Friday, November 6, 2020
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The Villages

Lighthouse operator to try to stop revolving door at Spanish Springs location

The operator at the popular Lighthouse Point Bar & Grille is taking over a restaurant location in Spanish Springs that has changed hands many times over the years.

Demshar’s locked its doors in September, the same day Toojay’s Deli closed for good at Spanish Springs Town Square. The owner of Demshar’s left a sign on the door blaming its shutdown on the lack of foot traffic thanks to the Coronavirus cessation of music at town square and the dimmed lights at The Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center.

This sign was left on the door of Demshar’s restaurant in Spanish Springs Town Square in September telling customers that the eatery was temporarily closed.

Music returned last week to the Gazebo at town square and performances are coming back to the stage at The Sharon.

So John and Maureen McIntyre have decided to bring their winning formula to a dining spot that has been through a whirlwind of name changes and operators through the years.

The Lighthouse Point Bar & Grille is a favorite among Villagers and others who visit Lake Sumter Landing.

Originally, the restaurant was named Augustine’s and was owned by The Villages.  It offered Italian food and a highly popular salad with breadsticks.

Gary Lester of The Villages Lake Sumter Inc. uses the big scissors to cut the ribbon at Demshar’s in 2017.

The McIntyres plan to christen their new venture, Augustine’s 1812 House, a tip of the hat to the original name. This Augustine’s will also serve up Italian fare. They are targeting a mid-November opening date.

The building has housed a variety of failed restaurants, including one that attempted to remain with the theme of Italian food but went away fairly quickly and another that failed with a New-Orleans themed menu. Prior to the opening of Demshar’s, the eatery had been named Luigino’s and shut its doors in October 2015.

This location in Spanish Springs has been home to several different restaurants through the years. The second floor could be converted into apartments.

Demshar’s struggled to survive but failed to do so even after obtaining between $150,000 to $350,000 in COVID-19 relief – money that was designated as a “forgivable” loan issued through the Small Business Administration. The money was obtained through Citizens First Bank.

The second floor of Augustine’s 1812 House could soon be converted from office space into apartments, if The Villages gets its way. The controversial item had been on the Lady Lake Commission’s agenda last week, but it has been pushed back to November due to the hospitalization of Mayor Jim Richards.

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