Downtown Ocala businesses are reopening this week at reduced capacity, with many having taken the opportunity during quarantine to renovate their establishments.
Since the quarantine went into effect in mid-March, most of the downtown businesses have been offering curbside pickup, with some having closed altogether.
This week, businesses began reopening after Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order 20-122 provided for certain types of establishments to reopen. The order specifies that outdoor seating may reopen with social distancing, and indoor seating will be limited to “25 percent of building capacity.”
A dozen businesses downtown have opened or have plans to open this week.
The Lodge Brick City Craft Pub & Eatery, whose owners still have plans to open two new downtown hotspots in the coming weeks, opened its doors after being closed for over a month. The entire exterior of the building has been repainted and some “interior remodeling” has the owners eager to get their new businesses on the second and third floors open.
Sayulita Taqueria, which offers a large, outdoor dining area, took the time during quarantine to completely renovate their interior dining room. The restaurant is open again from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. with 25 percent of their interior capacity.
Bank Street Patio Bar and The Black Sheep on Broadway, which both opened their doors last October, are reopening and will offer live music once again. The Black Sheep took time during quarantine to create a new stage for their live acts.
La Cuisine and Mark’s Prime Steakhouse, two of the fine dining restaurants in downtown Ocala, are taking reservations beginning today. Both offer outdoor seating options and will observe the 25 percent seating capacity for their interior dining rooms.
Additional businesses reopening include Brick City Southern Kitchen & Whiskey Bar, Pi on Broadway, Molly Maguire’s and The Keep Downtown, whose owners are celebrating their four-year anniversary (formerly Ocala Wine Experience) this week.
Not all of the businesses downtown have opened their interior dining rooms, however. The downtown Starbucks location, which until Monday was the only location open in Ocala for weeks, will continue to operate its drive-thru and restrict interior dining.