After five successful years at its current downtown Mount Dora location, the city’s popular pub, Magical Meat Boutique, is relocating just a stone’s-throw away. The expansive new location, across from the Chamber of Commerce on Alexander Street, has been home to several restaurants over the last decade, most recently, the short-lived Jamaica Gardens.
The new 4,500 square-foot space will triple the pub’s size and provide plentiful covered, outdoor dining.
Over the years, the British pub’s client base has grown, not just with local residents, but also with visits from some of the 400,000 British expats who reside in Florida, according to Phil Barnard, who co-owns the restaurant with his wife, Kate. Over the years, the Barnards discovered that throughout the summer months, the pub could not accommodate many of their patrons, who found it too hot or wet to sit outside, according to Phil.
Magical Meat Boutique, named after Phil’s father’s famous 1960’s London butcher shop, currently sits alongside downtown’s railroad tracks. The current uncertainty about the railroad’s future posed potential issues for the restaurant since a portion of the eatery’s large deck and entertainment space was located adjacent to the tracks. Additionally, the vintage railcar they leased could also be affected.
As a result of the uncertainty that the weather and the railroad posed, the Barnards decided to make the leap across the street while the 170-seat space was still available.
ABOVE: Pub owners Phil & Kate Barnard outside the current, smaller location. (Photo provided by Magical Meat Boutique)
The larger kitchen and bar in the new space will enable Magical Meat Boutique to expand its menu and its draught beer offerings. The eatery currently offers authentic British pub fare, plus American favorites like juicy burgers and fries. The full bar serves cocktails, and of course, British beers on tap.
In keeping with its existing friendly ambiance, the interior of the sprawling space will be transformed into a traditional British pub and feature a large new bar in the center section of the space. Most of the pub’s popular live music events will be inside, but a separate dining room will be available for patrons who want to enjoy quieter meals. The Barnards plan to work closely with their friends that own the neighboring Olive Branch Mediterranean Grille to share outside entertainment to avoid any potential sound conflicts.
Magical Meat Boutique is currently located at 112 W. 3rd Avenue downtown. Sometime in December, the pub is expected to open in its new location at 322 N. Alexander Street.
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