The Hourglass District


The Hourglass District

by Amy Drew Thompson

Foodies, thank your plumbers.

A few years ago, developers Giovanni Fernandez and Elise Sabatino came across an area of Curry Ford they observed to be unique. It was surrounded by attractive, established neighborhoods and rife with opportunity. They bought up 5 prime acres at the convergence of Curry Ford and Bumby, a footprint that gave them a foothold. 

“Our mission was to find ways to restore and repurpose some of the older, charming buildings that existed here,” Sabatino explains. Floundering entities—pawn shops, convenience stores—had had their day. Next up: “Making room for new businesses … and the most exciting part, partnering with other, existing local businesses to create a community atmosphere for the neighborhood to enjoy!” And the Hourglass District was born.

Sandwiched in the middle: infrastructure—aka those aforementioned septic tanks. All the properties purchased were on them.

“We put together a plan and installed over 1,000 feet of sewer line … and crushed 15 septic tanks in the process [which, she notes, neatly aligned with the city’s environmental improvement initiatives]—this is what really paved the way to bring restaurants into the neighborhood.” the Hourglass District

The food scene has certainly taken hold. From the Hourglass Social House to F&D Wood-Fired Italian Kitchen. A second location for Lake Mary’s Hourglass Brewing is also a draw.

Something for everyone, between Leguminati’s vegan offerings, Foxtail’s caffeinated zing, the brick-and-mortar edition of Tamale Co. and Le Ky Patisserie. the Hourglass District

The district is also home to a second location of Black Rooster Taqueria, Uncommon Catering and Eatery, JJ’s Fresh from Scratch, Theo’s Kitchen, and Peruvian favorite Papa Llama.

“I do have to say, though, the dark horse that has surprised us with absolutely amazing food is the Claddagh Cottage Irish Pub,” she continues. Sabatino says she knew the pub had a loyal following for its great vibe and live music, but “what we didn’t know was how much emphasis they were going to put on making great food—although they are a pub, they are family-friendly, and the food is authentic and delicious.”