ABOVE: Owner Joan Reidenbaugh preparing to open Jamaica Gardens last year.
Sadly, it was a short run. Jamaica Gardens, the colorful downtown Mount Dora restaurant, served its last customers on Sunday.
The Caribbean eatery opened six months ago and offered traditional Jamaican fare, tropical cocktails and live reggae music on weekends.
Like a lot of visitors to the quaint Central Florida town, Joan Reidenbaugh, a certified chef, fell in love with Mount Dora when she married her husband, Mark, over twelve years ago at the historic Lakeside Inn.
Over a decade later, she decided to transform the large space at 322 Alexander Street which has been home to several restaurants including The Gables, Saucy Spoon, Chef’s Pantry and The Pineapple Place. Jamaica Gardens created an island vibe at the location and cooked up authentic Caribbean cuisine.
It’s no secret that commercial rents can be pricey in downtown Mount Dora, so new business owners typically need plenty of start-up capital plus good business and marketing plans to help them grow a healthy business in a very abbreviated tourist season.
Anyone craving jerk chicken can still get it at the other Jamaica Gardens location in Longwood. Sign up for the free Mount Dora Buzz' monthly updates here.For more news and events in Mount Dora, Tavares & Eustis, visit the area's websiteand download the area's free mobile app.