Mount Dora Marketplace: Phase 1 is Officially OPEN

Great news! Mount Dora Marketplace, the long awaited multi-vendor venue at the corner of Donnelly St & 4th Ave in Downtown Mount Dora has officially opened it’s doors. This multi phase project has opened phase one with 12 vendors including fresh flowers, fresh beers, and fresh food.

When you enter the Marketplace from 4th Ave you’ll first see the adorable Yummm Pops, a cart full of gourmet popsicles with a massive selection of flavors and even some filled popsicles. To your right is The White Orchid which offers potted plants including beautiful orchids and fresh flower bouquet’s in the vase or by the bundle. These arrangements are exceptionally fresh so be sure to stop by the cooler to see these stunners (gentle nudge for you gents). Around a small corner you will find two more vendors including Ceviche Mix and Bubbles + Juice. Ceviche Mix is serving up fresh ceviche and guacamole while Bubbles + Juice will handle all things mimosa *swoon*.

Through a door on your left you will enter what I’ve affectionately named ‘the sweet tooth room’. In here there is Cassie’s Cupcakes, who is baking up irresistible cupcakes in traditional and mini sizes. Next you’ll see Aunt Gingibread’s Bakery with a variety of sweet treats including cookies, bars and an option I think is absolutely brilliant…scrap cups; a cup full of cake scraps topped with icing. It is an ingenious way to use cake scraps instead of wasting them and trust me, they look scrumptious. Your last stop in the den of sweets is Keto on 4th, a keto, paleo and gluten free donut shop using organic coconut flour, coconut oil, eggs and zero glycemic sweetener.

Your next right turn will bring you to the linchpin of the marketplace, Wolf Branch Brewing; a stellar brewery with an ever changing list of creative drafts. This local brewery also has a location in Eustis and has gained a loyal following for their innovative beers using fresh, seasonal ingredients.

Next you’ll find European Breads who’s offerings include ciabatta bread, bagels, and an array of European pastries. Also in this space is Claire’s Creperie, with everything from breakfast to dessert in a crepe. Right next door you’ll smell the sweet aroma’s of candle’s that look good enough to eat. Sugar & Geek Candle Company hand pours stunning candle’s and offers an especially fun ‘selfie’ wall so you can capture your fun moments at the Mount Dora Marketplace. Last and certainly not least is Cheese to Share, your one stop shop for all things cheese. You can order a cheeseboard served with the appropriate accoutrement, cheese fondue, and they have burrata on the menu-yum.

It is thrilling to consider how this exciting venture is going to grow. In fact, phase 2 is going to be open soon with 20+ additional vendors. Some of the stalls we have to look forward to include a wine bar, coffee kitchen, arepa’s, poke bowls, beauty, shoes and so much more. Cheers!

Episode 10: Part 2-‘The D Word’

In episode 10 listen in on Ryan, Sean and Rocky getting excited about the D word.  Density! Part 2 of growth in Lake County is now available for a listen. In this episode Rocky also announces an AMAZING prize and all you have to do to be a contender, is give Lake Rising a like, follow and review! Here are the links for entry:

Write a review on Spotify

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Halloween in Lake County, FL

Hi October; welcome; I’m so glad you’re here. This month is amazing for a few reasons:

  1. There SHOULD be a dip in temperatures this month (at least mornings and evenings)
  2. It’s my birthday month (don’t you dare ask how old I am 🙂 )
  3. Allllll the spooky things!!

I am a sucker for fall. I love that the holidays are around the corner and it’s a fun and eventful season packed with opportunities to spend time with friends and family. October is the beginning of the BEST time of the year in Lake County, Florida. 

Halloween will be here in no time, so I propose we begin making our plans. From haunted houses to dances, pumpkin patches and parties-let’s make this month SO. MUCH. FUN.

Without further adieu, I have tracked down some of the upcoming happenings and am serving them to you on a (proverbial) silver platter below:

Mount Dora:

Haunted Pub Crawl of Mount Dora
Fri, Oct 11, 7 PM – 10 PM
Sunset Park
339 N Alexander St, Mt Dora, FL

The Haunted Pub Crawl of Mount Dora has all the spirits you’re looking for. This three-hour tour takes you to three of Mount Dora’s premier haunted watering holes. Along the way you will hunt ghosts, learn the haunted history of Mount Dora from your tour guide and receive special offers such as samples, BOGO deals and discounts. The evening begins at a historic haunted hotel and tavern built in 1883. Then it’s off to a paranormal underground pub. The last stop is at British Gastro Pub where you will board a derailed 1940’s train car with a dark past.

Folklore of Haunted Hometowns
Fri, Oct 25, 11 AM – 12 PM
W.t. Bland Public Library
900 N Donnelly St, Mt Dora, FL

Just in time for Halloween, adults are invited to explore the spookier side of Florida through local ghost legends being told across the state. Part history lesson, part folklore, and part ghost story, author Christopher Balzano (author of the Tripping on Legends podcast) takes you on a journey from the Gulf Coast to the Space Coast, from the swamps to the haunted attractions, from the whispers on college campuses to the roads the kids visit on a dark Saturday.   

No registration required. Refreshments will be served.

Howl-O-Ween Parade
Sat, Oct 26, 2 – 3 PM
W.t. Bland Public Library
900 N Donnelly St, Mt Dora, FL

Children ages 12 & under are invited to wear their favorite costumes to the Library for a parade throughout the Butterfly Garden and the Library.  They will be joined by the PAWs therapy dogs who will also be in costume! Afterward, children are invited to read stories to PAWs therapy dogs and enjoy free treats as well as a free book. 


Night in the Pumpkin Patch
Fri, Oct 25, 1:00 – 4:30 PM
Trinity Church
890 Abrams Rd, Eustis, FL

You are invited to join in the annual pumpkin patch! There is a short corn maze, pumpkins for sale, a live band, food trucks, and some other fun things going on during this Friday night event.
Make sure you wear your halloween costume!

Santa’s Christmas Tree Forest Pumpkin Patch
Sep 28 – Oct 27
Santa’s Farm & Christmas Tree Forest
35317 Huff Rd, Eustis, FL

$6 General Admission includes Santa’s Farm pumpkin patch and photo ops, a hayride, and the farm animal petting zoo.  Activities available as add-ons include a giant slide, giant bounce pillow, horse rides, zip line rides, three mazes and a play area. Food, beer and wine will be available.

Phantasmagoria X – “Reckoning”
Thu, Oct 31, 8 – 11 PM
Bay Street Players
109 N Bay St, Eustis, FL

Called “One of the most unique theater troupes in the country.” by Good Day Atlanta, and direct from its ongoing sold out performances in multiple cities and states, Phantasmagoria is proud to present their 10th Anniversary main stage installment of their long running critically acclaimed series PHANTASMAGORIA X “Reckoning” – bringing their unique brand of “Whimsical Macabre” terrors to the 2019 Halloween Season!


5th Annual Boo Festival!
Fri, Oct 25, 6 – 9 PM
Tavares City Hall
201 E Main St, Tavares, FL

The City of Tavares invites you for an evening of family fun at the 5th Annual Boo Festival! Live music, carnival games, trunk or treat, hayride, giant inflatable corn maze, food vendors, a lumitron stilt walker and more!

City of Tavares Annual Trunk or Treat
Fri, Oct 25, 6 – 9 PM
Wooton Park
100 E Ruby St, Tavares, FL

Welcome to the 4th Annual City of Tavares Trunk or Treat Festival, on Friday October 25th, 2018 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm in downtown Tavares. This event features Live Entertainment and much more. Come and enjoy Free Family Fun with classic car show, story-telling, kid’s costume contest, food vendors and much, much more!

Halloween Costume Dinner & Dance (21 & older only)
Sat, Oct 26
Hurricane Dockside Grill
3351 W Burleigh Blvd, Tavares, FL

Mix N’ Mingle – Meet new local friends. Costume Contest  – Dress up in your FAVORITE & imaginative attire. Dancing – DJ Martin – Playing ’80’s dance tunes on the patio. The Hurricanes’s Restaurant/Bar in Lake County is HUGE and right on the Dead River so come on out and join in on the fun! No Cover Charge or Drink Minimum – This Halloween Costume Party is Free to attend

Halloween Party at Puddle Jumpers
Sat, Oct 26, 8 PM – Sun, Oct 27, 12 AM
Puddle Jumpers
111 W Ruby St, Tavares, FL

Halloween Party with live music from September Dogs.

The Royal Palm Ghost Train Phantasmagoria
Oct 1 – Nov 3,
The Royal Palm Railway Experience
305 E Ruby St, Tavares, FL

“By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes. . . .”

The Royal Palm Railway celebrates the Halloween Season as critically acclaimed Victorian Horror Troupe “PHANTASMAGORIA” brings its unique brand of “Ghostly” storytelling for it’s first ever “Royal Palm Ghost Train”!

Called “One of the most unique theater troupes in the country” by Good Day Atlanta, this evocative troupe will weave their tapestry of haunting tales in a very special custom performance for passengers . . . if you dare!

Departs: Tavares Union Station
Every Sunday at 3:45pm and 6:15pm


Halloween Havoc on the Hill Car Show
Sat, Oct 5, 10 AM – 2 PM
Stormy Hill Harley-Davidson
2480 US-27, Clermont, FL

Stormy Hill Harley Davidson is having a Car, Bike, and Truck Show. On Saturday, October 5th from 10am to 2pm. Open to all Cars, and Trucks of every year, make and model. There will be awards, DJ, 50/50 drawing, food, dancing and vendors. $10.00 registration fee for all vehicles. The Award Presentation is scheduled for 2:00pm.

Halloween Month! Zombie Night
Sat, Oct 5, 7 PM – Sun, Oct 6, 2 AM
Tower Arcade and Lounge at Citrus Tower
141 US-27, Clermont, FL

It’s our favorite time of the year! Come out and participate in our costume contest to see who can be the best Zombie! Zombie shots available for one night only. All zombies participating in costume contest will receive 10% off their tab, and the winner will receive 4 free entries! Halloween decor everywhere, don’t miss out!

Monster Mash Halloween Party @ Growler USA Orlando West (18 & older only)
Sat, Oct 12, 8:30 – 11:30 PM
Growler USA – Orlando West
2507 S Hwy 27, Clermont, FL

Growler USA presents its first ever Halloween party! Dress up in your best costume and head out for a night of brews, tunes and grooves! This is an Adults Only party!

There will be a DJ playing your fave dance tunes, beer and drink specials, bites menu for munchin, and brewery prizes for best costumes.

Seating is limited, so reserve your table now. Call 352-988-5795.

Halloween PotLuck Costume Party!
Sat, Oct 19, 6 – 9 PM
Family Martial Arts Center
638 FL-50, Clermont, FL

The Family Martial Arts Centers of Mount Dora and Clermont would like to invite you to the event of the year! This is no ordinary costume party. Games, prizes and oh yes bobbing for apples! Make sure you bring great food to share.

Nightmare on the Clermont Trails 5K
Sat, Oct 26, 6:30 – 9:30 PM
490 West Ave, Clermont, FL

A Spooktacular 5K Night Run in the spirit of Halloween!  The race starts & finishes in Historic Downtown Clermont.  A minimum of eight Spook Zones will line the out and back course on the South Lake Trail, with a spooky loop through Hiawatha Preserve.

Costumed runners will compete for lots of great prizes!

Haunted Hike
Sat, Oct 26, 7 – 10 PM
Lake Louisa State Park
7305 US-27, Clermont, FL

You are invited to a haunted hike at Lake Louisa State Park. This is not for the faint of heart or those below 13 years of age.  Join us for a night of things that go bump in the woods.

Please NO children or scared husbands, we can’t afford to provide therapy.

$4 donation per person for the hike. All donations help to make improvements in the park and provide events like this one.

Halloween High Tea
Thu, Oct 31, 11 AM – 4 PM
Erika’s Tea Room And Gifts
787 W Montrose St, Clermont, FL

Avoid the ghosts and goblins lurking around every corner and celebrate Halloween at Erika’s Tea Room. Enjoy our multi course high tea with featured teas for the day. Who knows what tricks or treats may await.


Sat, Oct 19, 1 – 9 PM
Florida Army National Guard
400 W Meadow St, Leesburg, FL

In today’s world we are all looking for affordable fun, whether for the kiddies or the adults. When searching for that affordable fun, look no further than PumpkinPalooza!

How about two wrestling shows and Live music? Anyone for games, raffles and costume contests? That’s right a full schedule of fun for all.

The wrestling portion of the day is being split in two. Doors will open at noon. The first wrestling show is from 1pm-3pm and is more for the kids. There will be a costume contest for the young ones. Cash and prizes will be given out to the winners. The second wrestling show is from 6pm- 8pm and includes several “creative” matches. Everyone is highly encouraged to come in costume, as this is Lake County’s Halloween Party!

CREATE’s Grown-up Halloween
Sat, Oct 19, 7 – 10 PM
Starlight Ballroom & Dance Center
414 W Main St, Leesburg, FL
Come in costume, and prepare for a fabulous evening of dinner, drinks, contests, prizes, and fun!  Your $40 ticket purchase, which will serve as a fundraiser for CREATE Conservatory, gets you a full dinner, dessert, one drink, and entrance into our costume contest and silent auction.  Tickets can be purchased on their website. We hope to see you there!

Electronic Dreamz Halloween LAN Party – Leesburg, FL – Lake County
Fri, Oct 25, 11:00 AM – Sat, Oct 26, 8:30 PM
101 North Blvd E, Leesburg, FL

Come to Electronic Dreamz to celebrate spooky day. Wear a costume and have a chance at winning the grand prize for our costume contest.

Bring your own PC or just enjoy our VR and Consoles. Either way you’ll have lots of fun. Be sure to invite your friends too!

Spooktacular Halloween Dance
Fri, Oct 25, 7 PM
32624 Blossom Ln, Leesburg, FL

Join in for a SPOOKTACULAR evening. Get your costumes ready for the spirit of Halloween & enjoy ghoulish brews, a costume contest, and more dance festivities on Friday, October 25th at Anastassia Ballroom & Dance Studio.

Boo Bash
Sat, Oct 26, 10 AM – 1 PM
510 W Main St, Leesburg, FL

Towne Square comes alive as kids of all ages come out for our Annual Boo Bash. Costume Contests, pumpkin painting and more await.

10/31 Safe Trick or Treating Lake Square Mall
Thu, Oct 31, 6 – 8 PM
10401 US-441, Leesburg, FL 34788

It’s that time of year again! Want to beat the Florida heat and bring your children somewhere safe to Trick or Treat? Then come out to the Lake Square Mall Thursday October 31st from 6-8 pm for their annual Trick or Treating event! 

*The first 100 children will receive a FREE Lake Square Mall and VIA Tote!

Have a fun and safe Halloween, and let’s meet back here soon to chat all things fall in Lake County. 


Bread, Pie & Moonshine (what more could you ask for?)

Yalaha, Florida; have you heard of it? If not, the time has come for me to introduce you to this special little town that I laud for a few spectacular places.

Nestled in the center of Lake County, this rural hub is convenient for all. Tucked around the Southern shore of Lake Harris, the largest lake of the Harris chain of lakes, Yalaha is perfect for nature lovers and fishermen looking to explore the abundance of wildlife along this beautiful shoreline. In my opinion however, there are two places that make Yalaha worth visiting over and over again; and the best part? They sit on adjacent lots, one right next to the other.

Baking it Right

Yalaha Bakery is a family owned business that’s been around for more than 20 years and is deeply loved by many. Open 7 days a week, this gem specializes in breads, cakes and pastries. The selection is tremendous. I for one am partial to the Farmer’s Rye with it’s crusty top that begs to be torn off by hand and enjoyed while still in the store. It would be wrong though to leave without a pastry or two, so take your time perusing the case full of tempting goodies. You won’t be disappointed when you try the cream horn, filled with Bavarian chantilly cream and a layer of dark Swiss chocolate. You could also opt for my husband’s favorite, and a quintessential German dessert, a slice of black forest cake. This chocolate sponge cake is sandwiched with loads of whipped cream and cherries, then topped with chocolate shavings… YUM. 

Come on a weekend to enjoy live music in the biergarten (beer garden) while enjoying a cold brew and some lunch from the delicatessen, also on site. Live music begins at noon each Saturday and Sunday and the beer garden is a great gathering place, so bring your buds or make some new ones.

Yalaha Bakery

Bootlegging it Right

Blue Bayou Farms and Yalaha Bootlegging Co.

Right next door to the Yalaha Bakery is one of the coolest places in all of Lake County, Blue Bayou Farm and Yalaha Bootlegging Co. This place is right up my alley and I’m certain you’ll feel the same way after a visit. You park out front and walk into the farm’s country store. This open air market has fresh produce, homemade jams, amish butter and cheeses, local honey and the pinnacle of the food offerings: homemade, made from scratch daily, pies! I have tried each one (for the sake of research of course) and they are ALL great. They offer both sweet and savory mini pies and my favorites are the tomato pie, which is divine and the apple-blueberry-cranberry. You are welcome my friend, you are welcome. This is just one of those things that you don’t know until you know.

During season you can also pick organic blueberries right out back in the blueberry field. These blueberries are used for something else particularly special at this farm, the booze of course.

Yalaha Bootlegging Co. has its own craft distillery, curating small batches of excellent moonshine and brandy in a variety of flavors. If you haven’t had much moonshine, your in for a treat-this stuff is good!  While at the country store you can sample and choose your favorites. The staff is very knowledgeable and their story is worth learning so go and pick up some essentials from this family owned and operated business in our great county and ‘shine on my friends.

Mountaineer Coffee

Author: Rocky Destefano, Lake Rising Founder

I tend to be a sentimental man. And it has most definitely gotten worse as I have gotten older.  I have always loved deeply and passionately. There are many things in my life that I love; my family, my friends, my country, my hometown of Cleveland Ohio, and my wonderful yellow tabby named Buckeye. But while I love all of these very much, I am almost embarrassed to admit that perhaps the thing I love the most is the very thing that gets me out of bed every morning: coffee.

I started drinking coffee as a young kid, sneaking sips of my Italian father’s espresso, feeling the warm potion flow down my throat as I drank with the adults.  From that moment on my love affair has never waned.  

Coffee has been a constant through every phase of my life.  It was ever present after football games in High School and got me through many late nights at Waffle House while “studying” with friends.  

It was there the morning I got married, and at each of my daughter’s births.  

And it was the only detour I took the day my Father died.  I needed its warmth and comfort before I broke the news to my sisters.  

We all know the difference that first cup of beautiful espresso coffee can make in the morning. Behold the power of caffeine!

And It clearly isn’t just me suffering from the addiction. Coffee has a unique and complex role in history. In 14th century Turkey- Turkish law allowed women to divorce their husbands if they couldn’t provide a daily quota of coffee.  And I am pretty sure my wife might leave me even today if I didn’t provide her a cup every morning! And it’s not only the boost of adrenaline that I love about coffee, it’s the connections that coffee can help create. 

The best local coffee shops seem to create an environment for relationships of all types to start and flourish.

For hundreds of years, coffee shops have been meeting places for great thinkers, dreamers and schemers. They’ve been used for commerce, trials, and even scientific experiments (no really this is true-look it up). 

I once sat in a very old coffee shop in Venice, Italy and wondered how many love affairs had begun around their old stone tables. It is truly amazing the things that take place over a cup of coffee.

I have always felt that community coffee shops take great care to create spaces that encourage connections, kind of like an old-fashioned version of Facetime.  I think in this digital age it’s even more important to spend time connecting face to face than ever.

I say all this because Mountaineer Coffee is exactly the kind of place we needed in Clermont.  It’s the perfect place to steal away and get some work done, or to have a meeting with friends.  I was impressed with their prices, the quality & flavor of its coffee, and its ambience. The place has a cool retro vibe.  Part of its charm is that it’s housed in the lobby of the famous Citrus Tower. It provides an amazing space to spread out and release the days pressure.

Founders of Mountaineer Coffee: Daniel, Darby, Freeman, & Mable

Mountaineer Coffee began when Daniel Pritz, (co-owner) wanted to take his love of coffee one step further by learning how to roast. Starting on a small sample roaster, Daniel began to educate himself in the art of roasting high quality, single-origin coffees. Love of coffee inspired him to continue to educate himself and to constantly pursue new knowledge of Coffee. They roast their beans on a daily basis so every time you purchase a coffee you know you are getting nothing but the best.

Unroasted Beans
Roasted Beans

Mountaineer Coffee got its name from Daniel’s grandfather who owned “Mountaineer Antiques” in downtown Brooksville, FL. Which was the location of their first store.  The Clermont location is their third. The coffee and tea drinks are amazing, bright and flavorful plus they have some homemade treats. Check out their newest store at 141 US-27 in Clermont! So grab your loved ones or your laptop and savor every sip, coffee is after all one of the greatest luxuries life has to offer.

Via Entertainment- Because It’s Just Too Hot Outside

Seeing how the average temperature seems to be around 1,000 degrees through these summer months in Lake County FL, I’ve been finding myself seeking indoor activities. As someone who loves to spend their time outside because of all the adventure it offers I was pretty excited to find that you can still have some epic adventures in the comfort of an abundance of air conditioning. 

If you happen to find yourself in Leesburg, a great place to stop in is VIA Entertainment. Attached to the Leesburg Mall, it houses a sizable arcade, bowling alley, go karts, kid’s corner (for kids up to 55” tall) and the newest addition, escape rooms. Oh; and food and beverage of course. Considering all of the aforementioned are under one roof, you can easily spend an entire day or evening here. 

Why do I like Via Entertainment? Well for starters, it is one of the few places in Lake County that you can really enjoy go karts. While I do have a vehicle and a license, there is just something really exciting about doing figure eights around a go cart track. Hearing the screeching wheels as you whip around a tight bend really gives you that “adrenaline rush” that makes any Friday night fun. Afterwards feel free to swing by the full liquor bar and enjoy a beverage (Because before may not be a great idea).

Alright, let’s chat a little about escape rooms because I finally did one for the first time recently and man oh man-it was really fun. Escape rooms have become popular in the last few years and for good reason. It’s something different and exciting. Simply put, it is a game where people are locked into a room and you have to find a way to escape using clues found within the room. I for one love puzzles and escape rooms give you the chance for total immersion. Via Entertainment has two offerings, each with a 15 minute clock and $10 per person price tag. Good luck beating the clock-you can do it!

There aren’t many venues that are equally equipped for families, first dates, teens, married couples, groups of friends and literally everyone in between. Via Entertainment has something for everyone. It will especially appeal to those with a competitive spirit as you can find some friendly competition in every corner of the building. Definitely not a bad place to spend those scorching summer months.

Via Entertainment is open from 11am-10pm Sunday through Thursday and 11am-midnight on Friday and Saturday’s. For all the prices and updated calendar of events, check out Via Entertainment’s website here.
Address: 10401 US-441 #2004, Leesburg, FL 34788

Corelli’s Pantry-Little Italy in Clermont FL

Written by: Nick Persico

When you think of Downtown Clermont, your mind might not snap directly to the Italian-American markets of the northeast, I know mine didn’t. But Corelli’s pantry stands as a testament to the mom-and-pop markets of yesteryear, offering an authentic experience outside the realm of the kitschy recreations found up the road at the mouse house. The pantry cafe menu offers a slough of classic dishes. There are pasta dishes like lasagna or tortellini, sandwiches (including the classic sausage and peppers), salads and antipasta. During my visit I got the two slice daily special, opting to stick with cheese. For my drink, I chose a blood orange San Pellegrino. The slices were crisp, bigger than my head, immaculately toasted, and offered an excellently ‘instagrammable’ photo-op. The atmosphere was remarkably familiar, harkening to the Italian market-slash-small restaurants of the
Northeast. The pantry itself, while rather small, offers a great selection of Italian and Greek specialty grocery items. Some highlights were the selection of olive oils and balsamic vinegars, a wide array of antipasto favorites like olives, stuffed grape leaves, and jarred roasted red peppers, as well as an abundance of authentic and imported dried pasta. Unwilling to leave empty handed, I took home a can of Partanna, imported sicilian olive oil, which upon tasting quickly jumped to the top of my list of favorite things. The wine selection looms large throughout the front of the building, with bottles on display from nearly corner to corner and offers a great mix of both imported and domestic. Across the board, pricing is incredibly fair. My slices and Pellegrino totaled just over $6, and the grocery and wine selection is offered at very competitive prices. Browsing the menu, their pasta and sandwiches are also a good deal, especially taking into consideration the freshness of the ingredients.

What stuck with me following my visit to Corelli’s Pantry, had less to do with the food itself (though it was very, very good), but instead had more to do with the sheer enjoyment of being someplace so seemingly out of place and feeling so simultaneously right at home. Italian- American or not, there’s something about this place that evokes a marketplace atmosphere of a time gone by. It’s more than Italian, even reminiscent of the old storefronts of New York or Cleveland.

Staring out the cafe windows at the parked cars and cyclists on Montrose Street, I realized that Corelli’s is quintessentially Clermont, too. It brings with it all of the fun and exoticism of the Italian market, and makes it as local and as wholesome as the rest of the shops Downtown. For those familiar with the exceptional food at Corelli’s flagship Italian Restaurant, Corelli’s Pantry will not disappoint. Grab a slice or two and a Peroni (on draft, of course) and take home a bottle of wine and some good oil to complete the experience, trust me, you wont regret it.

Corelli’s Pantry
732 W. Montrose St.
Clermont, FL 34711
Tues-Sat 10a-7p
FB @CorellisPantry

Clermont and Mount Dora Marketplaces

It is a very exciting time to be in Clermont and Mount Dora as both are soon welcoming new marketplaces. This concept of having multiple vendors under one roof is far from new but for Lake County it’s a great step toward an increased diversity of retail options that are both economical and enjoyable. Businesses can thrive being surrounded by each other and guests enjoy the convenience of easily meandering from one ‘storefront’ to the next. Both Clermont and Mount Dora are expected to feature delicious local food as well as unique novelty stores. 

For a sneak peak into the potential success of these marketplaces you only have to look as far as Orlando. Winter Garden and the Audubon Park neighborhood both have market’s which have become anchors for locals and visitors alike. 

Clermont’s Montrose Street Market will occupy the historic building on the corner of 793 West Montrose Street; a perfect location for engaging the growing Clermont population. Although the grand opening was delayed due to construction hiccups, the wait shouldn’t be long for those in South Lake.

The Mount Dora Marketplace is preparing for its big debut in the heart of downtown. Occupying the former Pisco Sour/ Lost Parrot building the market should offer a curated list of vendors and food offerings that will differentiate itself from the surrounding (and might I say delicious) traditional restaurants that Mount Dora is known for. A craft beer bar known as the The Filling Station is expected to be the central vendor with a variety of others taking up the first floor. As this project is still brand new, things could change as more details come to light. The first phase of the Mount Dora Marketplace is slated to be complete August 1st and the second phase shortly after.

As usual we will keep you up to date with the exciting additions to our local Lake County business scene. More to come on these great new ventures in the near future.

Fish Camp on Lake Eustis

With their two year anniversary right around the corner I’m excited to tell you about a local restaurant that sits directly on Lake Eustis called Fish Camp. When I sit down for dinner I prefer to have my cocktail or glass of wine in hand (with a water of course) before getting into the really good conversation. So, to follow that order let’s start with drinks: I am so very pleased and impressed to see the efforts made towards having a full cocktail menu appropriately titled ‘Loco for Local Spirits’ with spirits used from local purveyors only. It feels like your doing something a little bit good when you have a nice drink that also supports your local economy. The same holds true to many of the beers offered. I should also mention that the drink prices here are very reasonable. At any time you can get a delicious margarita for $5 and on Thursdays they are only $1.99 with a food purchase. Insane-I know!

My husband raves about the fish tacos which offer the perfect amount of flakiness and flavor wrapped in a flour tortilla. Seafood is the star here and this casual restaurant also offers sandwiches, salads and burgers for those who don’t enjoy eating from the sea. There really is something for everyone and with endless water views, it doesn’t get much better.

Come by boat or car as there is plenty of parking for both. This restaurant sits right off 441 which is a busy road so if your sitting outside your likely to hear road noise. I find that after a margarita or two it completely dissipates. It’s like magic.

Check out their website and social media as they are always posting live music and happenings, links are below.

Here’s a link to their Instagram:
Here’s one to their website:
Here’s a link to their Facebook:


Local Theatre

Have you been to the Sonnentag Theatre at the IceHouse in Mount Dora? If you answered no then it’s time for you to grab friends and prepare for a day or evening of hilarity. Local theater is done well at Sonnetag with dedicated and professional actors who give their absolute best each show. Plus with tickets ranging from $10 for kids to $24 for adults and prices in between this is a great way to spend a few hours and enjoy a live show. Here is the lineup for the next few months and check out their website for future shows and updates.

P.S. My husband and I have almost cried from laughing so hard at the shows we’ve seen. Comment Below if you’ve been and what shows you would recommend.