CVS, and more on restaurants


Published: Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 at 2:53 p.m.

Munchies 420 Cafe is opening in the former I Love NY Pizza location across from the University of Florida campus.

Owner JD Chester said he hopes to open the restaurant at 1702 W. University Ave. by the end of the month.

Munchies will be open from 4:20 p.m. to 4:20 a.m.

Chester said Munchies does great business with those hours at its location at 15 bars in Sarasota.

It has a reputation for rudeness, but Chester said, "We're not totally rude. We're just unrefined because we have to deal with lots of drunks, so we give it back to them."

"Four-twenty" is a nod to marijuana culture. According to High Times magazine, it was coined in the early 1970s by students at San Rafael High School in Marin County, Calif., in reference to the time they met after school to smoke marijuana.

"The reference is if you have the munchies you want to go to Munchies," Chester said. "There's nothing in here that would say ‘marijuana.'"

The menu includes wings, burgers, subs, sandwiches, wraps, soups and salads, hot dogs, quesadillas, Philly steaks, desserts, breakfast food and other munchies.

The restaurant will offer golf cart delivery service within about a mile radius, he said.

Cedar River

Cedar River Seafood opened at its new location in Hunter's Walk Plaza in the former Woody's Bar-B-Q at 5141 NW 43rd St.

The restaurant was relocated from 2320 NW 43rd St. in the Millhopper area, where it lost its lease to a CVS that will be built soon.

A prior Cedar River Seafood moved from SW 13th Street to Tower Road off Archer Road before it closed in September 2010.

Owner Dan Fellows said the economy hurt those locations.

He said the Millhopper location "was doing a heck of a business" before losing its lease.

The Fellows family also owns the Cedar River Seafood in Lake City.

In addition to fried, grilled and broiled seafood, entrees include steaks, ribs and chicken.

Green Plantains

Green Plantains Restaurant in Shoppes of Williston Road at 5150 SW 34th St. has closed after six years of offering Latin and Caribbean-style food with an Asian influence.

The former owners could not be reached for comment.

Blue Water Bay

Melrose's landmark restaurant Blue Water Bay is opening a second location in downtown Gainesville.

Renovations are under way at 12 SE 2nd Ave., which once housed 12 East, followed by The Sovereign Restaurant for 30 years and lastly Ti Amo.

Byron Terwillegar, owner of the Melrose location and co-owner of the new venture, said the owners hope to open by the end of September.

He said the menu will have a focus on fresh raw oysters on the half shell and fresh seafood, including about half of the Melrose menu, whose popular items include fried chemical-free, farm-raised shrimp and smoked gator and seafood.

The menu will also include a lot of seasonal specials, depending on what's available locally, including organic produce.

Terwillegar said he was friends with the late Elmo Moser and still uses a couple of his recipes from The Sovereign.

A new patio is being built in the front and new restrooms inside after previous restaurants shared restrooms across the alley. Banquet facilities in the back will help with Blue Water's established catering business.

Terwillegar's partners include property owner Billy Scheel, who owns several restaurants and buildings downtown, and operator Shawn Shepherd, who currently manages Vellos Brickstreet Grill.

Blue Water Bay opened in the early 1960s and had a string of owners before Terwillegar purchased it in 1994. A fire destroyed the building in 2001, and it reopened in 2003.

Luca's Pasta

Luca's Pasta closed at the end of July after nearly three years at 607 W. University Ave. on the ground floor of The Lofts condos.

The restaurant's website says: "Keep us bookmarked for a relocation." The proprietor could not be reached for comment.

Property developer Mike Langton of Jacksonville said the business struggled, partly because of parking problems. He said the city put meters on the limited on-street parking and later removed them, and then parking at the strip mall across the street was filled by construction workers for The Continuum apartment project.

He said the city provided inducements to The Lofts project as a catalyst to development in the area between the University of Florida and downtown.

"I think that's happening, it's just taking a long time, and then the horrible recession-depression hit," Langton said. "Once (more development) occurs, little restaurants like that can thrive."

A service industry business is interested in renting the location, he said.

CVS

A developer received final approval recently to build a CVS pharmacy at the northwest corner of NW 23rd Avenue and 43rd Street in the Millhopper area.

The Alachua County Development Review Committee approved the final development plan submitted by Boos Development Group of Clearwater.

Boos plans to apply for a demolition-building permit with construction likely to start in mid- to late November, said Eric Lindsey, senior development project manager. The pharmacy likely would open in the second quarter of next year, he said. The existing strip center and former Cedar River Seafood building will be demolished.

The CVS in the nearby Millhopper Shopping Center would close in favor of the free-standing store with a drive-through.

Anthony Clark is the Gainesville Sun business editor.

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