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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

New restaurant at Ocala International, Elevation 89, to offer full bar, early dinner

Elevation 89 is hoping to open the doors on its new restaurant at the Ocala International Airport this fall.

The new restaurant received final approval from the Ocala City Council during its June 15 meeting after a two-year search to find a company to operate the location and construct the restaurant.

The restaurant’s name is a reference to the field elevation of the airport, which sits at 89 feet above sea level.

According to city records, the restaurant is approaching 50% completion and hopes to finish construction this summer, with a projected opening date of October 21, 2021.

The city of Ocala originally published a request for proposals in April 2019. The company that responded, Jeff’s Construction Services, LLC, is the same team that operates the Mojo’s brand of local restaurants, along with four other individually branded restaurants  including the Cafe at Hyundai Jenkins, the Cafe at Oxford Downs, and the County Line Smokehouse & Spirits.

Prior to Elevation 89, the Tailwind’s Cafe operated out of the old Fixed Based Operator building under several different owners. Tailwind’s Cafe did not participate in the RFP process, according to city records.

The city believes the restaurant will attract both members of the aviation and non-aviation communities and is “perfectly positioned to provide inflight catering to corporate business jets,” reads city records. The lease provides for 4% of the operator’s gross reported revenues to the Airport.

According to the application on file with the city, the restaurant hopes for seating between 60 and 80 patrons, plus meeting rooms, and to remain open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

New construction at the Ocala International Airport is becoming a familiar sight. Last year, the city celebrated the opening of a new Sheltair Hangar. A taxicab runway is also currently under construction.

“In the last 90 days we’ve had more interest in our airport than we have in the last three years, even as recent as yesterday,” said Ocala City Manager Sandra Wilson during a recent meeting of business professionals.

The airport has played host to a variety of private jets and even dignitaries, including former president Donald J. Trump on two separate occasions in the past two years.