It's been a bit of a rollercoaster ride for DoveCote Restaurant (née DoveCote Brasserie) over its seven-year lifespan.
When the French-leaning restaurant
opened back in 2016, it marked the return of chef Clay Miller
, who owned a stake in the downtown venue along with James and Julie Petrakis of the Ravenous Pig and Gene Zimmerman of the Courtesy Bar.
Miller left in 2020 to become the executive chef at the Ravenous Pig, leaving DoveCote's new owners, Rob Tazioli and Chris Granville, to forge a different path for the downtown destination. That included a name tweak — from DoveCote Brasserie to DoveCote Restaurant — and the introduction of events and live music.
But the restaurant at 390 N. Orange Ave. announced its sudden closure over the weekend (last day of service was this past Saturday, Sept. 30) with a press release stating that a new location would be announced "in the coming months."
"My vision for DoveCote is simple: to bring local, fine dining with an upscale experience to the heart of Orlando," Tazioli said in the statement, "and build an inclusive community space for large and small gatherings that reflect the diversity and rich culture of Orlando."
In 2021, DoveCote faced eviction
from the space's courtyard by its landlord, Southwest Value Partners, for violating its lease agreement. SWVP said DoveCote hosted "nightclub-style events" that were "disruptive," "violent," "indecent" and often resulted in damage to the property, according to a report in the Orlando Business Journal
Tazioli countered, saying SWVP didn't have any issues with events that featured "a majority of white people" until the venue hosted events for people of color. Tazioli then hired noted civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump
and filed a complaint against SWVP with the City of Orlando Discrimination Review Board.
But a couple of weeks ago, the restaurant itself came under fire for allegedly discriminating against Black customers
, who were told to leave after exceeding a time limit on their table.
In an email, Tazioli told me that all matters between the parties have been resolved and terms of the settlement are confidential.
Needless to say, a change of venue might prove welcoming for the beleaguered restaurant. But, no matter the location, events will be a part of the new DoveCote.
"Tazioli and his team look forward to expanding indoor and outdoor dining and event gatherings in the new space," continues the press release, and "allow us to further enhance that vision and better serve our community."
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