Phil Barnard remembers his first visit to Florida from England with his parents about 15 years ago. At one point nearing the end of their stay, the family ended up in Sanford and researched hotels near there. Barnard recalls finding the Lakeside Inn in Mount Dora. “While staying there, we went around the town. My mom said she’d had a great trip, but wished we would’ve come across Mount Dora earlier because she felt we could have spent our entire two weeks here,” Barnard said.
Barnard said his mom expressed a desire to buy a vacation home in Mount Dora, but she died just six months later. That’s when Barnard decided he’d fulfill her wish. “I said, ‘I’m going to buy the home in Mount Dora my mom wanted,’” he said.
For the next 14 years, Barnard continued to visit. When he decided to move permanently, he leased a building in downtown Mount Dora where he could transplant a bit of home for anyone with a hankering for authentic English fare. During the remodeling he met his bride-to-be, Kate, and together they opened the Magical Meat Boutique, an English-style gastro pub that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
From memory, the owner told us that his father was a butcher in England and his shop was named the “Magical Meat Boutique”. The name references those times in England when The Beatles were making some of their earliest music, including the “Magical Mystery Tour” album. With his restaurant in Dove Lake, he’s a long way from home, but you’ll see that the posters on the walls pay homage to many great UK bands, musical performers and landmarks which all go along nicely with the typically British menu.
In 1963 my father changed the family butchers name to the Magical Meat Boutique. The shop was painted in psychedelic colours, Rolling Stones and Beatles tunes blared through speakers and it was unlike any other butchers in the country. When I decided to open a pub here I had an original 1967 sign from the store front and thought I’d use some family heritage in the name. 🙂