Downtown moves: Pi no more; coffee, crepes and macarons
Pi on Broadway is closing to make way for a new venue, while Symmetry Coffee and Crepes will move a few streets over to a new location with a new partner.
Pi, 110 SW Broadway Street, opened in 2009 and will serve its last customers on May 29.
The location hopes to reopen after extensive renovations as District Bar & Kitchen, a full-service, “elevated” sports bar featuring dinner service and live entertainment.
While current plans call for $1 million in renovations, it wasn’t clear if that figure took into account the recent news that the site will need more intensive renovations than originally thought.
“Unfortunately, it looks like Pi is going to have to do a total rebuild,” Tye Chighizola, Ocala’s growth management director told members of the city’s Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) Agency Board on May 18.
Matthew Larmoyeux, one of the principles behind District Bar & Kitchen applied to the CRA for a $25,000 grant to help in the renovations. That application was pulled, however, after the building’s issues came up.
When contacted on Monday, Larmoyeux said he would defer comment to Tom McDonald, who currently owns the property and is one of the operators of Pi. McDonald did not immediately return messages left for him.
Larmoyeux plans include the installation of a marquee above the entrance, a permanent roof over the patio bar – though it would remain open on the sides – and a stairway leading from the street to the patio bar. They hoped to open by November.
Meanwhile, on Southeast First Avenue, Symmetry Coffee and Crepes will move into space previously occupied by Sovereigns and Scoundrels, a tattoo shop at 56 SE First Ave.
Currently located at 108 N Magnolia Ave. in the Sovereign Building in midtown, Symmetry’s move to downtown will come with a new partner.
Soleil Confections, which is owned by Chris and Melanie Patrick, a husband-and-wife duo, will join Symmetry in its new 2,500-square foot space.
Melanie Patrick, who calls herself an avid baker, makes a variety of confections but is known for her colorful macarons, which she uses French, Swiss, Italian and Aquafaba methods to create.
According to Melanie Patrick, she’s currently a cottage baker operating out of her home. She’s been selling her creations at Ocala’s Downtown Market, where she met Mike Mills.
Mills, who owns Symmetry Coffee and Crepes, also owns Buzz and Grind, a beverage stand downtown that serves coffee, craft beer and wine.
Melanie Patrick said customers often suggested she and Mills become partners.
“What goes better with coffee than macarons,” Melanie Patrick said.
However, before Symmetry and Soleil pack their bags and move into their new home, the space will have to undergo an interior facelift.
According to a grant application filed with the city, the space has no food service amenities and will need up to $150,000 in renovations.
The CRA approved an application for a $25,000 grant to help pay for the renovations. They hope to open by July.