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Now Open: The Old Jailhouse Sanford Restaurant in Historic Downtown Sanford

Reconstructed from the historic downtown Seminole county old jail first built in 1890 (almost 130 years ago!), this seasonal sun-belt inspired menu and bar is now open for “bookings” starting February 12th.

When it was first built, the building housed a blacksmith and wagon shop, then a livery feed and stable, then Seminole County Jail (from 1914 – 1959), Seminole County Health Department and then Sanford Dry Cleaners before becoming vacant prior to the renovations.

In 1914 Seminole county acquired the building (established in 1890) and converted it into a jail. With a goal of maintaining the integrity of this historic building, the original foundation, bricks, and jail bars were preserved. Additionally, reclaimed lumber from the building was used to build the bar and tables in the dining room. These features give the restaurant a contemporary look while maintaining elements of the original building. The Sirica family has invested and done all the renovations and preservation of the building.

The 3600 square foot Old Jailhouse Restaurant and Bar is led by the following team:

-Anthony Sirica (Owner – President of Operations)
-Alex Sirica (Owner – VP of Operations)
-Maria Sirica (Owner – Human Resources)
-Bram Fowler (Executive Chef & Director of Operations)
-Brett Riebel (Assistant General Manager)
-Nick Sprysinski (Bar Manager)
-Geraldine Fowler (Social Media Marketing)

The restaurant’s kitchen is led by acclaimed executive chef Bram Fowler (formerly of the popular Journeys restaurant in Longwood). Chef Fowler says the cuisine here is inspired by food from America’s “sunbelt” – some from California, Tex-Mex, New Orleans all the way to the Low Country in the Carolinas.

Menu highlights include oysters “Sanford”, braised pork belly with buttermilk cornbread, featuring tomatoes from local Waterkist Farms, a 10 ounce ground angus beef Jailhouse Burger with truffle oil and bleu cheese, and of course the “Jail Bird”, a fire grilled half chicken with bird eye chili sauce and potato mash. Sunday Brunch will be available later in the Spring.

Craft cocktails such as “Birdman of Alcatraz”, “Cukes of Hazard” and “Hard Thyme” are some of the in- house creations made with Bourbon, Vodka and Whiskey.
They also offer beer and wine flights to guests as well as international wine and beer pairing dinners to guests throughout the year.

The Old Jaihouse also offers a few private and semi -private areas for multiple dining options and group sizes such as below:
• A multiple course Chef’s table for up to 6 guests, served in a unique cell room called “The Solitary”
• A Chef’s counter which sits 6 guests overlooks an open kitchen
• Three communal reclaimed wood tables sit up to 20 guests in our full bar area which also can accommodate up to 12 diners at the bar counter
• The very private “Visitation” dining room sits 8 guests under a beautiful chandelier
• The other private “Booking” dining room also features full AV and a 60inch tv for meetings and presentations up to 16 guests
• Weather permitting, a private outdoor courtyard we call “The Yard”, sits about 24 guests for “al fresco” dining under market lights and accommodate intimate private events, cocktail parties and small rehearsal dinners
• A dog friendly open indoor/outdoor piazza accommodates about 35 guests with additional sidewalk cafe style tables which can sit up to 20 guests

The Old Jailhouse is located at 113 S Palmetto Ave. in Sanford. Dinner 5-9 p.m. Mondays-Wednesdays and 5 p.m. till close Thursdays through Saturdays. Call 407-548-6964 to make a reservation.

Photos provided by The Old Jailhouse Sanford

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