The celebrity chef that placed Mount Dora on Florida’s culinary map has moved on.
Chef Norman Van Aken, a James Beard award-winner and author of several cookbooks, is no longer affiliated with the Central Florida city’s restaurant “1921 by Norman Van Aken.”
The celebrated chef partnered with Mount Dora resident Ken Mazik, principal of Main Street Leasing, to open the downtown restaurant in a renovated historic home built in 1921. The location had previously housed the iconic Garden Gate Tea Room.
1921, a 150-seat restaurant, opened just over two years ago in August, 2016. Prior to its opening, Van Aken stated he envisioned Mount Dora like an early version of Napa Valley, yet the realities of the demographics were vastly different.
Recent rumors of the parting made the announcement not completely unexpected. Now the restaurant's name will just be 1921. Meanwhile, Van Aken will continue his culinary mission at the acclaimed Norman’s restaurant in nearby Orlando.
Mazik’s company owns several historic buildings in downtown Mount Dora and he was the founder of the area's Carlton Palms educational facility and the Modernism Museum.
For updates on restaurant openings in Mount Dora, Tavares and Eustis, click here.Subscribe to the free monthly issue of Mount Dora Buzz for the area's local news and events.
It’s been discussed by residents, visitors and city council members for years. Last night, Mount Dora City Council followed what Eustis and Tavares did years ago.
After a 4-3 city council vote, the quaint Central Florida city became the newest Lake County municipality to allow patrons to carry alcoholic beverages in plastic cups on the street in its designated ‘Entertainment District. This allows downtown visitors and residents the ability to patronize a restaurant or bar and then walk with their beverage to see the sunset at the docks or enjoy one of the city’s festivals with a drink in a plastic cup.
The ordinance has significant rules to prevent public safety issues and abuses including:
Drinks must be sold by a licensed and registered bar or restaurant located inside the Entertainment District.
Drinks must be in plastic cups that hold 16 ounces or less.
Plastic cups must have a marking that identifies the registered establishment where they were purchased.
Establishments can only dispense one open alcoholic beverage to any one person at a time.
Patrons can only possess one open alcoholic beverage at any one time.
Customers cannot purchase and consume the open alcoholic beverage between 2:00 am and 7:00 a.m.
It will remain unlawful to walk in the district with an open alcoholic beverage in a can, bottle or glass.
All state laws still apply.
The policy will be monitored over the next year to determine its success or any issues that may arise. The city council approved the measure knowing there were no extra costs to the city and that they can terminate the policy at any time. An effective date has yet to be announced.
Mayor Nick Girone and council members John Tucker, Cathy Hoechst and Marc Crail voted in favor of the ordinance, while council members Laurie Tillett, Cal Rolfson and Harmon Massey opposed it.
(Click to enlarge map of district)
The free registration process for licensed establishments in the Entertainment District requires a Mount Dora occupational license, a State of Florida liquor license, a certificate of liability insurance, as well as their identifying mark on their plastic cups.
For more news and events in Mount Dora, Tavares & Eustis, click here. To get the area's top stories in your inbox once a month, sign up for the free monthly issue of Mount Dora Buzz.