- May 1, 2019
One of Winter Park’s most fabled restaurants has temporarily closed its doors – the result of wear and tear on a building that’s more than a century old.
The 36-year-old Park Plaza Gardens restaurant, which sits in a hotel building more than 100 years old along Park Avenue, reported through its Facebook page last Monday that the restaurant would be closing due to “conditions” within the building.
“Today Park Plaza Gardens located at 319 Park Avenue South in Winter Park, Florida is announcing that we will temporarily be suspending operations of our restaurant,” the Facebook post reads. “This was a very difficult decision to make, however certain conditions in our building make it impossible to continue operations at this time.”
“We are working with our landlord, the owner of building, to bring these issues to an effective and rapid resolution. We plan to reopen again soon and resume delivering the high quality of food, service and ambiance that Park Plaza Gardens has been providing for its customers for over 36 years.”
The Park Plaza Hotel itself remains open for business.
Senior Director of Marketing & Communications Erika Spence of the Winter Pak Chamber of Commerce confirmed that the closure was the result of the old building the restaurant resides in, adding that repairs will be made in the coming weeks.
“The building they are in is over 100 years old and it is showing its age and needs major repairs,” Spence said. “They plan to reopen in 4 to 6 weeks and recently renewed their Chamber membership. We hope to see them serving great food and drinks again soon.”
Some local residents responded to the news on Facebook, saying that a recent remodel of the restaurant was only delaying the inevitable.
“Not a big surprise,” Orlando resident Priscilla Graham wrote. “The (amateurish) remodel was a band aid to underlying problems, from what I understand.”
But this isn’t the first time the restaurant has suddenly closed its doors. The historic eatery was forced to close on Oct. 15, 2013 after health inspectors found nine “high priority” violations in the historic restaurant, including roaches, rat droppings, and dairy and meat being kept at improper temperatures.
The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation forced the restaurant to close at 12:48 p.m. that day upon finding the infractions, reopening it at 6 p.m. after the restaurant did a full-sweep of the building to correct the health hazards.
“We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience we may have caused,” read a Facebook post by the restaurant following the reopening. “Park Plaza Gardens Restaurant is currently going through renovation. The building is an old building. Health inspectors brought some issues to our attention and those issues were corrected in a few hours. Park Plaza Gardens Restaurant continues to be one of Winter Park’s finest dining restaurants and is one of the cleanest restaurants in Winter Park and we are open for business.”
Park Plaza Gardens owner Mary Demetree did not respond to a request for comment regarding the recent closure.