Episode 31: Exploring Class A Office Space

This week we take a look at Fifty West a Class A office space in Clermont and it’s significance for Lake County.

FIFTY WEST is a CLASS A commercial building located in Clermont, Florida. This custom building is located on Highway 50 West bound just after Magnolia Pointe Blvd and has 200 feet of Highway 50 frontage! The Fifty West building is a THREE story building consisting of 28,900 total square footage.

9,634 square feet on the ground floor is offered as retail/professional/medical space.  Floors two and three feature 19,266 square feet of modern office space.

UNLIKE ANYTHING CENTRAL FLORIDA HAS SEEN BEFORE The Fifty West building features an exterior glass enclosure, showcasing 14ft ceilings constructed out of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT).

With three levels, encased in glass situated on a prime location on State Road 50 in Clermont.  Consisting of premium retail on the ground floor and executive commercial office space on the second and third floors.


Clermont Fall Photo Challenge

Now that it is officially Fall, it’s time for a photo contest! Please take a look at the details below.

CLERMONT (Oct. 1, 2020) – Carve out time to rake in autumn with the Champions Fall Photo Challenge.

Get creative with fun fall-themed photo prompts in a unique, free event that’s open to all ages. Take your best shots and submit your photos as an individual, group, family or couple.

“The City of Clermont is excited to bring back the Champions Photo Challenge for the fall,” Parks and Recreation Director Scott Davidoff said. “The Summer Photo Challenge was a hit and we’re looking forward to seeing new pictures from Clermont’s Champion photographers of all skill levels.”

Pumpkin, spooky and spider are just a few of the photo criteria prompts for the challenge. Build a spooky sandcastle at Waterfront Park, paint a masterpiece on your pumpkin; the possibilities are endless. So let your imagination run wild and enjoy the amazing Clermont fall weather. City staff will select the top three photos for exciting prizes based on creativity and photo criteria word relevance.

Participants must fill out an entry form to be eligible for photo submissions. Entry forms will be accepted starting today, Oct. 1 and must be submitted on or before 3 p.m. Fri., Nov. 6 to clermontphotochallenge@gmail.com or mailed to the Clermont City Center, 620 W. Montrose St.

The challenge begins Oct. 16 and submissions must be received no later than 3 p.m. Nov. 6. All photos must be family friendly and taken within the City of Clermont. Photos received without a signed Affidavit of Eligibility & Liability and Publicity release will be disqualified. All photos must be in JPG format and may be a maximum of 8 mega pixels (3264 x 2448) in size. There is a maximum of 10 pictures, which must be emailed five at a time (two emails) submitted to clermontphotochallenge@gmail.com.

For the application, questions and more, visit www.clermontfl.gov/events.


Let’s Get Sweaty in Clermont

Author: Ebo Entsuah

What makes a Champion? Is it a multitude of accolades and awards? Or is it having a heart to compete. To me, a champion is someone who is able to train their thought process as well as their body in order to produce a memorable performance. They realize that they may have strengths and weaknesses and do not shy away from improving and bettering their situation. As the “Choice of Champions”, Clermont is home to a multitude of places where you are able to train not only your mind, but your body.

Many athletes and members of the community love Clermont because of the various trails, lakes and its international reputation as being an ideal training ground for not only premier athletes, but for the average everyday working resident as well. These structures located in our city are not just your typical run of the mill Gyms, but are also places that allow people to meditate and reflect as well. Here are some of the most well-known locations in our city. (Note: there are a lot of gyms and exercise centers in the city of Clermont, I will do my best to name as many as I can while staying in the Clermont area.) Enjoy!

  1. The National Training Center
    1. Located next to Orlando Health’s South Lake Hospital is the National Training Center, or the NTC. This mammoth of a sports center has become the one-stop-shop for all of your workout and training needs. With a Fitness Center, Aquatic Center, Track & Field Complex, Cross Country Course and Athletic Fields – This center has everything to offer to their members.
  2. CF Fitness
    1. Do you want a place where you can get your sweat on, meet new people and achieve your fitness goals? Then CF is the place for you. Central Florida Fitness (Better known as CF) has been in the city of Clermont for years. Previously, it was known as Gold’s Gym, but they have rebranded and are now CF Fitness. Here, you’ll find state of the art equipment, a women’s only area, and other various exercise options for anyone who wants to come out and work out.
  3. Life Center
    1. The Life Center, located in Clermont was previously P360 and before that, the Lord’s Gym. They are now a multi-faceted gym that also is home to a Chiropractor’s office. Dr. Paul Sorchy, D.C. is ‘Clermont’s Chiropractor’ and has been practicing for years. Many Olympic athletes frequent the Life Center and if that doesn’t say anything about the quality of work, I do not know what does! They are open 24/7 and they also provide personal training and have a smoothie bar downstairs. Definitely take a look.
  4. HitFit
    1. Need a way to burn some calories but don’t have all day to spend in the gym? Check out HitFit gym here in Clermont. They stress High-Intensity Interval Training for their members and allow them to get in and out while burning fat and working hard. They also provide personal trainers who are able to work one on one with you as well.
  5. Clermont Crossfit
    1. Want to try a new way to burn some fat while learning new exercises you normally wouldn’t in the gym? Check out Clermont Crossfit. They have been in Clermont since 2013 and have become a sizable force in not only the crossfit community, but the actual community in Clermont. Although most workouts are done in groups, they are still able to give individual attention to their members.
  6. One Yoga & Fitness
    1. Are you ready to become 1 with your environment and clear your mind? Look no further. One Yoga & Fitness is a relatively new yoga studio that offers various yoga styles and traditions to guests for a fraction of the cost. Aside from normal yoga classes, they also provide TRX (Total Body Resistance Exercise) courses as well as Aerial yoga classes as well.
  7. Parks/Fields
    1. Do you want to get out of the house and break a sweat but do not want to pay money for a subscription, definitely check out some of the parks located in Clermont! Parks such as the Palatlakaha River Park near downtown Clermont, Hancock Park on Hancock road, and Lost Lake park on Lost Lake road in Clermont as well.
  8. Others / Chains
    1. We’ve named a lot of different businesses that allow people to come in and get their sweat on, but there are a couple that I have not mentioned because they are either chains, or have not opened in Clermont just yet. Some of the ‘honorable mentions’ are gyms such as Anytime Fitness, they are open 24/7 and have a plethora of equipment. There Is also the new Planet Fitness that will be opening sometime this year. With a $10 per month bill, it would be hard to turn it down! There are also a couple facilities that are right outside of Clermont in Minneola but are equally adequate. Technique Boxing Gym is a boxing gym that specializes in training and mentoring, Opex Fitness is a CrossFit gym that specializes in teaching beginners and experts alike the proper lifting techniques.



Join Us for the Lake County Brewery Crawl

Join us Saturday December 7th at your favorite Lake County brewery! Meet the Lake Rising team, enjoy a locally brewed drink and get a free Lake Rising T-Shirt (until they run out).

If you are in South Lake join us at Clermont Brewing Company at 3pm and if you live in North Lake join us at Wolf Branch Brewing in Eustis at 7:30pm.

It’s going to be a tight schedule but we will also be visiting a number other breweries. So if you are in the area take a look at the schedule and meet us for a beer!

Clermont Brewing Company (South Lake start location): 3pm- 4:30pm

Suncreek Brewing: 4:35pm – 5:05pm

Great Chicago Fire Brewery: 5:45pm- 6:15pm

Mount Dora Brewing: 6:45pm- 7:15pm

Wolf Branch Brewing (North Lake end location): 7:30pm- 9pm


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. 


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.

A Perfect Saturday in Clermont

Author: Ebo Entsuah, Clermont resident, Lake Rising Allstar Partner and Superfan

Imagine a city where the hills are rolling as far as the eye can see and the landscape’s beauty leaves you in awe. A place with a budding population but not too overcrowded to the point where you can’t admire the countryside. This is Clermont, Florida. A city that is uniquely placed right in the center of Florida. About twenty miles west of three of the world’s largest theme parks, including Walt Disney World. Clermont is home to many lakes, fourteen to be exact!

Many athletes and members of the community love Clermont because of the various trails, lakes and its international reputation as being an ideal training ground for premier athletes. In fact, due to the many successes of various members of the community, Clermont is now known as the “Choice of Champions.” Although most people feel a “Champion” primarily deals with athletics, Clermont has many different types of champions; champions in education, healthcare, tourism, and technology as well.

7:30 am – Get a good sweat in with Clermont Parkrun

Everyone loves a good morning sweat and sunrise. Thanks to Clermont Parkrun you can do both! Parkrun is a FREE weekly 5k event for people of all abilities (Runners, joggers, or even walkers) and is a refreshing way to start your day. There are Parkrun events in over 20 different countries all over the world and Clermont has one of the most active around. After you complete your run you can join the group at Cheeser’s palace for some delicious breakfast food!

 9:00 am – Enjoy some delicious breakfast and a relaxing walk through Downtown Clermont

 After getting a good sweat in, you have to recharge and consume some great food! Cheeser’s Palace has been a staple in downtown Clermont for many years. The restaurant gives off a vibrant local, small town feel but is still able to show how modern it is. The servers are bright, prompt, and extremely friendly. Whether it’s the various eggs benedict or the homemade crepes, Cheeser’s has so much to offer!

Once you exit the building, take the opportunity to look around and see all of the small businesses and shops that have contributed to the downtown area’s rise and success. There’s the Bacchus Vino Etcetera wine shop, Corelli’s Pantry, The Clermont Academy of Dance, The Florida Angler and the brand new Clermont Brewing Company (We’ll talk about that a little more later!). Also make sure to take in the Downtown’s rustic design and brick architecture, giving it a charming yet modern feel.

12:00 pm – Grocery shopping and live music at Lucky’s Market

 Many people tend to do some of the tasks that they may not be able to during the week on the weekend. Things such as laundry, yard work and cleaning tend to take precedence when your schedule is free from the normal 9-5. One thing that many people seem to enjoy during the weekend is grocery shopping. Being able to leisurely enter the store, grab all your items and actually enjoy yourself rarely happens. That is why Lucky’s Market in Clermont is such a great store. Lucky’s opened up in March of 2018 and has been thriving since. With a wide array of local products across its isle’s, they have been able to give people a different perspective on grocery shopping. You can grab some meat and organic produce for the week all while sipping on a Belgian white and a slice of pizza from their deli and restaurant. They also consistently have live music from local artists which draws the audience in and sometimes makes them forget about shopping! Lastly don’t forget to participate in their Bags for Change program!

3:00pm Clermont Historic Village and Waterfront beach

Clermont is known for its many trails, lakes, and parks. Every single one is gorgeous and brimming with life and natural beauty. One of the more well-known lake areas is that of Waterfront Beach. If you ever find yourself downtown, Waterfront Beach is a skip away. Home to the future East/West Coast-to-Coast trail, this stretch of asphalt allows for walking, running or biking and is the start and end point for various triathlons and other events. There are plenty of benches and resting points to take a break and if you continue far enough you can see the Highlander Hut and eventually, Clermont’s Historic Village.

This free historic Museum has been a staple in Clermont’s history for many years. After the city purchased the property in 1996, there have been numerous upgrades and renovations to keep it beautiful. You can go visit and see some of Clermont’s rich history in its buildings and walkways. This property is home to the Original Cooper Memorial Library, The Train Depot and the new Herring Hooks Schoolhouse. Taking in all of these sights definitely give the feel of nostalgia and respect for our great city.

6:00 PM Sunset at Citrus Tower

One of the things that Clermont is most well-known for is the gigantic shining tower in the middle of the city. One of Florida’s first “attractions,” the Citrus Tower was built in 1956 and sits at a lofty 226 feet (roughly around 21 stories high!). When you enter the tower you are greeted by a plethora of smells thanks to the new Mountaineer Coffee shop located at the bottom of the tower. There is also the brand new Tower Arcade and Lounge located in the building as well. Take some time to hang out, get some coffee, and play some video game classics before climbing your way skyward. Once you’re ready, hop in the elevator and take a ride to the top. The glass-enclosed observation deck allows for breath-taking panoramic views of the rolling hills that Clermont is known for. You can see everything for miles, including 4 different counties.

9:00 PM Clermont Brewing Company

Few places are better to end your night than Clermont Brewing Company. This new family-owned restaurant boasts an electric nightlife scene and local craft beer, artisanal food and live entertainment. The atmosphere is energetic even during the week and there are always people out and about without it feeling claustrophobic. There is plenty of seating inside and out with TV’s and a turf field that is great for the Fall Football season. Make sure you order the CBC, the Korean BBQ street tacos and DEFINITELY get the peanut butter explosion cake. I recommend the Belgian Wit and the Mexican Lager as well.

As the “Gem of the Hills” and now the “Choice of Champions” Clermont is a city that is teeming with life and opportunities for all. There is so much to do and you cannot just do it in one day so take your time and see the sights! Think there were any places that were missed? Reach out to us and let us know!

Author: Ebo Entsuah, Clermont resident, Lake Rising Allstar Partner and Superfan

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.