Longtime, local restaurants are arguably vital to Florida's communities. They give residents a way to support their neighbors and a place to enjoy a meal with friends and family.
Many communities grieve when longtime restaurants close because it feels like something important has been taken away and negative changes are taking place.
Such was the case in the Big Bend Coast region of Florida.
About Joe's Family Restaurant: Joe's was a staple of Inverness for 28 years, according to The Citrus County Chronicle. It was described as having a "diner atmosphere" and it served reliable comfort foods like ruben sandwiches, liver and onions, meatloaf, and tuna melts, all of which were generally reasonably priced. Boar's Head meat was used on sandwiches.
When the owner Joe Kozevski retired, his daughter took over operations.
What Happened to Joe's And Why Did It Take So Long To Reopen?: According to The Citrus County Chronicle, in 2022, the original Joe's was torn down "to make way for a new Chipotle Mexican Grill."
The company remained closed for more than a year as it worked to rebuild down the street. This was quite a wait, but the new building does have additional room for meetings and private parties, according to The Chronicle reporting in September of 2023.
The Reopening: In mid-November, the staff of Joe's took to Facebook and announced a November 17th opening. Many patrons expressed excitement to get the chance to eat at Joe's again.
In a post on November 20th on Facebook, Joe's indicated gratitude at being back, and some patrons indicated that they'd had a good experience at the new restaurant.
A reviewer on Yelp named Colleen had this to say about the new version of Joe's:
"Well worth the wait! My sister and I visited Joe's recently, breaking my rule about newly opened restaurants. It was busy, but we were greeted at the door with a warm welcome. The new place is beautiful and interesting. Thanks to our waiter, Gil, who patiently explained the menu to us. The coffee was strong and delicious. I am picky about my coffee and like it to taste like coffee and not hot (water.) We both had the Red Neck Benedict, and I have to say, the sausage gravy was almost as good as mine, and the biscuits were way better than mine!.. I highly recommend the breakfast and the lunch menu looked great as well. Thank you for opening back up!"
The author is not affiliated with Joe's Family Restaurant or any other restaurant.