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Thursday, July 22, 2021

New upscale bar Loft, Anti-Monopoly speakeasy move one step closer to opening

Loft, a new upscale bar above The Lodge Brick City Craft Pub & Eatery, and Anti-Monopoly Drug Store speakeasy both inched closer to opening their doors.

During Tuesday’s meeting of the Ocala City Council, council members approved the extension of the existing alcoholic beverage location permit held by The Lodge to the other two businesses.

The Lodge, which is located at 36 South Magnolia Avenue, currently sits on the first floor of the historic building, which was first occupied by First National Bank of Ocala in 1886. The Loft and the Anti-Monopoly Drug Store speakeasy will occupy the second floor, which is being renovated entirely for the new businesses.

First National Bank of Ocala was established in 1886
First National Bank of Ocala was established in 1886

With the approval, the businesses can now sell alcoholic beverages throughout the entire building, including the third floor.

The owners of The Lodge first announced their preliminary plans in December after taking over the second floor from the previous occupants, Moy Media.

The Lodge Brick City Craft Pub & Eatery
The Lodge Brick City Craft Pub & Eatery

Whereas The Lodge offers a casual feel, Loft will look to provide a different upscale, stylish atmosphere.

Loft in downtown Ocala (2)
The owners of Loft recently posted these photos to social media

Loft in downtown Ocala will offer an upscale, stylish atmosphere
Loft in downtown Ocala will offer an upscale, stylish atmosphere

Modeled after the bygone prohibition speakeasies of the 1920’s, Anti-Monopoly will borrow its decor and setting to give the feel of a business operating 100 years ago.

The new businesses are part of the extensive list of restaurants and businesses that have opened their doors in downtown Ocala recently.

Last October, The Black Sheep on Broadway celebrated its grand opening in the location formerly occupied by Fox Den Tavern. That same week, Bank Street Patio Bar opened the doors at its new location, which has been well-trafficked by residents ever since. Late last year, The Tipsy Skipper and Mellow Mushroom also both announced plans to open locations along Magnolia Avenue later this year.