Tavern On The Square is downtown Ocala’s new hub for fresh food, handcrafted cocktails and live entertainment to satisfy your night life desires.
“Tavern On The Square has a completely different vibe and feel than other restaurants. It has a different style of food and flavors,” says Chef Victor Luzarraga. “We are providing a place for the community, where they can have a drink and enjoy entertainment without having that club atmosphere.”
Chef Victor has been delighting our culinary palates for over 20 years. Included in his résumé is 13 years as master chef at the Country Club of Ocala. The menu at the Tavern is solely Chef Victor’s creation, which he designed with a Mediterranean feel and Latin flavorsas well as a mixture of Italian and Asian. There is certainly plenty here to choose from to please a variety of tastes.
The dinner menu has your traditional surf-and-turf filet and lobster, bacon-wrapped pork and shrimp with grits. Plus, the Tavern also offers a tapas menu with an assortment of small savory dishes, like a twist on the traditional Spanish garlic shrimp, which Chef Victor adds a touch of Italian flair with a hint of basil and a few other seasonings.
For lunch, the menu includes entrée salads, burgers, favorites like spaghetti and meatballs, and five of the tapas items. Their breakfast menu goes beyond coffee and create-your-own omelets to include a chorizo egg hash, crab benedict, signature rosemary home fries, waffles, pancakes and eggs and bacon with toast offerings. The breakfast atmosphere is conducive for eating and having your morning coffee while also working on your laptop, as the Tavern provides free Wi-Fi to their guests.
The best part is the Tavern’s commitment to good, quality ingredients. They source as much as they can locally, even obtaining natural and organic liquors from Gainesville’s FishHawk Spirits Distillery. Head bartender Joe Spillers makes all the sour mixes and syrups in-house, and he’s the mastermind behind all specialty cocktail recipes. Of course, the Tavern also has traditional bar drinks available, along with beer and wine.
“It’s farm to table on the food side and farm to bottle on the bar side,” says Philip Glassman, one of the Tavern’s owners. “We use all fresh ingredients.”
The space is inviting and charming with exposed brick accent walls, gorgeous chandeliers, grey surrounding walls and black and white photos of old Ocala that give it a modern, industrial look with a splash of tradition.
The Tavern takes it from early morning work to late night fun, with a limited tapas menu offered into the late night hours to accompany cocktails. Weekly events include Wine Down Wednesday, Latin Night on Saturdays and Jazz Sundays. When you come to the Tavern, their valet service will park your car. And if you’re just trying to park downtown, they’ll park you car, whether you eat at the Tavern or not.
Come experience Tavern On The Square’s deliciously handcrafted, locally sourced cuisine and cocktails. And be prepared to experience a side dish of fun at downtown’s newest hotspot.