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Saturday, July 13, 2024

19 restaurants have closed in Ocala in the past 12 months

At least 19 restaurants have permanently closed their locations in Ocala over the past 12 months, including several businesses that also celebrated grand openings during that same time span.

On Wednesday, Ocala-News.com published an article about the closing of Sweet and Savory Eats, a restaurant that opened in east Ocala last August. In a video announcing the closure, business owner Randy Jackson cited several other restaurants in east Ocala that had recently closed up shop.

Over the past year, in fact, at least 19 restaurants have closed their establishments in the city.

Ocala-News.com first reported the opening of Sweet and Savory Eats in August 2023. Owned by Mr. Jackson and his wife, Cardovia, the closure of the couple’s Ocala location on June 22, 2024, comes less than one year after it opened. The Jacksons say they will push forward with mobile services and plan to pop up at events in the future. To place an order with the business, call Sweet and Savory Eats at (352) 421-5255 or reach out to the organization onĀ Facebook.

The Sunny Pint is owned by Susan Sidoti and Simone Waddell. Ocala-News.com first reported the restaurant’s opening in September 2023. This week, the business announced its permanent closure.

The Sunny Pint Taproom & Eatery in Ocala
The Sunny Pint Taproom & Eatery in Ocala officially closed for business this week. (Staff photo)

In April, Sidoti and Waddell temporarily closed the business in the wake of inconsistent sales. Its permanent closure on June 17, 2024, comes less than 9 months after it first opened. The business owners still operate a location in Wildwood at 4110 State Road 44, Suite 501. Visit the business at The Sunny Pint online and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

We first announced the opening of J Rocks Pizzeria in 2019. Owned by Jerriel Bazile, J Rocks closed earlier this month after a 5-year run. Bazile also closed his other pizza spot in Ocala, Blue Highway Pizzeria, within the past year.

J Rocks Pizzeria
J Rocks Pizzeria permanently closed its Ocala location earlier this month. (Staff photo)

In addition to Blue Highway Pizzeria, several other Italian restaurants in east Ocala have closed over the past year: Lorito’s Italian Kitchen, Pronto Pizza Express, and Connotto’s. Another Italian restaurant in southwest Ocala, Pie-O-Mine, closed its doors last October.

O’Calahan’s Pub & Eatery also closed its location in east Ocala at the beginning of June.

Three restaurants and a winery in downtown Ocala have all closed their establishments since last August: Havana Cuban Cuisine 352, Molly Maguire’s, The Corkscrew, and The Keep Downtown. All four had been in business for multiple years.

The Keep Downtown in Ocala

Last August, we announced that J Marie Brands was opening its first brick-and-mortar location in Ocala. In April, that location closed. Since then, owner/operator Seanree Lesesne has been visiting local businesses and developing partnerships to distribute his cheesecakes, documenting his journey through his social media platforms. To follow along, or to place an order for a cheesecake, visit J Marie Brands online, on Facebook, or on Instagram.

At least two Indian restaurants have closed over the past year: Akbar Indian Cuisine and Madras Cafe. Both businesses were in their respective locations for less than two years.

Crave Hot Dogs and Boston Market closed locations in Ocala among a slew of closures for their respective national brands. Boston Market was temporarily closed for several weeks leading up to its permanent closure.

The closed Boston Market in Ocala on April 4, 2024
The former location of Boston Market in Ocala. (Photo: April 2024)

Crave Hot Dogs owner/operator Michael Lutz opened and closed his location in Ocala within four months. That location has since announced that it will reopen under new ownership.

Crave Hot Dogs & BBQ in Ocala
Crave Hot Dogs & BBQ in Ocala. (Staff photo)

Nearby, on State Road 200, The Cuban Stop closed its location within the Paddock Mall food court earlier this Spring.

If you know of restaurants we omitted, or if you have any memories of the restaurants mentioned in this story, share your thoughts in a comment or a letter to the editor.