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Downtown Ocala restaurant closes after 9 years in business

A restaurant that opened in downtown Ocala in 2014 has permanently closed its doors.

Molly Maguire’s officially closed for business on Tuesday, December 19, according to a statement issued on social media by owner George Carrasco.

“Molly Maguire’s of Ocala will close permanently on December 19, 2023,” reads the statement that was posted to social media on Tuesday evening. “Thank you Ocala for a wonderful 9 years. Thanks to Patti and Elizabeth for being with me every step of the way.”

Outdoor dining in Ocala Molly Maguires
Molly Maguire’s permanently closed its location at 17 SW 1st Avenue in downtown Ocala on December 19, 2023. (Photo: November 2021)

Located at 17 SW 1st Avenue, across from the Ocala/Marion County Visitor and Convention Bureau, the restaurant first opened its doors in October 2014.

Molly Maguire’s derived its name from an Irish, 19th-century secret society that made its way to Pennsylvania, where they became activists on behalf of Irish-Americans and Irish immigrant miners.

Buffalo dirty bird sandwich at Molly Maguires of Ocala
Buffalo dirty bird sandwich at Molly Maguires of Ocala

During its time, the restaurant served a wide variety of sandwiches, soups, and salads that were all made in-house. 

In 2019, Ocala-News.com made a visit to the restaurant just months before its fifth anniversary.

Corned beef sandwich with bacon at Molly Maguire's of Ocala
Corned beef sandwich with bacon at Molly Maguire’s of Ocala

The long list of sandwiches included the popular Buffalo dirty bird and a corned beef option.

Tomato bisque at Molly Maguire's of Ocala
Tomato bisque at Molly Maguire’s of Ocala

In addition to its food, the restaurant would frequently host live music, staying open until as late as 2 a.m. on some nights.

Banana pudding at Molly Maguires of Ocala
Banana pudding at Molly Maguires of Ocala

Molly Maguire’s joins a constantly fluctuating landscape of businesses in downtown Ocala.

This year, Mellow Mushroom, Karishma Boutique, Ole Sarah’s, District Kitchen and Bar, Slice, The Gathering Cafe, and Symmetry Coffee have all opened new spaces in downtown Ocala.

Over the same period, multiple businesses have closed their doors, including The Keep Downtown and Corkscrew Winery.

Katya Vineyard, which closed its previous location over the summer, is in the midst of moving to the space formerly occupied by Morevino.

Since 2019, downtown Ocala has welcomed the openings of over a dozen businesses including the Hilton Garden Inn, Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop, The Running Elements, Soleil Bakery, Cantina Tex Mex Tequila Bar, Mutiny Bar, The Tipsy Skipper, The Loft, Anti-Monopoly Drug Store, The Thirsty Cobbler, Big Hammock Brewery, Bank Street, Black Sheep on Broadway, and Sayulita Taqueria.