Lakeland Business Guide 2019 Chamber Guide_2019 - Page 18

L akeland’s robust restaurant industry is growing. Whether you’re looking for the perfect happy-hour hot spot or a specific menu item for a picky friend, there is sure to be a bar or restaurant that will suit everyone’s tastes. As a self-proclaimed semi-professional foodie, I am always thrilled when I hear about new restaurants opening in Lakeland. Food has a way of bringing people together, and the local cuisine is a reflection of the vibrant and diverse city we have all come to know and love. I was ecstatic when presented with the opportunity to find out more about how the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce is contributing to the growth of Lakeland’s restaurant industry, helping restaurant owners serve up good times that never expire. “While a lot of chambers around the world are slowly dying, Lakeland’s is not,” says Tora Miller, director of marketing and communication for the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce. Miller is tasked with sharing the story of the Chamber and its members to all Lakelanders, cultivating community by spreading the word through their web platforms, newsletters, press releases, and events. As a Lakelander for almost all her life, Miller has loved seeing the growth of the restaurant industry in Lakeland over the years. “I always enjoyed going out downtown to restaurants, bars, and local hot spots,” she says. More and more restaurant owners are seeing the value in choosing to open in Lakeland, and deciding to invest their time and money for the opportunity to serve its people. Each of these restaurant locations offers a unique spin on food and drink, equally appealing to the palates of Lakelanders and visitors alike. In 2018 alone, 17 brand-new bars and restaurants joined the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce; among them were Revival Classic Cocktails, Mojo Federal Swine & Spirits, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, Jason’s Deli, Pita Pit, and Jade Fox Wine Bar & Lounge. 18