Gators Cafe in John’s Pass announces it’s permanently shutting down

Pinellas County

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Gators Cafe, a restaurant in John’s Pass, is a place that boaters could pull up to on the waterfront or gator football fans could drive to watch the game. But no longer, Gators Cafe announced Thursday they’re shutting down.

8 On Your Side went to the restaurant Friday to try to figure out why.

The business has multiple signs up, that said “Closed until further notice” but Gators Cafe posted on social media Thursday that they’re closed permanently.

“It’s a shame to see such a local business close down,” local fisherman Hevert Garcia said. “It gets pretty busy here, especially on Friday nights.”

Now, it’s the end of an era.

“A lot of local businesses closed down, I can assure you more than likely it was COVID,” Garcia said.

8 On Your Side called, knocked, and sent messages to Gators Cafe to learn details about why they’re closing. So far, no response.

They posted a message on their Facebook page recently saying “It is with a heavy heart, we deliver the news that Gator’s Cafe will not be reopening.”

The post went on to say they’ve loved serving the community the past 30 years, hosting musicians, local artists, weddings, and as a fan-favorite spot to cheer on the Florida Gators football team.

The last line of their post said: “Thank you again for all of the memories and we’ll be seeing you around the beaches.”

Screenshot from Facebook

“It’s just a shame to see such things, businesses disappear just during hard times,” Garcia said.

Gators Cafe also ended the post by saying they’re selling all their merchandise like shirts and tumblers and all the items will be available online.

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