Quick Bites: Ruby Street & Renovations

The city of Tavares, surrounded by Lake Eustis, Lake Harris, and Lake Dora, has long been a destination for sun and fun. Recently, the city began multi-million dollar renovations in the downtown area to bring itself and its amenities up to par with other first-class cities for visitors and locals.

Aiding in the project are partners Michael Stairs, Andrew Saunders, and Logan Heninzelman who recently opened Ruby Street Grille, located downtown on East Main Street, across from city hall. By aiding, I mean the city made a deal that if the partners renovated the old building on the water, any impact fee costs could be applied to the renovations themselves.

The hardwood floors were sanded and polished, and the plaster walls were taken down to reveal the building’s original brick. A 1,500-square-foot deck was built to overlook beautiful Lake Dora, and close by, a new marina provides boats and seaplanes with mooring and fueling options.

Chef Ben Yancey is in the kitchen. He’s a graduate of Johnson & Wales University, a career-oriented school specializing in the culinary and hospitality fields. The menu includes light fare, appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, steaks, and seafood.

Ruby Street Grille features happy hour, live entertainment, and even a kids’ menu. Call (352) 742-RUBY now for holiday party reserva-tions, held inside or out on the deck. View the menu at myspace.com/rubystreetgrille and call for hours and evening specials. By land, air, or water, Ruby Street Grille should be on your list of dining adventures.

Over in Clermont, Cheeser’s Palace Café, a restaurant and catering business, is in the heart of downtown on the corner of Montrose and 7th. The eatery was first established in Ohio in the ‘70s.

Owner Amanda Walsh, who was raised in the restaurant business, says, “I was peeling potatoes at five years old. My school bus dropped me off at my parents’ restaurant instead of home.”

Walsh’s mom and business partner, Carol Kayser, helps with running the restaurant as well as making the desserts and pastries.

Formerly the Country Skillet, Cheeser’s is an inviting eatery with tall, wing-back chairs and antique tables. This is the kind of place you hate to leave after your last sip of tea or coffee, and it’s not for the eat-and-run crowd.

Visit cheeserspalace.com to view the breakfast and lunch menu that features delectable omelets made with asparagus, shrimp, crab, cheddar, feta, and Swiss cheeses. Traditional breakfasts are offered as well as crepes. For lunch, enjoy a salad and, my favorite, a cheese plate. Black Angus burgers, sandwiches, and soups are also offered. Guests dine inside or out.

When it comes to caterers, most boast they can accommodate crowds of 300 or more. At Cheeser’s, they’ll go as low as 10 but no higher than 150.

“I consider myself an intimate caterer,” Walsh says. “Our platters are arranged with more of a homestyle flair, as if you did it yourself. We provide glass, brass, silver, and some vintage trays, not your typical plastic disposables.”

For your holiday parties, call (352) 404-9431 or visit the website to view some of the wonderful creations you likely won’t get with other commercial caterers or grocery stores.

As Walsh says, “What you see on our website is what you get—plus more.” 

Roseann founded Restaurant Guide USA and still enjoys writing about new and upcoming eateries. E-mail roseann@lakeandsumterstyle.com if you see or know of any new restaurants coming to your area.

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