A popular cafe will partner with a local macaroon vendor at a new downtown storefront whose previous tenants left the property earlier this year.
Symmetry Cafe, which is owned and operated by Michael Mills, is partnering with Soleil Confections, a macaroon vendor owned and operated by Melanie and Chris Patrick. Mills, who also operates Buzz and Grind out of the Ocala Downtown Market, and the Patricks received approval for a grant from the Community Redevelopment Area Agency Board on May 18 to improve their property.
Located between The Mustard Seed antique shop and the Church of Scientology, the location will need to be updated from a retail shop to a food service business. According to the company’s application, they hope to create 8 to 10 jobs and operate between the hours of 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.
The group estimates between $100,000 to $150,000 in renovations at the property, with the city approving a grant for $25,000. The cafe will begin renovating the space next month and hopes to be complete by July 1, 2021.
The previous tenants, Sovereigns and Scoundrels, were forced to close down in March, less than six months after opening.
“We are sad to announce that we will be closing our retail location,” said a social media post from the company. According to the post, the company is still operating its online store.
Despite the closure of Sovereigns and Scoundrels, downtown Ocala has experienced continued residential and commercial growth over the past few years. In addition to the new 100+ apartment complex approved by the Ocala City Council, a slate of new businesses have filled the streets of downtown Ocala since May 2019.
In that month, Big Hammock Brewery opened their restaurant and brewery nearby. Just a few months later, in October 2019, both Bank Street Patio Bar and Black Sheep on Broadway opened new locations that were well-received by the downtown Ocala community.
Later this year Cantina, a new Tex-Mex restaurant and Tequila bar, hopes to open its doors at a new downtown location. Around the corner, Mellow Mushroom is currently constructing a completely new building on the property that used to house Brother’s Keeper Thrift Store.