Copper Monkey is returning to Gainesville nearly a year after it was sold on eBay.
The restaurant’s Midtown location closed in April 2017 after 37 years of business due to construction around the restaurant, said Ashlea Zeller, 37, who has owned the bar and restaurant with her husband Robert, 47, since 2003. The couple also owns another location in Newberry known as Copper Monkey West. The Midtown location was sold for $80,100.01 to the owners of the Rowdy Reptile, according to Alligator archives.
The new Creekside Mall location will be at 3501 SW 2nd Ave. The official opening will be April 23, with details of the grand opening to come soon.
“The best decision was to relocate it,” Zeller said. “It was smarter to take a break and let Midtown establish itself between the closed streets and all the construction.”
The Creekside Mall location will be two-stories, with bars both downstairs and upstairs, along with a banquet room. The menu is mostly the same, but was revised with some new items from the Jonesville location, as well as some new twists on classic items.
In an effort to attract students, the restaurant will have college night specials for students on Tuesdays, but the specifics still haven’t been decided.
Bruce Floyd, 45, said he started going to Copper Monkey monthly since 1990 until he heard about the closing last year, and went multiple times within one weekend. Floyd said he was excited for the reopening, and he will continue his regular patronage.
“I even purchased a couple of their hand painted signs as mementos, which I’m loaning back to them for the new location,” he said.
Alana Peisner, a 22-year-old UF political science senior, said the distance of the new location will factor into how often she goes.
“The midtown location had a ladies night special, similar to (The Rowdy Reptile) or (Fat Daddy’s), but it was never very crowded, so it was a great place to go on Wednesdays,” she said. “But now it is not close enough to serve that purpose.”