Mediterranean concept moving into pandemic shuttered Winter Park restaurant

AVA expected to open in late 2021

A new Mediterranean restaurant is set to move into the space once occupied by Luma on Park (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

WINTER PARK, Fla. – A new Mediterranean restaurant is set to move into Winter Park, taking up residence in the location that used to house Luma on Park, 290 S. Park Ave.

According to a news release from the property owner, the Battaglia Group, construction is underway on what will be called AVA. The restaurant will be operated by the Miami-based MILA group.

The restaurant plans to offer several dining experiences with formal and informal dining spaces along with a traditional bar and an underground mixology-focused bar, according to the news release.

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It will also feature a VIP area reserved for AVA members. The release does not detail how one becomes a member or any other perks that come from that membership.

Luma on Park closed in Sept. 2020. The restaurant, which was run by Park Lights Hospitality Group, posted about the closure on social media citing failed negotiations regarding rent.

“We were unable to come to terms on a reasonable rent structure to continue operating in our current location. We thank the Battaglia Group and wish them and their future tenants all the best going forward,” the post read.

The Battaglia Group released a statement at the time of Luma’s closure regarding the negotiations.

“While the nuances of landlord-tenant leases are confidential, we can say that throughout this pandemic we have approached Luma on Park with a carefully considered rent relief and rent restructure to their existing lease. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, lease renewal negotiations had been ongoing for approximately 2 years and were finalized at the end of 2019. It was disappointing when Park Lights Hospitality Group – with whom we have enjoyed a 15-year relationship – decided to walk away after not coming to an agreement on a realistic COVID-related rent relief arrangement. Since Luma went public with their intention to vacate, we have received numerous inquiries from exciting concepts throughout the country. The Battaglia Group wishes Luma success and looks forward to announcing future plans for the location in the upcoming months.”

The Battaglia Group expects AVA to open sometime in late 2021, but no official opening date has been set.

About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.