Business World: A New Familiar Place

Every village has a traditional venue to meet your friends—a public meeting place to share a drink or just visit. It is a familiar place just around the corner. That is Mark and Debbie Lacek’s vision, and this fall, the Brickhouse Pub opens its doors on the corner of Minneola Avenue and Eighth Street in downtown Clermont.

Since settling in Clermont 15 years ago, Mark and Debbie fell in love with the community. Opening the Brickhouse Pub is their opportunity to invest in the growing downtown and bring something new. They light up when talking about their plans.

“The Brickhouse Pub is an old-style place with European flavor where you stop by to have a drink, eat, and just hang out,” says Mark. “It is a nice local place for professionals to meet or entertain a client.”

Like every good pub, the atmosphere is warm and cozy, with a wide selection of beers on tap and fine spirits. Lunch and dinner menus with familiar flavors are planned. The staff is top-notch.

They found the perfect location with the J. U. Johnson building at 794 West Minneola Avenue. Located a block from Lake Minneola, this humble landmark built in 1924 has served many purposes over the years. The Johnson family ran a grocery store here in the beginning and made deliveries by horse and buggy. Later, it was a Studebaker dealership, and for a while, an Orange Crush soda factory.

Its new life as the village pub was planned carefully.

To help them realize their dream, the Laceks enlisted the skills of designer/builder John McCann, of John McCann & Associates in Orlando. McCann brings extraordinary experience from work on 900 venues in the last 30 years, including a 10-year association with Planet Hollywood. McCann’s work with distinctive restaurants, bars, and grills includes central Florida locations like Beluga’s Martini Bar and Grill in Winter Park and McCormack & Schmick’s in Orlando.

The Brickhouse Pub renovation retains much of the building’s classic 1920’s Florida character, with its stamped tin ceilings and long-leaf pine floors. The addition of a rich wood bar, paneled walls, and Chicago brick evoke the traditional look of the pub. A fresh-air deck overlooking Lake Minneola capitalizes on the unique location.

“We want to maintain the integrity of the building, but turn the lights on and make it into what it should be,” says Debbie. “We want it to be the crown jewel of downtown!”

Brickhouse Pub
794 West Minneola Avenue
Clermont, Florida 34711
Opening Fall, 2007

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