Local Mexican restaurant owner one step closer to renovating shuttered Ocala seafood spot

A local Mexican restaurant owner moved one step closer to renovating a shuttered Ocala seafood spot along U.S. Highway 441.

The owner of Brisas Del Mar, which opened a location just under a year ago in Lady Lake, will continue renovating the restaurant that formerly housed Louie’s Seafood.

Located at 1900 S Pine Ave., the restaurant was issued a stop-work order by the city of Ocala after inspectors assessed code enforcement violations, including the absence of a building permit.

During Thursday’s Municipal Code Enforcement Board Meeting, board members unanimously approved staff’s recommendation ordering the restaurant to obtain the required permits and to meet Florida building code. The restaurant also must pay the $190.91 cost of prosecution associated with the assessment of the violations.

Mark Rodriguez, of Mark Rodgriguez Construction, the company that will perform the renovations over the coming months, informed the board that a building permit had been applied for and that work would begin after architectural plans were complete. 

After noting that the restaurant was already in partial compliance of the board’s order, Vice Chair Michael Kroitor expressed excitement for the renovations.

“I think everybody here would love to see that property fixed up” Kroitor said. “It’s a nice little corner that everybody passes by. It would be fantastic to see a nice structure.”

After occupying the space for only two years, Louie’s Seafood had been plagued by multiple failed health inspections, prompting its closure at the end of 2018.

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

Brisas del Mar II, which brought new life into a location in Lady Lake that had nearly half a dozen tenants in as many years, will now have six months from the issuance of the building permit to do the same with the former seafood spot.