Dave Manuchia, founder of Restaurant Partners Inc., a local multiconcept restaurant operator, says he'll spend more than $800,000 to make over the once-popular Lake Eola Yacht Club, located at 407 E. Central Blvd., into a downtown diner, similar to his successful Market Street Cafe, a retro-look diner in Celebration. He's
also bidding to operate the rest of the now-deserted restaurant and bar space in the building.Located in the Post Parkside apartment complex at Lake Eola, the Yacht Club
, along with Lee's Lakeside restaurant, Lee's Tavern
and the building's banquet rooms, went dark in June.
After extensive remodeling, the new restaurant will offer an upgraded, moderately priced all-day menu of soups, salads and sandwiches, and a full breakfast menu, along with comfort food such as turkey dinners and meat loaf.Three remodeled banquet rooms are also part of the package, designed to attract group business.
"This will become the best place for a business meeting or power breakfast downtown," says Manuchia
."We want to attract the mayor's press conferences, office parties, holiday events and social functions such as weddings." Manuchia's $12 million firm took over the lease on Nov. 1 after a partnership between restaurateur Rosario Poma -- owner of area restaurants such as Wildside, Key W. Kool and Pacino's -- and Gerald Uranick, the owner of Circus Circus, a Seminole County topless bar, fell apart.
Now with Manuchia
on board with his
own development plans, construction is expected to begin by Jan. 1, 2006, with a target opening date of April 1.
says plans originally called for the restaurant to be open 24 hours a day, but Post Parkside's
management had questions about noise and security in the neighborhood.He
is planning to offer late-night takeout instead, although Howell admits all-night operation is a possibility -- at some point in the future."The issue is any disturbance to our residents," she
The remaining space in the Post Parkside restaurant complex, which commands a spectacular view of Orlando's iconic Lake Eola, is still up for grabs.It is listed with Colliers & Arnold
, but Manuchia
eye on it as well, even though he's
keeping mum about plans for the space. Manuchia
also making over about 3,600 square feet of banquet space to attract additional business.