Owners hope to premier Lakeland’s first food hall by May on Lake Mirror in downtown Lakeland.
LAKELAND — After weeks of delays, construction is progressing at the site of the former Lakeland Brewing Co. on Lake Mirror in downtown Lakeland.
Jonathan and Sarah Bucklew hope to premier their new, trendy food hall by May. It will be called The Joinery, a nod to the concept of joining nine unique vendors under one roof.
Joinery also relates to various methods for connecting wood, something Jonathan Bucklew has mastered as a furniture maker. The food hall will be furnished with some of his works, including tables, stools and countertops.
Once complete, The Joinery will encompass 12,000 square feet of drinking and dining, with additional patio space at the front and rear of the building at 640 E. Main St.
The Bucklews aren’t quite ready to reveal the names of vendors, but offerings will include charcuterie, wood-fired pizza, ramen and breakfast items. Some space will be reserved for a non-food vendor, while several more food kiosks are in the works, along with a bar where customers can order beer brewed on premises.
Brewing equipment left from the former tenant will spring back to life in the hands of a yet-to-be-named Central Florida brewer following the collapse of negotiations with Tampa’s Coppertail Brewing Co., said Jonathan Bucklew, owner of Seventeen20 furnishings and a former drummer with the indie rock band Copeland.
Much is riding on the success of the Lakeland couple’s new venture, which so far is being bankrolled with savings and a $250,000 grant from the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency. The property is owned by a partnership that includes Lakeland businessman Wesley Beck and Hoyt “Barney” Barnett, vice chairman of the Publix Super Markets board of directors.
Bucklew said he and his wife are leasing the property and are responsible for construction costs that include a new roof, interior remodeling, exterior enhancements and furnishings.
“We’ve sold our house and moved into an 800-square-foot apartment to do this,” he said. “We’re honored they (the property owners) chose us (but) it is the most terrifying thing we’ve done.”
Progress has been slowed by delays with inclement weather, the holidays and the addition of a new roof after problems with the old roof were discovered. The building for now basically is an empty shell, with all vestiges of the former Lakeland Brewing Co. and Old School Annex scrapped.
Plans call for expanding the front patio that faces Lake Mirror and adding more lawn space for games. Large windows will be added to exterior walls to aid illumination, and a rear patio will be expanded and enhanced with a fire pit and other amenities.
As director of programming for The Joinery, Sarah Bucklew envisions hosting occasional special events.
“We’ll do collaborative events with a prix fixe price, a meal with a lot of courses,” she said.
Eric Pera can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 863-802-7528.
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