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.”