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The Villages
Sunday, December 10, 2023

Margarita Republic closes its doors at Spanish Springs Town Square

Margarita Republic has closed its doors at Spanish Springs Town Square.

A note on pink paper on the door announced the closure.

“Margarita Republic is officially closed!! We want to thank everyone who has supported us all these years. Thank you!!!”

Staff at the restaurant were reportedly among the last to learn of the restaurant’s abrupt closure. Many were said to have anticipated reporting to work on Monday.

Margarita Republic’s staying power and its demise could be easily summed up.

Great location. Terrible reputation.

Margartia Republic Republic has closed its doors after nearly two years in business at Spanish Springs Town Squre
Margarita Republic Republic has closed its doors after nearly 20 years in business at Spanish Springs Town Square.

Margarita Republic was known for the late-night hangers on who stayed and drank until the wee hours. It wasn’t a Villagers’ spot. Instead, the people who showed up to party late at night and into the wee hours were younger adults from outside Florida’s Friendliest Hometown. Out-of-towners were known to have imbibed heavily at the bar, too.

Law enforcement was frequently called to Margarita Republic. Things had gotten so bad that the Lady Lake Commission earlier this year debated the possibility of changing its liquor-pouring hours to deter the late-night partying at Margarita Republic.

It was usually the over-consumption of alcohol that led to arrests:

Earlier this year an Indiana chiropractor was ordered into anger management after complaints that he “was putting his hands” on women at the bar.

• In February, a woman who said she drank six to seven shot of tequila was arrested after leaving Margarita Republic. “Just take me to jail because I’m lit,” she told the arresting officer.

• This past November, an Ocala woman was arrested after drinking shots at Margarita Republic. Her clothes were inside out when she was pulled over for erratic driving.

A man from Massachusetts was arrested last year on a charge of disorderly intoxication at Margarita Republic.

There were also some problems in the kitchen. This past August, an inspector found several health code violations that required a followup inspection. Roast beef, beef, chicken and cheese were found stored at much warmer temperatures than the 41 degrees required. There was also mold found in an ice machine, an accumulation of grease under a flat grill, an accumulation of debris in the microwave and a mold-like substance on a mixer head.

In 2021, a Margarita Republic cook was arrested at work in an alleged attack on his girlfriend at a home in The Villages. The case was later dropped. In 2015, a Margarita Republic cook was arrested in a prostitution case.

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