FOOD NEWS

Twisted Chopstick finds new DeLand home

Twisted chopstick
PHOTO COURTESY JEOFFREY CURTIS
NEW HOME — Twisted Chopstick owner Jeoffrey Curtis, third from left, stops for a photo in front of the historic DeLand home he just purchased as a new home for his sushi restaurant. At his side, from left, are his father, Roland Curtis, his mother, Julie Curtis, the head chef at Twisted Chopstick, and Jason Godwin of Florida Business Exchange, who brokered the deal between Twisted Chopstick and Old House Café, with help from Todd Swann of Swann Real Estate.

BY BARB SHEPHERD
info@beacononlinenews.com
Sept. 24, 2021

There’s good news for sushi-loving West Volusia foodies. Twisted Chopstick, closed since July, has found a new home and plans to reopen in DeLand within about two months.
There is some sad news for foodies: Jeoffrey Curtis’ restaurant is moving into what we’ve known for 18 years as Old House Café, at 412 S. Woodland Blvd.
Old House Café owner Colette Koop said it was time to let go of the restaurant her mother, Juanita Koop, had conceived and she had operated in the home her family owned since 1971, where Colette Koop and her siblings grew up and where she raised her son.
“I’m not really sad about it,” Colette Koop said. “We had a lot of really good memories in that house. … That’s what you take.”
Colette Koop opened Old House Café in 2004. She and her siblings had inherited the property when their mother died in 1995, and almost sold it then, Colette Koop said.
Over the past year or so, Old House Café has been closed or operating with reduced hours because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Twisted Chopstick closed July 11, leaving its rented location in the DeLand Hotel at 442 E. New York Ave., after a dispute with the landlord.
Curtis, who closed on the $460,000 purchase Sept. 21, looks forward to installing new flooring, painting the interior and installing new furniture in the 1930s house.
In keeping with the Japanese feel of his eatery, he will also be putting koi fish in the pond on the patio out back, where Twisted Chopstick hopes to offer live music a few times a week.
The renovations, Curtis said, should take a month to two months to complete. Part of the transition will be an estate-type sale to clear out the antiques and knick knacks that were the Old House Café decor.
Colette Koop called it “eating in an antique shop,” and Old House Café customers were always welcome to purchase the furnishings. She removed family mementos, she said, but left many of the items that had given her Café its tea-room ambience.
Curtis, who also owns the Downtown DeLand restaurant Buddha Bowls, said his vision is to transform the Old House building into an izakaya — an informal Japanese establishment for eating and drinking.
Beer and wine — and saké, of course — will be on the menu, along with the 25-plus types of sushi rolls, ramen options and appetizers Twisted Chopstick customers are accustomed to.
Curtis said little will change on the Twisted Chopstick menu, although he and his mother, head chef Julie Curtis, may add a few surprises. Jeoffrey Curtis’ father, Roland Curtis, is also a member of the Twisted Chopstick team, along with six employees.
Including 22 seats on the patio, Curtis said, the restaurant’s new location will offer about 60 seats. He’s exploring the possibilities of converting the second floor, where Colette Koop lived, into a vacation rental.
The Old House Café kitchen, Curtis said, is well-equipped and in fine shape.
“It’s ready to go,” he said. “I don’t have to do anything.”
When he reopens, Colette Koop will be there.
“I like Twisted Chopstick’s food,” she said. “It’s very good.”
The Koop family gathered for a pizza dinner at the house on the last evening before the sale. Colette Koop said her 11-year-old granddaughter, Isla Jones, left a note for the new owner.
“Please take care of this house,” the note read. “It has a lot of love in it.”

Meet the new owners of DeLand's Cress

Cress restaurant
PHOTO COURTESY TOM AND SURAN BRANDT
FULL OWNERS, NOW — Suran and Tom Brandt, shown inside Cress Restaurant, finalized their purchase of the eatery in August.

BY JOE CREWS
joe@beacononlinenews.com
Sept. 20, 2021

Hari Pulapaka is moving on to the next course in his banquet of a life. The winner of multiple culinary awards and his wife, Jenneffer Pulapaka, are no longer owners of Cress in Downtown DeLand, a restaurant at 103 W. Indiana Ave. they had opened in 2008.
The Pulapakas, who in 2019 sold majority ownership of the restaurant, were bought out in August by that couple, Tom and Suran Brandt.
“I had given him the option to buy me out after two years, so it was in the deal,” Hari Pulapaka told The Beacon. “But I had already been trying to withdraw.”
The Pulapakas stayed on after the initial sale for about eight months to help train some of the staff the Brandts hired to reopen the restaurant.
The previous two years, the Pulapakas had basically closed the eatery except for special-event dinners, such as New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day. After buying the initial stake, the Brandts reopened as a five-night-a-week, full-service restaurant. (Cress is closed Sundays and Mondays.)
But while Tom and Suran Brandt can focus on running the restaurant, Hari and Jenneffer Pulapaka both have full-time day jobs — he is an associate professor of mathematics at Stetson University, and she is a podiatrist with her own practice, DeLand Foot & Leg Center. And both continue to do much consulting work in culinary fields.
In addition, Hari and Jenneffer have a contract to write another cookbook, and Hari has another business, Global Cooking School.
Pulapaka said the school, which he founded in 2017, could have a brick-and-mortar home one day.
“I’m dabbling with the idea of a physical location in DeLand, maybe next year,” he said. “But I want to be sure it’s right and the timing is right. I’m sure the demand is there.”
Meanwhile, in addition to his professorial duties, Pulapaka will continue to be a strategic adviser for Postelsia, a food-sustainability company; one of 10 chefs who help a company called Enroot develop flavors for cold-brewed tea; and will help develop plant-based soups for Wholesome Crave, a division of a nonprofit entity that helps low-income families eat better.
Jenneffer Pulapaka is keeping an equally busy schedule, Hari Pulapaka said, with wine consultation, helping in various medical fields, and writing the upcoming cookbook’s chapters related to medical issues.
Pulapaka is happy to see that things are pretty much the same at Cress. And Tom Brandt said that’s by design from him and Suran.
“There were some small changes since we’ve been handling things ourselves,” Tom told The Beacon. “Hari and Jenneffer had built an amazing reputation and following, and I think we kept [those fans] and made regulars out of new guests.”
If the COVID situation improves, Tom is hoping to reopen for lunch dining (he shut that down because of the pandemic, and served up only takeout orders before eventually reopening for sit-down dinners). He’s also planning to hold more special events and wine dinners.
As he told followers in a recent weekly newsletter, “We are committed to providing an elevated dining experience and the same creative, globally inspired cuisine and world class wines [customers] have come to love from Cress.”
Call Cress at 386-734-3740 or go to www.cressrestaurant.com for more information.

See what’s cooking in Deltona
City Hall vs. Food Trucks

Food Trucks vs City Hall
BEACON PHOTO/AL EVERSON PEOPLE LIKE FOOD TRUCKS — A collection of food trucks draws a crowd to this event staged in 2017. A Deltona resident's current plan for fundraising food-truck events at a Deltona shopping plaza is causing a stir at Deltona City Hall.
BEACON PHOTO/AL EVERSON
PEOPLE LIKE FOOD TRUCKS — A collection of food trucks draws a crowd to this event staged in 2017. A Deltona resident's current plan for fundraising food-truck events at a Deltona shopping plaza is causing a stir at Deltona City Hall.


BY AL EVERSON
al@beacononlinenews.com
SEPTEMBER 9, 2021

It is fare — pun intended— to say that food trucks are becoming a hot topic in Deltona. Food-truck operators were expected to attend tonight’s (Sept. 9) meeting of the Deltona City Commission to plea for places to offer their wares.
City officials had their hands full over the Labor Day weekend, as a gathering of some of the mobile kitchens took place without permission. Acting City Manager John Peters said the unsanctioned event caused some problems.

On Sunday afternoon, Sept. 5, Peters said, 18 food trucks converged at a shopping center at 1382 Howland Blvd., without advance notice to or a special-event permit from city government.

Peters said the event was organized by Jody Lee Storozuk, a former member of Deltona’s Planning & Zoning Board and a 2020 candidate for the City Commission.
“He’s in with the food-truck people,” Peters said. “The food-truck people are trying to create a stir. Last Sunday, there were a couple of hundred people parking out there, and there were open containers [of alcoholic beverages].”

Storozuk said the event was a fundraiser for special-needs children, and more than $1,000 was collected.

“The money is for children in our area,” he said.

The story comes as Deltona’s leaders consider regulating food trucks, at least to the extent allowed by state law.

Under Florida law, cities and counties may not prohibit food trucks from doing business, if the owners meet state standards on food safety and have a license from the state’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
Storozuk said he is the property manager for the shopping center and thus is acting properly in organizing events such as the food-truck gathering.

He is planning to host another such event at the same place Saturday, in observance of the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington.

But Peters said he does not want a repeat of the Labor Day gathering. Some of the Sunday event-goers parked illegally on the boulevard, Peters said.

“I think people parking on a four-lane road is a safety issue,” he added.

In addition, each of the 18 food trucks present took up at least two spaces in the shopping center parking lot.
Storozuk denied any difficulties with parking.

“There weren’t any parking problems. We were in a big plaza,” he said.

Moreover, Storozuk said, there was even a Deltona fire truck on hand.

“I talked to the fire chief, and he sent it out,” he added, “and the kids were climbing over it.”

Deltona code-enforcement officers showed up, and cited Storozuk for not having a special-event permit. The citation, Peters said, will be referred to the Volusia County Court. Storozuk may be liable for a fine of as much as $500.

“He’s basically thumbing his nose at the city,” Peters said.

Peters huddled with his staffers Sept. 7 to discuss how to honor Storozuk’s intention to bring 18 food trucks to the same address. Peters insisted Storozuk and the vendors be properly cleared to sell and serve their delectable cuisine.

“We need a copy of an alcohol license. Who is selling the alcohol? Maybe the food-truck vendors have a license,” Peters told his department heads.

“If they can get everything in by noon Friday [Sept. 10], we’ll try to accommodate them,” he said.

The Beacon was permitted to observe the meeting, where Peters pledged to work to make the upcoming food-truck bazaar a legal and proper gathering.

“They’re supposed to have an off-duty sheriff’s deputy there,” Peters said, referring to the need for traffic and parking control.

At the Sept.11 gathering, Storozuk said, funds will be collected to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Storozuk said he has staged food-truck gatherings for charity before, without having any trouble from the city. One such event in July included a visit from Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood.

“The sheriff was in the dunk tank, and the mayor [Heidi Herzberg] was throwing the balls,” Storozuk said.

For the upcoming event, Peters said he intends to notify Sheriff’s Capt. Lou Marino about possible traffic and parking concerns. The Sheriff’s Office provides law enforcement in the city of Deltona.

This is not Storozuk’s first run-in with Deltona code officers. In late 2013, Storozuk was cited for violating the city’s sign ordinance, by placing a Toys for Tots sign in front of a friend’s business along Elkcam Boulevard. Storozuk contested the charge, and a county judge subsequently dismissed the case.
 

Opening date announced for Panda Express

Panda house chinese
BY AL EVERSON
al@beacononlinenews.com
Sept. 16, 2021


An anticipated opening date has been announced for the Panda Express being built on South Woodland Boulevard in DeLand.
The Chinese restaurant, part of a national chain with more than 2,000 dining places, is under construction on an outparcel of the West Volusia Regional Shopping Center.
The Panda Express in DeLand is slated to open Dec. 1.



BEACON PHOTO/AL EVERSON
GOING UP — The new Panda Express on DeLand’s south side is going vertical.

Hunter’s Restaurant finally reopens in Downtown DeLand

BEACON PHOTOS/MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN
 

Riverwalk Pizzeria & Brew Pub

60e4818eb58f8.image
BY: ERICA OPISSO CARTER
JULY 7, 2021

I had no idea of the science inside my glass as I sipped craft beer inside Riverwalk Pizzeria & Brew Pub. No idea that someone’s been checking yeast cells under a microscope, tending temperature controls and calculating equations for a perfect pour.

Deltona native Tim Nowlin is the mad scientist tending the silver fermenters burbling away behind floor-to-ceiling glass inside Blue Springs Brewery. He creates balanced pairings for the pasta and pizzas served just steps away, at Riverwalk Pizzeria & Brew Pub.


Thanks to beer flights, I could choose four mini pints rather than commit to one flavor. My first choice was the White Water Vanilla Cream Ale, and there’s an award behind its appeal. It took home the bronze last year in the Herb and Spice Category of the Great American Beer Festival, “The Super Bowl for beer,” according to Nowlin.

Another standout is the Caffe Mocha Oatmeal Stout. With some stouts, I feel like I’m chewing through sludge. Blue Springs’ sweet version was smooth, with a cozy chocolate flavor. The Native Honey was light and refreshing, and IPA lovers will dig Sunny in the OC. And, if you are a sour fan, the Key Lime Margarita Gose is for you.

Nowlin has created nine craft beers at Blue Springs Brewery, and he’s not finished. Cocktail-inspired beers are on the way. So is a traditional lager, to be called the Manatee Pilsner.

Nowlin and owner James Lettieri hope this Czech-style beer will soon be sold at Blue Spring State Park. The connection between the brewpub and the park has proved fruitful for the state park. According to Lettieri, weekly bingo nights at the pub in 2019 raised $15,000 to benefit the park.

Inside the Orange City location, open since 2018, I spotted women on a girls’ night, couples on dates, families and college students enjoying the winning combo of pizza and beer.

You may choose to dine alfresco on the new shaded deck, or inside the 250-seat restaurant, decked out in sparkling granite, quartz and photos of New York, a nod to Brooklyn-born Lettieri.

While choosing my beer flight at the bar, which also boasts a full liquor selection, I met Deltona residents Ray and Nicci Ohland. It wasn’t their first time here, so what keeps them coming back?

“It’s laid-back, has good service, a big bar, and we love to support local,” said Nicci Ohland, who sang the praises of her hot teriyaki wings.


Wings and beer are great partners, but to tick all the boxes of salty, cheesy, chewy and crispy, you must order the Pizza Fries. Imagine chili cheese fries with an Italian accent.

Atop crispy fries, marinara, pepperoni, jalapeños, mozzarella and bacon are piled high. It was a welcome sight after my flight of beer, and my husband and I devoured it in two minutes. This is crave-worthy — a savory, naughty appetizer perfect for sharing.

Traditional fried bar appetizers like mozzarella sticks share space on the menu with eggplant marinara, garlic knots and bruschetta.


Fifteen specialty pizzas also await and, with pizza dough made thrice daily, you know it’s fresh.

Chicken Fresca pizza looks like summer, with corn, red onions, cheddar, tomatoes, grilled chicken and mozzarella on a ranch-dressing base. The Stuffed Pizza is just that, with pepperoni, ham, salami, sausage, meatballs, green peppers and onions wrapped in puffed dough.

We chose classic Italian American flavors with the Meatball Ricotta pizza, along with pub-style flair with the Buffalo Chicken pizza.

Thinly sliced meatballs sizzled under dollops of creamy ricotta cheese and dried Italian herbs. I loved it. It made me think of my favorite dish, baked ziti, but on a pizza. And my husband liked the ranch-dressing base on the Buffalo pie and the drizzle of vinegary hot sauce.

If you aren’t feeling like pizza, there’s plenty to choose from. Burgers, salads, hot and cold subs, calzones, lasagna and chicken Parmesan, to name a few.

If you have room, try the Cannoli Cake. Sweetened ricotta and vanilla frosting, studded with chocolate chips and orange zest, and layered in white cake, made for an epic piece of cake.

Yes, it promptly went in the to-go box for home, but I sneaked a sweet forkful before we left. The dessert menu also offers tiramisu, Nutella cheesecake or zeppole, a fried dough dusted with powdered sugar.

Two Riverwalk Pizzerias, both owned by Lettieri and business partner Jose Acosta, are doing well in Orange City and the Lake Forest area of Sanford. Post-pandemic business has been good, and the updates keep coming.

Just this week, the brewpub received its distribution license to sell beer at other local restaurants. Bingo is starting back up on Wednesday nights. And a new manatee logo for beer taps, T-shirts and a mural is on the way.

Doug & Lil's Potato Patch

A01 doug in front of restaurant scaled
BY: CALISTA HEADRICK 
AUGUST 25, 2021

Doug Rand is no stranger to running a restaurant. In fact, he has been in business in DeLand for approximately 40 years.

In 1981, Rand bought DeLand’s Mister Donut, and he ran the shop for 16 years. After the doughnut restaurant was bought out by Dunkin’ Donuts, he decided to open Doug & Lil’s Potato Patch.

Twenty-three years later, the restaurant has become a local favorite for breakfast and lunch.

Originally from Boston, Rand moved to Ormond Beach in 1976 with his parents. Growing up in the Northeast, Rand learned how to cook at a young age.

“I would watch Julia Child … on TV with my great-grandmother. And I used to cook eggs when I was 4 or 5 years old. I always had a knack for cooking,” he said.

Rand gravitated toward food, especially when he started his first job as a dishwasher in Connecticut.

“When I did a good job, they feed you good. So that’s a reward right there,” he said. “When you’re 16 years old, you’re saying, I like this, you know, so I went from there.”

As his love for cooking grew, he started working at his uncle’s restaurant, where he gained much of his cooking experience.
Fast-forward to 1998, and Rand decided to open up Doug & Lil’s Potato Patch with his wife, Lillian, and immerse himself in the local community.

Doug Rand decided against focusing on the evening meal. His American-style breakfast and lunch restaurant — where the food is cooked fresh — blossomed from there.

“I always liked the breakfast-lunch concept, because it is part of the community, and you get to talk to people and know the pulse of the community. And this really has been that.

I’ve gotten to meet a lot of nice people through this restaurant,” Rand said.

Throughout the years, the Rands have been able to watch their restaurant grow. Although Lil is retired now, she worked alongside Doug in the restaurant for years.

Lil’s final year on the job was a challenging one, amid the struggles that came with closing, then reopening, during the pandemic. Meeting that challenge, Lil could be found anywhere and everywhere, from behind the grill to in the front greeting customers.

“She’s done it all. But pretty much she stays at home now and is my moral support,” Doug Rand said.

In part, Lil inspired the restaurant’s name. (Having driven by the Potato Patch for years, I always was curious about the name, and had to inquire about the name’s origin.)

“My wife has always liked potatoes, and potatoes go with every meal. So whether we were breakfast, lunch or dinner, we could always use a potato theme,” he said. “We also have good hash browns here, we have good home fries here, baked potatoes we sell a lot of, but potato pancakes we also sell a lot of. And they’re very good.”

Combine the simple yet undeniably delicious potato theme with inspiration from Briarpatch Restaurant in Winter Park — where Doug and Lil were regulars for years — and Doug & Lil’s Potato Patch was born.

“We just figured potato patch was easy to say, and the rest is history,” Doug Rand said.

As a breakfast lover myself, I couldn’t leave without trying one of the sweeter breakfast dishes, and opted for the homemade French toast.

As my plate was placed in front of me, I couldn’t have been happier to see the slices of French bread topped with enough powdered sugar, cinnamon and syrup to satisfy even my sweet tooth. Just how I like it.

It was some of the best French toast I have ever had. I had no doubt that the dish was made fresh and from scratch, and had the perfect golden-brown crunch in every bite. Even better, the cost was only $7.

“We try to keep it fresh, hot and good, and golden-brown and delicious,” Rand told me.

What started out as a Plan B almost 25 years ago is now a DeLand favorite. Rand attributes success to nothing less than hard work.

“Any small-business owner has to go in with an attitude that failure is not an option,” Doug Rand said. “There are definitely trials and tribulations to any business … but we just had to make sure that we worked hard enough and were good enough to our customers to make sure that it was a success. And after seeing the competition back 25 years ago, I knew I could do at least as good a job as them, and we’re still maintaining that high level of service and quality.”

Orange City’s Casual-Dining Oasis

A01 exterior tropi shack scaled (2)
BY: CALISTA HEADRICK 
AUGUST 11, 2021

When William Torres, owner of Tropi Shack, relocated to Florida from New Jersey in 2004, he knew he wanted to start his own business, but had no plans of breaking into the food industry.

“I came down and said we’re going to make something work. We’re going to take the little bit of money that I got, and I’m going to buy a business,” Torres said.

Entrepreneurship was in his blood. His father had run many businesses of his own, from a clothing store to a jewelry store, and Torres was inspired to do the same.

In 2004, when he set foot inside the restaurant at 2000 N. Volusia Ave. in Orange City, he decided to buy the building and start a restaurant of his own there.

“I bought it and went with it,” Torres said. “I entered carte blanche, not knowing, and I’m so happy with it. Because if I would have known this, I would have done it sooner.”

Seventeen years later, the Tropi Shack is an Orange City icon.

Torres sat down to speak with me after the lunchtime rush. Although COVID-19 has left Tropi Shack a bit short-staffed, he said, business has never slowed. He had to close the indoor and outdoor seating for a time during the pandemic, but traffic at the pickup window never stopped.

“I’m one of the blessed ones. During this pandemic year, I don’t know how many businesses can say this, but it was our busiest year since I’ve been in business,” Torres said.

Indoor and outdoor dining are back, and Tropi Shack offers a variety of Cuban subs, other sandwiches, hot dogs, and ice cream. In fact, I have yet to encounter a more extensive menu than Tropi Shack’s.

It lists 30 types of grilled Cubans, 19 styles of hot dogs, more than 30 flavors of ice cream, and a variety of other sandwiches.

If you’ve never imagined pairing tomatoes and bananas on a hot dog, Torres’ Banana Whamma Dog — which also includes his secret Cha Cha Sauce — is the perfect opportunity to do so. The rest of the menu features other options that are just as creative, alongside the ordinary favorites.


Torres runs Tropi Shack with the help of family members. His wife, Tenna Torres, also a teacher at DeBary Elementary School, and his two sisters — Carmen Maldonado and Nirsa Arce — may be found in the kitchen or behind the front counter. His two daughters, Christy Otero and Gabriella Torres, have plans to take over and carry on the business one day.

Tropi Shack is perhaps best known for its Cuban sandwiches — the most popular items on the menu. Although Torres and his family are Puerto Rican Americans and not Cuban, Torres decided he wanted to carry on the tradition of the restaurant that operated in the building before Tropi Shack, and that meant offering Cuban sandwiches.

Continuing the Cubans was an easy decision for Torres, given his background in New Jersey and his childhood growing up with a love for the pressed sandwiches.

“I grew up eating Cubans in my little area called the bodega … from Cuban stores. So I knew a lot about Cubans because, as a kid, I would go to my favorite little bodega and I would buy my Cubans,” Torres said.

I decided to try the classic Cuban sandwich, and was not disappointed. I have a love-hate relationship with mustard, because I find that it often overpowers sandwiches, but Tropi Shack’s Cuban balances the flavors and earns the restaurant its motto: “home of the best Cuban.”

The sandwich had the perfect ratio of mustard and pickles, and the combination of juicy roast pork, ham and Swiss cheese was delightful. The sandwich was served with Torres’ special mayo-ketchup sauce, which gave it an extra kick.

I couldn’t leave without satisfying my sweet tooth, so I tried one of Tropi Shack’s many sundaes. I decided on marshmallow hot fudge. The rich hot fudge, paired with the sweet marshmallow topping and vanilla ice cream, was the perfect way to cool down on a hot summer day.

Tropi Shack and its tropical atmosphere have only continued to prosper since Torres took the chance on the new venture 17 years ago. He remembers the hard work.

“I was like a freight train,” Torres said. “I didn’t know I was going to be successful. I’m gonna be honest. But I knew I was gonna give it a go, because I’m not a quitter.”

JUST THE FACTS
Location: 2000 N. Volusia Ave., Orange City
Cuisine: Sandwiches, hot dogs, and ice cream
Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon-8 p.m. Sunday. Closed Monday.
Signature dish: Cuban sandwiches
Alcohol: no
Price of my meal: $5.46 plus tax for the classic grilled Cuban, plus $6.99 and tax for my sundae
Contact: 386-774-9116

City Limits: Helping Kids Soar In School

The West Volusia Association of Realtors Young Professionals Network hosted a gathering for a good cause July 15 at City Limits Taproom in DeLand. They invited those attending to bring school supplies for distribution to children in need.
The bags and bundles of notebooks, pencils, backpacks, glue, scissors and crayons that were collected will be distributed to students in partnership with the Volusia County Sheriff's Office and the Sheriffs Youth Foundation.
The Young Professionals Network is designed for real-estate professionals who want to grow their network of contacts, raise their visibility in the community, and learn leadership skills to help them grow professionally. For information about membership, contact Jennifer Isenberg at jennifer@cardinalrow.com or Candiss Lunsford at candissyourrealtor@gmail.com.

BEACON PHOTOS BY MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN

Breakfast at Hunter's is back

Customers celebrated as Hunter’s Restaurant, a longtime DeLand eatery, reopened for business Sept. 13 after an extended closure and relocation.
The DeLand breakfast-and-lunch restaurant — known for homestyle cooking and chicken-and-dumplings — shut its doors March 15 at 202 N. Woodland Blvd., with the intent to reopen just a few weeks later in the space at 111 E. Rich Ave., formerly occupied by Bellini’s Italian Restaurant & Delicatessen.
But the reopening process got caught up in problems with contractors and permitting, Hunter’s owner Michael Marlow told The Beacon.
Now, with a brand-new sign adorning the new location, Marlow said he is looking forward to reopening with a “newer building, great landlord and better parking for our customers.”
“We’re excited to reopen and start feeding DeLand again,” Marlow told The Beacon. “I want to thank our loyal customers for their patience.”
— Noah Hertz
Kolyn brown

Hemingway’s 442 Bartender In Global Competition

Kolyn Brown, a bartender at Hemingway’s 442, has been selected as one of 30 bartenders to compete in the world-renowned Patron Perfectionists competition.
Patron Perfectionists is a global competition with thousands of entries. Entries closed at the end of May, and the Top 30 were announced in late June. Voting will take place throughout July, and the top 10 finalists will go on to the final competition.
Brown has just finished World Class, another global bartending competition sponsored by Diageo, where she made the Top 50 in the country, and received the highest score in the Southern Region for her cocktail, “Shelter in Place.”
You can catch Brown at Hemingway’s 442 in the historic DeLand Hotel, 442 E. New York Ave., every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Hemingway’s 442 began operating in mid-January. It opens at 4 p.m. seven days a week and closes at 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Jersey Mike’s Subs now open in DeLand 

Jersey Mike’s Subs, known for its fresh sliced/fresh grilled subs, has opened at 2375 S. Woodland Blvd., in Country Club Corners Shopping Center on DeLand’s south side.
Although the first customers were served May 26, fran- chise owners Angelo and Kimberly Crowell look for- ward to a formal grand-opening celebration once daily operations return to normal.
Based on guidance from the CDC and public health authorities, initially the Jersey Mike’s dining room will be open at a reduced capacity with socially distanced tables.
Guests can place takeout orders in-store or for pickup through the website or through the Jersey Mike’s app. Additionally, delivery is available in most areas through the Jersey Mike’s app or through third-party delivery partners. Curbside pickup is available for orders placed in Jersey Mike’s app.
The restaurant’s hours are 10 a.m.-9 p.m., seven days a week. You can contact this location directly at 386- 343-5343. For more information, visit jerseymikes.com or on Facebook (facebook.com/jerseymikes), Instagram (instagram.com/jerseymikes), and Twitter (twitter.com/ jerseymikes.com). 

Woody’s Bar-B-Q franchisees donate to Habitat for Humanity

Woody's Bar-B-Q franchisees Cheryl Eagle, center, and Vince Eagle, right, display a model of Woody’s Bar-B-Q in Orange City presented to them in appreciation for a generous donation to Habitat for Humanity.
Accepting the check is John R. Zelle, left, of Snakebite Designs, the creator of the model. Such donations to Habitat for Humanity are especially welcome as the cost of building materials increases, Habitat officials say.
— Compiled by Business Editor Joe Crews

The SBA Funds 16,000 Restaurant Revitalization Fund Awards

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration will begin delivering economic relief from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, established by the American Rescue Plan and signed into law by President Joe Biden, to more than 16,000 approved applicants. This first round of funding represents over $2 billion of relief awarded since last Monday’s successful program launch. Restaurants and other food and beverage businesses across the nation will begin to see funds in bank accounts as early as Tuesday, May 11.
“Just one week after launching the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund, I am pleased to officially report that the SBA has begun to fund applications and that more than 16,000 restaurants and other food and beverage business owners will get much-needed relief in their hands,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “We know that this help is urgently needed by so many who have suffered disproportionately from this pandemic and have often been unable to access relief. Restaurants are the core of our neighborhoods and propel economic activity on Main Streets across the nation. The SBA is here to help them build resilience to survive this pandemic as we get our economy back on track.”

Under RRF, restaurants are eligible for funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue losses, capped at $10 million per business and $5 million per location. The SBA will continue to fund approved applications until all funds have been exhausted. SBA has prioritized a customer-centric approach to the delivery of economic aid, eliminating cumbersome application requirements, streamlining the application process, and by partnering with point-of-sale (POS) vendors to provide seamless ways to apply to the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

Following the 21-day priority period, all eligible applications will be funded in the order in which they have been received. While the SBA will continue accepting applications from any eligible establishment until funds are exhausted, the number of applications received so far could exhaust the funds authorized to fund the RRF. Interested onsite food establishments may still apply through SBA-recognized POS vendors or directly via the SBA online application portal: https://restaurants.sba.gov.
Exterior of spellbound cafe

Spellbound Cafe is the new kid on the block

Located at 208 W. Howry Avenue, Spellbound Cafe offers another eatery to the historic Downtown DeLand area.


 
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