By Faith Miller
Located near the center of Florida is the city of Lakeland, and according to its official government website, the city was founded on January 1, 1885 by a man named Abraham Munn, who purchased 80 acres of land in 1882 and platted the town in 1884. This land would eventually become the city’s downtown district. It is now home to several small businesses and restaurants, providing multiple fun opportunities for its residents.
This “modern food hall” is located on 640 E. Main St. in Downtown Lakeland along the bank of Lake Mirror. It is open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. It is home to seven food vendors, offering a selection of different cuisines and drinks, along with its bar and Bloom Shakalaka, which offers a selection of flower services and gifts.
Its food vendors range in variety, from their menu items to the culture of the food they offer. An example of this is Sābu, located toward the middle of the food hall. This vendor features a selection of ramen, steamed buns (often referred to as ‘Bao’) and many other delights. Another vendor located within the food hall is Gallito Taqueria, which is known for its puffy tacos and quesadillas. Each vendor offers its own array of items, making every trip special in its own way.
Owned by Susan and David Sullivan, HTeaO is located on 3920 Florida Ave S., next to Fuzzy’s Tacos. This store focuses on the beverage within its name, tea. It offers a wide selection of different flavors of tea, allowing its customers to mix and match to fit their taste buds. When you walk inside, you are greeted with a large variety of different dispensers, each featuring their own flavor and all coming in sweet and unsweet.
Guests are offered small cups so that they can taste test the different flavors, along with having the opportunity to put in add-ons, like fruit, in their drinks. Customers are also allowed to buy their favorite flavors of tea in larger sizes, including half-gallons and gallons.
HTeaO’s hours are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m.-8:05 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m.-8:05 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m.-8:05 p.m.. It also has happy hours from 2-4 p.m., where its drinks are half-price.
Black & Brew
Black & Brew coffeehouse has two locations within the Lakeland area. The first is in the heart of Downtown Lakeland on 205 E. Main St., right outside Munn Park. The second, satellite location is conjoined with the Lakeland library and features a large outdoor patio.
Both give a small-town coffeehouse feel with cozy, welcoming interiors and large selections of food and drinks. The main location has lunch and dinner menus, ranging from salads to sandwiches, along with a variety of desserts. Both offer breakfast options and a large drink menu.
Throughout Lakeland’s historic downtown district, murals of different shapes, colors and sizes can be found for locals and tourists to enjoy. One mural can be found on S. Tennessee Ave., located on one of the outside walls of Gaines Jewelers. This mural features bright greens, blues and pinks that make up large flowers and tobacco leaves along the wall. The painting is titled Tobacco Leaf and was painted by Gillian Fazio.
Scout & Tag
Small business Scout & Tag features a large assortment of home decor and small gift items, along with clothing and jewelry items. It is located on 244 N. Kentucky Ave. within an old Lakeland theater, featuring various rooms that each have their own theme. These themes include jewelry items, gardening, home decor, bath and body, children, small gifts, clothing and more. It is owned by Nikki Hunt and was founded in 2013.
Lakeland is a historic town full of lots of possibilities of things for friends and families to do together. For more information on places, events and activities, visit http://www.lakelandgov.net/fun/.