Eola General brings modern menu to historic corner store

Local businesses share Lake Eola Heights space

Facebook: Eola General.
Facebook: Eola General.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Lake Eola Heights is welcoming its newest neighbor into one of its oldest buildings. Businesses are bringing their specialties to the shared space with the common goal of serving high quality, local cuisine to a region that values its unique history.

In September, Handy Pantry patrons were heartbroken to hear that financial problems forced the general store to close after 17 years in business. Just a month later, artist renderings gave neighbors a sneak peek of the new corner store concept taking its place. The post received dozens of supportive comments from the community curious about what was happening to the historic building.

Handy Pantry, permanently closed. (Image: Google, Inc.)
Handy Pantry, permanently closed. (Image: Google, Inc.)


Decades old décor

The general store was built in 1937, which is relatively old by Orlando standards. While the owners are putting together a meticulously modern menu, they are working just as hard to preserve the building’s past. Eola General shared a photo of some of its original historic features, such as wooden rafters and decades-old windows.

If you’ve been peeking in our windows, you’ll know that we’ve been working quite hard in here! Our little general store is starting to come together for you! 🏘❤️ #eolageneral #eolaheights #orlando

Posted by Eola General on Wednesday, January 23, 2019

What’s on the menu?

Eola General calls itself a “one stop picnic shop” with sandwiches made in-house, a deli featuring charcuterie, cheeses, side dishes and pickled goods. Shaun Noonan, of Market on South’s Dixie Dharma, will be crafting special grab and go vegan items. East End Market’s La Femme Du Fromage will be selling its artisan cheese. For early birds, Buttermilk Bakery will be providing pastries to go with a cup of Wavelength Coffee. Wine and beer will be also available for purchase, which is rare for a general store. Eola General will place heavy emphasis on natural wines with a list curated by Matthew Uva, of the upcoming project Curate Art + Wine.


Locals only 

Co-owners Sean Kelley and Joseph Roberti have a lot on their plates. Both are in the process of opening new businesses in Historic Downtown Sanford. Kelley owns Henry’s Depot, a food hall built on the site of one of Florida’s first railroads run by Henry B. Plant in the late 1800s. Meanwhile, Roberti is putting the finishing touches on Grain & Ember, a specialty pizza restaurant with local and seasonal ingredients opening within Henry’s Depot. They are planning to open Eola General within the next couple of weeks.