Things are booming in the Renaissance Building in downtown Mount Dora. The historic building, which once served as the town’s hotel, has seen an influx of new businesses and the expansion of existing tenants in recent weeks.
Black Swan Mercantile, a French-inspired home decor and gift shop in the prime ground floor, completed its expansion into the next space to add a small specialty food market. The store had previously carried some packaged foods and is increasing its edible and culinary-related offerings to fill the new space.
Meanwhile, long-time tenant Rafiki boutique, moved from its ground-floor space to one that is closer to the front of the building. That jump forward gives the store and its African handmade items greater visibility to passersby.
The building’s short-lived ice cream shop, Steampunk Alley, closed its doors in November. However, its former ground-floor space was quickly grabbed by The Juice Box, a fresh smoothie shop which had been tucked inside Mount Dora Marketplace just a stone’s throw away. It’s new and expanded location in the Renaissance is expected to open early this month and provide much improved foot traffic and visibility. It was only a few months ago that My Peaceful Treasures, a welcoming metaphysical boutique, also moved from the Marketplace into the Renaissance Building.
A new sandwich shop is expected to open in early 2021 in the space across from The Juice Box. The building’s owner, Daniel DiVenanzo is currently considering three different experience operators to pick from. The decision will be based on which will work the best with the dynamic of the building.
It’s not just the ground floor of the three-story building that’s seeing an influx of new tenants. The second floor gained Wild Ibis Studio which was previously located in downtown Eustis and features paintings by two local artists. This is the only gallery in the building and DiVenanzo said he is careful about retail overlap in the building when accepting new tenants.
The second floor will also have a new eatery in the space formerly occupied by The Loft. The owners of the popular Frog & Monkey Pub in the basement will open their second eatery in the Renaissance in the bright space that overlooks Donnelly Street. The Frog and Monkey is known for its tasty food, so their new venture is expected to be another big success.
With all of the new businesses opening, the old hotel building is now approaching 100 percent occupancy with only one office space available on the third floor. Watch Mount Dora Buzz’s Facebook page for opening dates.
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