local news for Mount Dora, Tavares and Eustis, here.
Mount Dora's newest neighborhood, Dora Parc, completed its first two model homes and dozens of eager real estate agents got the first glimpse.
Perched on a hillside, the gated community sits on the southeastern border of Mount Dora a mile from downtown. The neighborhood boasts 38 luxury home sites with deeded access to Lake Dora when completed.
Each home on the 22-acre community will have a lake view and a private walking path in the center of the neighborhood meandering to the waterfront.
The four models are named after famous artists and range from 2,574 to 3,365 square feet with prices starting in the low $500,000s. Buyers can opt for an elevator or stay the standard features that include granite counter tops, a wine cellar and their own covered boat house.
The subdivision got tongues wagging when its unique entrance feature was installed in March. The center median of Dora Parc is the permanent home of an art installation of four penguins in bright colors. The large birds, approximately four feet tall, are made of recycled plastic and stand on cubes of masonry that represent blocks of ice. To celebrate the grand opening, the penguins are decked out in black ties, derby hats and sunglasses.
The art installation was commissioned from the Cracking Art Group, a collective of European artists that creates over-sized sculptural animals made from brightly colored plastic. Dora Parc's developer wanted to bring the artistic essence of Mount Dora to the community.
Dora Parc, located on south Clayton Street, will have its grand opening on Saturday, June 4 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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It's difficult to get a favorable consensus on a restaurant. Difficult, but not impossible.
Lago Dora Ristorante opened six weeks ago in Tavares and diners' glowing reviews are piling up.
The brick oven and colorful mosaic tables are the focal point of the inviting modern space, but the food steals the show. Their lunch menu features ten fresh dishes all priced at $7.50, including chicken alfredo, spaghetti with perfectly seasoned meatballs, shrimp diavolo and their popular 10" margherita pizza. To accommodate the nearby courthouse employees, the restaurant strives to get lunch guests in and out within forty-five minutes if they need to return to work.
It's no surprise the food is getting such high marks. The owner, Deshaun Scott, was the original chef of Tasso when it received great reviews. Not only is Scott a good chef, but his humble personality and welcoming smile light up the place.
Appetizers include buttered Italian clams ($9.95), wedge salad ($7.95), insalata caprese ($7.95) and red pepper bruschetta ($7.95). Fresh dinner entrees range from chicken picatta ($15.95), shrimp fra diavolo ($16.95) and veal marsala ($18.95) to lobster ravioli ($19.95) and fettuccine al pesto ($14.95).
Lago Dora Ristorante also provides a full bar, plus a little something for the sweet-tooth: crispy canolis and tiramisu martinis.
The restaurant is located at 134 E. Ruby Street in downtown Tavares. It's open Monday-Saturday for lunch and dinner.
Stay up-to-date on new restaurant and store openings in the area on the Mount Dora Buzz Facebook page.
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Above: Deshaun Scott (Right) and crew turning out fresh lunches.