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The Swamp Restaurant closes its doors

The Swamp Restaurant is known as the place you took your buddies out for a beer after a big exam or where you cheer on the Gators during football season.
Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 6:36 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -A beloved restaurant located in Gainesville’s Midtown for more than 25 years has closed its doors, at least for now.

For some Gator fans, their last day at The Swamp Restaurant came earlier than expected.

Swamp is known as the place you took your buddies out for a beer after a big exam or where you cheer on the Gators during football season.

“There not a place I can’t go in the country that people haven’t been or heard about the Swamp,” Restaurant Owner Ron DeFilippo said.

DeFillipo built the iconic place in 1994.

“They had the Gator Bowl here that year, it was December 30th, Tennessee vs. Virginia Tech,” he said.

Gator fans grew to love the front lawn and the white picket fence of the Swamp.

“People wanna buy sections of it, I don’t know what to take apart and sell but if I find a decent charity I could probably cut it up and send it to them,” DeFilippo said.

A development company bought the area of Midtown where Swamp is located to build high-rise apartments.

“The open location was what made it so special, just kinda interesting architecture but if it’s underneath the high rise we’ll see if it’s still fun,” UF Graduate Student Alex Webber said.

Gators from all over the world called for city leaders to help save the restaurant but that social media movement lost momentum when Swamp announced they would have a home in the new high-rise

In a Facebook post, management announced Swamp’s last day would be June 30th, but the restaurant actually closed a week and a half earlier due to pressure to be out by July 1st from their landlord.

“Just been really overwhelmed taking all the memorabilia down all the things that have been here for 25 and a half years,” DeFilippo said.

Although a new version of Swamp will be opened in the same location in a few years, the memorabilia from the original Swamp will put inside.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the people who worked for me and what we created here,” DeFilippo said.

Copyright 2020 WCJB. All rights reserved.

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