Lady Lake Mexican restaurant owner hopes to get past code violations to renovate shuttered Ocala seafood spot

A popular local Mexican restaurant in Lady Lake will face the City of Ocala Growth Management Department this week in hopes of continuing their renovation of a shuttered Ocala seafood spot.

Louie’s Seafood closed after a year of multiple health inspection failures

Brisas del Mar II, which brought new life into a building in Lady Lake that was formerly inhabited by Texas Stockyards and Athena NY Diner, will look to do the same with a restaurant location previously occupied by Louie’s Seafood & Oyster Bar.

Located at 1900 S Pine Ave, Louie’s shut down this past December amid a slew of health inspection failures throughout 2018. Last March, the restaurant was shut down after a health inspector found a dead rat in the kitchen, as well as other high priority violations including rodent droppings and mold in a walk-in cooler.

Just two months later, the restaurant was temporarily closed again for a repeat violation of rodent activity and rodent droppings.

Last September, the restaurant was forced to close for a third time in 6 months when a health inspector issued a stop-sale on soup, feta cheese and lettuce after finding potentially hazardous temperatures inside a walk-in cooler.

After only occupying the space for two years, Louie’s issued a statement on December 28 on their Facebook page indicating they would close shop at the end of 2018 and that a new Mexican restaurant would take over the location:

“Tomorrow is our last day as Louie’s Oyster Bar! An authentic Mexican Restaurant, Brisas Del Mar will be coming soon! Louie’s Family thanks everyone for a wonderful 2 years of business in this community. It was a pleasure serving you all! Thank you and Happy New Year.” 

Brisas del Mar, which opened their second location in Lady Lake last June, had begun renovations on its third location before building code violations slowed the process.

Brisas Del Mar will petition their case in a public hearing with the Growth Management Department of the City of Ocala on March 14.

The city of Ocala issued a stop work order on all renovations as of Feb. 1, requiring the property owner to come into compliance before completing additional work.

City records show that the owner of the property inquired about a building permit for interior renovations on Feb. 5. According to city staff citing Ocala’s municipal ordinances, any stand-alone business whose owner requests a permit for renovations must hire a contractor if the cost of those renovations exceeds $75,000.

The city of Ocala issued a stop work order to prevent further renovations at the restaurant located at 1900 S Pine Ave.

In total, the city of Ocala cited five violations of the municipal code, including unsafe electrical conditions.

The owner of the property, Louis Jabbour, will have the opportunity to address the violations during the municipal code enforcement board’s meeting this week.

The meeting will be held at Ocala city hall on Thursday, March 14 at 5:30 p.m. and is open to the public. Read the complete agenda for the meeting here.