The Swamp Restaurant to Reopen in the Gainesville Innovation District in 20222 years ago
The iconic Swamp Restaurant is returning to Gainesville in 2022 – and it will be located in the Innovation District. The landmark will be rebuilt in in a brand-new building that will fully resemble the unique charm of the restaurant’s original historic building. The new building is just four minutes away from its original location, which closed in June 2020.
“We were inspired by the overwhelming support we received from the Gator Nation when news broke that The Swamp’s original building was being knocked down,” said Ryan Prodesky, owner of The Swamp Restaurant. “We’re excited to announce that due to the dedication and loyalty from our clients, The Swamp will be reborn in a new location.”
The Swamp’s new Innovation District location will be at 1026 SW Second Avenue, between downtown and the University of Florida campus, just two blocks from the college’s main entrance on Southwest 13th Street. “As an up-and-coming area of Gainesville, our team thought that the Innovation District would be the ideal location for The Swamp to be re-born,” said Prodesky.
The move comes just six months after The Swamp’s original historic building was demolished after a national developer bought the land, planning to build a multistory, mixed-use student housing development. The restaurant had operated in this location since its opening in December 1994, though the building itself had been there since 1914 when it was constructed as a UF professor’s house. It was initially reported that the restaurant would return to a ground-floor space of the mixed-use building to be developed on the same site, but Prodesky worried that the authenticity of The Swamp’s legacy would be compromised if it were to be located in a flat, one-story space under apartments. The building’s façade became a staple of the Gainesville community, with its white trim, white picket fence, and recognizable front lawn, and Prodesky wanted to ensure that if The Swamp was to continue on as a restaurant, it would feature a similar appearance.
“So much of The Swamp’s appeal was that historic building, and the memories created inside of it,” said Prodesky. “We knew that if The Swamp was to return, it needed to be in a special, authentic space that matched the ambiance of the original restaurant.” Prodesky claims that the decision to relocate the restaurant to the Innovation District was a practical one, with a win-win outcome: The Swamp will be rehomed in a building that will match the atmosphere and magic of the original historic, two-story building, in a location that is still close to UF but closer to the working professionals in the District and downtown. The Innovation District is a live, work, play development which has brought over 9,500 jobs to the area and is home to over 80 current companies. With 1,600 employees currently working in the district and an estimated 10,000 people living within two miles of the area, The Swamp will serve as a lunch and dinner spot for UF students and professionals, while still acting as an ideal tailgating spot for UF sports games.
“It’s where many students live and where some of the most prominent companies in Gainesville are located,” said Prodesky. “It’s still in an ideal location for gameday tailgates, and can also serve as a lunch or dinner spot for UF students and faculty as well as people living and working in the District.”
The Swamp will reopen in the Gainesville Innovation District in August 2022 in time for Gator Football season.