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Sunday, January 16, 2022

101 Cantina draws final crowd before closing

101 Cantina
101 Cantina

As thick crowds of college students exhausted the last call for alcohol and slowly scattered from Midtown’s bar scene early Saturday morning, 101 Cantina closed its doors for good.

After eight years across the street from UF’s campus, where it served for many as a welcome escape from the stress of academia, the bar and restaurant announced Friday it’s run was over.

Since August, Cantina faced foreclosure after its owners could not pay back $68,322 in debts owed to investors, Alachua County court records show.

In September, the bar’s landlord demanded owners pay back $21,181 in overdue rent, according to court records.

Erik Zika, Cantina’s general manager, broke the news of the bar’s closing Friday

in a bleak, long-winded Facebook post. “With much heartache, the day that we never thought would happen is now upon us,” the post read. “This will be 101 Cantina’s final night open in Gainesville.”

But for the night — and into the morning — Cantina hosted one final drunken celebration, a fitting send off for the Midtown bar.

Jonathan Joseph, 21, said he heard about the closing Friday morning and knew he had to go one last time.

The UF applied physiology and kinesiology senior went to Cantina at about 10 p.m., and even though he only stayed for 10 minutes, he took a final shot of tequila with three friends to celebrate.

“It seemed like a typical Cantina night,” he said.

@merylkornfield

mkornfield@alligator.org

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