Journeys at Alaqua Loses Lease, Will Close in August

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It hasn't been quite a full year since Journeys moved from its five-year-plus home in Longwood Village Shoppes to Alaqua Country Club. It reopened August 4, 2009, as Journeys at Alaqua for what chef/owner Bram Fowler believed was a three-year agreement.

But Fowler says now that the owner of the country club has given him notice and the restaurant will close August 19. Fowler, who operates the restaurant with his wife, Geraldine, says he does not know what he will do next. He told me, however, that he's finished with hard-to-spot locations.

The original Journeys location -- where Chef Henry's is now -- is set back from the front of the plaza; not good for drive-by traffic. And at Alaqua, diners were required to pass through the guard gate and drive another mile past McMansions (many of which appear to be owned by people who have more money than good taste, but that's neither here nor there). Journeys at Alaqua occupied a large space in the golf community's country club. Fowler said he believed the owner of the country club will once again take it private and will bring in a catering company to provide basic food items to members. Residents of the gated community, apparently, weren't interested in Fowler's haute cuisine. (Coincidentally, a resident of another gated community, Isleworth, told me the same thing recently. Some of the wealthiest people in town live there, but, he said, stand at the guard gate on any given evening and you'll see a parade of pizza deliveries.)

It's a shame to see Journeys close -- again -- but I look forwar to having the Fowlers reopen in another location, one that's more accessible. I'll let you know when I hear something.

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