Word is coming in that two downtown restaurants have closed.
According to sources, the management of Spice Modern Steakhouse on Central Boulevard told employees Sunday that the restaurant was closing. It wouldn't be totally unexpected. Spice, which overlooks Lake Eola, has had three bankruptcy filings in the past seven years and has been under pressure to liquidate its assets.
Attempts to reach the owner, Manny Tato, were not immediately successful. The restaurant's information on its Google search page now reads "permanently closed."
Tato has closed other downtown restaurants, most recently Cantina Verde on Summerlin Avenue, which was open only months. He also had Spice Burgr in the Plaza building on Orange Avenue, which operated less than two years.
Spice Modern Steakhouse once had three locations, the first on Park Avenue where blu on the avenue currently resides. It opened in 2007. Another operated, briefly, in the Church Street Station complex in the current Harry Buffalo space.
Its departure leaves open one of the choicest downtown locations.
The other restaurant said to have closed is Red Mug Diner, which started out as a 24-hour restaurant on Pine Avenue. Chef Mark Dollard, who owns Brick & Fire Pizza and opened Red Mug but was not an owner, left the business more than a year ago. In recent months it was rumored that the space would be halved, with Red Mug, which abandoned the all-day concept shortly after opening, occupying one side and a new sushi restaurant going into the other side.
Red Mug also lists Monday noon hours but is not answering its phone.
These stories will be updated as new info becomes available.
H/T Joe Sarrubbo