Paradise Grill and Bar Closing

By: Candace Sweat Email
By: Candace Sweat Email

UPDATED By Candace Sweat 12/28 at 9:45pm

In an announcement that came as a surprise to many, the owner of a popular Tallahassee restaurant reveals he will be closing his doors.

The owner of Paradise Grill and Bar hopes it doesn't stay closed for good. In fact, he's looking to pass the torch on to someone else.

For many, the mention of Tallahassee's Paradise Grill and Bar brings to mind fresh seafood and warm Friday nights on the patio.

But come Wednesday night, Paradise faithful can expect the doors to be locked.

"Definitely tomorrow night and then we'll be done. If I have some food left we'll open Thursday, but hopefully tomorrow night," said owner Fincher Smith.

Smith says the restaurant, which opened in 1991, is maintaining financially, but would not get in to specifics about its revenue.

He says his decision has nothing to do with financial issues, and when it comes to leaving the business he sees the glass half full.

"I have an opportunity to do something different," said Smith.

Smith is optimistic that the restaurant will not stay closed for good. In fact, he has the property on the market, and he's hoping it will be up and running again in the Spring. Only this time without him as the leader.

"I'm old and I'm tired and it needs new management. It needs younger management."

In the meantime, the 20-something employees that work there will have to find jobs elsewhere.

As for customers, the news comes as surprise.

"Well its rather sad because its been a landmark and a real memory for many of us who have been coming here since high school."

Before Paradise, it was Mutts and Jeffs, so this isn't the first a transformation to occur on the corner of Meridian and Seventh.

And through it all, Smith says the customers have always been resilient.
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Tallahassee, FL - Paradise Grill and Bar opened for business in 1991, but the owner says it's time to move on.

Owner Fincher Smith says he expects to shut his doors within the next 48 hours or when food supplies sell out.

The restaurant is located at Meridian Road and 7th Avenue and is best known for its seafood and patio dinning.

Paradise employs about 20 people who will now be in search of jobs.
One manager has been with the restaurant for 13 years.

Smith says, "I'm old and I'm tired and it needs new management. It needs younger management. And I have and opportunity to do something else."

Smith says he's not closing for financial reasons, but to begin a new chapter in his life. He's hoping someone will buy the restaurant and reopen by spring.


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  • by Otherguy Location: tallahassee on Dec 30, 2010 at 11:06 AM
    Cafe Cabernet is coming under new management. give it a shot in the new year
  • by Anonymous on Dec 29, 2010 at 04:50 PM
    Come to Paradise and have some of their "fresh" food.
  • by Ms. Cougar on Dec 29, 2010 at 02:50 PM
    Us cougars will find another spot--we always do. Georgio's, Level 8, The Mint Lounge.
  • by Anonymous Location: Tally-Ho on Dec 29, 2010 at 01:36 PM
    Fincher needs to reconsider, there are a lot of cougars that will be sad they don't have a place they can get boozed up and grind on strangers.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 29, 2010 at 12:54 PM
    5th Avenue Tap Room is great for 30 somethings. some college kids but an older crowd too. Check it out Ladies man.
  • by know the facts on Dec 29, 2010 at 12:44 PM
    no one can run a business that is losing money. One good night a week doesn't pay the bills and in the winter there isn't much business at all. Drew left some time ago and he tried out 2 new managers and it didn't work out. Why waste money on a losing venture people, really!
  • by Mike Location: Tallahassee on Dec 29, 2010 at 11:21 AM
    Seville Apartment dwellers and TPD rejoice! The noise from the place was ridiculous.
  • by Jon Location: Orlando on Dec 29, 2010 at 11:01 AM
    A great place to see old friends when I was in town . Will miss it . Thanks Fincher for the good fun, food and a place to hang out . THe restuarant business is tough and you stuck it out for many years . I know there are some with hard feeling but that happens all over, that is life . Good luck!
  • by wdyoung Location: Tallahassee on Dec 29, 2010 at 08:06 AM
    "Friend", hide behind comments? How 'bout use your name when posting. Always love to see that.
  • by Mike Location: Tallahassee on Dec 29, 2010 at 07:50 AM
    Did not believe it would last this long. Food was ok but not great and prices seemed a little high. bar area was blah. I remember it having the nick name of "Parasite"
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