With a plethora of culinary choices in Mount Dora, there was still a conspicuous void. That’s changed, at least in part, with the grand opening of Cafe 334 downtown. Now anyone craving gourmet vegan and gluten-free treats, along with artisanal coffees and teas, finally has a spot to appease them.
The new coffee and tea bar is nestled inside Every Nook + Cranny artist collective at 334 N. Donnelly Street. Set among the eclectic art from almost a hundred local artists is a walk-up counter with a barista crafting hot and cold beverages from locally roasted Wild Bear Coffee beans and fresh organic tea blends.
Proprietor Kaitlyn Zill, a Eustis High School graduate, spent much of her life on the west coast of the U.S. Her years in the Seattle area developed her appreciation for fine coffees, teas and vegan fare which she was excited to bring to Lake County.
Cafe 334’s signature drinks include Vanilla Cardamom and Onyx Delight lattes, Dirty Chai lattes, cold brews and pour-over coffees. The ubiquitous staples of espressos, cappuccinos and Americanos are also severed. Coffee aficionados can choose from regular milk, soy, almond or cashew milks and a variety of small-batch, artisanal simple syrups.
Customers will also be tempted by decadent treats on the counter made by Fig & Flour Bakery of Altamonte Springs. Fresh gourmet desserts like rich s’mores brownies, wild organic blueberry muffins, pecan sticky buns, and assorted cakes are not only delicious, but also beautifully prepared and either vegan or gluten-free. Canisters of the tea bar’s blended teas are also available for customers to enjoy at home. They can return later for a discounted refill of any tea.
As part of a new generation of downtown business owners, Zill hopes to provide an eclectic and relaxing destination for the area's younger clientele, musicians and artists.
The cafe is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located at 334 N. Donnelly Street in downtown Mount Dora inside Every Nook + Cranny.
The grand opening on Saturday, December 30 will also feature an evening art exhibit by local artists Tim Parker and Travis Smith starting at 5 p.m.
For restaurant openings in Mount Dora, Tavares & Eustis, follow the Mount Dora Buzz Facebook page. Download the free Mount Dora Buzz mobile app here to get local news on the go. Get more area info here.
Just in time for last minute stocking stuffers, a new store has opened in downtown Mount Dora. We’re Nuts, a candy and nut store, opened yesterday in the Renaissance Building.
The space is full of colorful bulk candies like salt water taffy, Swedish Fish, chocolate malt balls, Good ‘N Plenty, gummies and assorted chocolates. The store also sells a big selection of nuts, trail mixes, and dried fruits, as well as gourmet cheeses and artisan focaccia bread in a variety of flavors. Owners Pina and Mark Dixon say they use the same vendors as Walt Disney World to ensure premium quality. Shoppers can request a tasting sample of the bulk items before they make a purchase.
The store is the second Mount Dora location for the Minneola residents. The first We’re Nuts location is inside Renningers Flea Market on US 441 and is open on weekends. The new store is located in the rear at 441 N. Donnelly St. in downtown Mount Dora.
Thirty-three acres of orange groves may become Dora Landings, Mount Dora’s newest residential development. The proposed 129-home subdivision lies between Pine Street and Limit Avenue with Grandview Street running down the middle.
The proposed master plan would transform the Simpson orange groves into a neighborhood with single-family homes that are a minimum of 1,200 square feet. The subdivision would have a net density of 4.16 houses per acre with lot sizes starting at 5,500 square feet. According to the City of Mount Dora, the project does not require a change in zoning.
Dora Landings site plan (click to enlarge)
The neighborhood would also have a recreation area for residents that is just over an acre and two retention ponds. Canopy trees and other plantings are shown on the plan to help buffer the subdivision from the street. Grandview Street would divide the subdivision almost in half and feature a sidewalk and landscaping on one side and canopy trees on both sides.
Aerial of proposed Dora Landings (Click to enlarge)
The proposed project will go before Mount Dora’s Planning and Zoning Board on December 20 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m at City Hall. It's expected to go to the City Council in January. Both meetings are open to the public.
The developer is Condev, based in Winter Park, which currently has residential projects in the Space Coast and the Lake Nona district of Orlando.
"Most Creative Window" winner is Love Home Harmony
Arguably the best Christmas town in Florida, Mount Dora's main attraction during the holidays is the over two million twinkling lights. However, downtown businesses are attracting onlookers this season by their impressive holiday window decorations. This year, more businesses than ever stepped up their game to create the most festive displays in memory.
The holiday eye-candy includes everything from creative cityscapes, frolicking elves and flamingos to a holiday forest and plenty of festive lights.
A panel of impartial judges recently strolled the quaint streets to select their favorites in three categories for Mount Dora’s Holiday WIndow Competition. The winners are:
MOST CREATIVE WINDOW: LOVE HOME HARMONY The is the second year that this home decor store participated in the competition and both times it took top honors. The perfectly executed main window features simply-sketched vignettes of Mount Dora that include the lighthouse, a seaplane, the Donnelly House, downtown’s Christmas Tree and even Frazier, the town’s favorite local pig. The outside of the window is lined with gorgeous poinsettias in window boxes. The small window features interactive selfie props where passersby can capture whimsical selfies. Love Home Harmony is located at 120 E. 4th Avenue)
Papilio's traditional holiday window display.
BEST TRADITIONAL WINDOW: PAPILIO This store always creates a stellar window and this year is no exception. The large window features a snow-covered woods scene made with real wood logs and painted cut-out trees. The mix of materials gives the window the perfect blend of textures and dimension. Papilio is located at 120 W. 5th Avenue.
"Most Whimsical Window" at Julianne's Coastal Cottage
MOST WHIMSICAL WINDOW: JULIANNE’S COASTAL COTTAGE This shop’s window is anything but traditional. The turquoise and white display has a Florida theme complete with sand and a white tree centerpiece decorated with dolphins and a pink flamingo at its center. A smaller tree continues the beach theme with seahorses, shells and starfish. Julianne's Coastal Cottage is located at 135 E. 4th Avenue.
Visitors are encouraged to stroll past the downtown shops to gawk at the winners, as well as look at the other decorated windows to find their own favorites. Find more holiday events in Mount Dora, Tavares & Eustis here.