Old favorite returns with fresh new look

Candy Corman, of Lady Lake, serves lunch Wednesday after the reopening of Tierra Del Sol Bar & Grill.

The grand reopening of the newly remodeled Tierra Del Sol Bar & Grill felt extra special to Patrick and Debra O’Keefe. The Village Tierra Del Sol residents regularly walked there for lunch and dinner before the restaurant closed for renovations in June. The couple can enjoy their favorite spot again after Wednesday’s reopening celebration. The event showcased revitalization work that included enclosing the outdoor patio to bring it indoors with new seating, new floors, air conditioning, a host stand and waiting area. Staff also expanded the outdoor seating space. The restaurant had a soft opening Nov. 8 and held a ribbon-cutting during the grand reopening. Though the O’Keefes stopped by the restaurant several times during the soft opening phase, they were first to show up for lunch on Wednesday.

“We want to celebrate,” Debra said.

Wendy Ziegler, general manager of Tierra Del Sol Bar & Grill, could not wait to see old and new customers at the restaurant having meals together.

The renovations will improve customer experience, Ziegler said. Before the changes, the only enclosed area was the bar, with everything else outdoors or in a screened patio.

“Our business and our guest experience was dictated a lot by the weather,” Ziegler said. “We noticed that we couldn’t give the guest experience that we needed to with different weather conditions.”

Staff have heard positive feedback from customers on the changes.

“We get a lot of compliments on the inside — they say how beautiful it is,” Ziegler said. “They love the booths. They love the area out here with all the umbrellas on the green. They’re just enjoying it — especially this time of year with the weather.”

Martin Newell said he likes how the restaurant looks with the new renovations.

“I think it’s a great improvement, because you get a much more friendly place through summer and winter,” he said. “The seats are better laid out.”

Newell stopped by for lunch Wednesday with his wife, Wanda, and their neighbor Robin Marion. They all live in the Village De La Vista and are regulars at Tierra Del Sol Bar & Grill as well.

They enjoyed their meal in the outdoor area and said they were happy to see some of their favorite food and drinks still on the menu. They eat at the restaurant often and plan to continue because of the staff and the food.

 “They always do some good stuff and the atmosphere is very friendly,” Martin said.

Chuck’s Wagon Food Truck served food nearby while the restaurant was closed, and staff created an outdoor bar area where people could get drinks. Several staff members worked at the food truck, served drinks or worked at other restaurants in the area during the closure.

Staff are happy to be back now that Tierra Del Sol has reopened.

“The staff are glad to see their guests, to see the people in the neighborhood who support this facility,” Ziegler said.

Staff writer Summer Jarro can be reached at 352-753-1119, ext. 5404, or summer.jarro@thevillagesmedia.com.