UPDATE: 2 local restaurants close, Ocean Grill owners in talks for Patio

Updated 12:45 p.m.

VERO BEACH – The holiday weekend marked the closing of two Vero Beach restaurants as a summer shakeout seems to be hitting the industry.

The New Patio Restaurant, which opened under new management in December 2008, closed Sunday with plans to re-open in September as a Spanish-themed restaurant to be run by the Replogle family, who also operate the Ocean Grill. Also on Saturday, the Clubhouse Bar and Grill, which had been in operation since October 2005, closed the doors at its location on the western edge of the city limits. “We are in negotiations with the Replogle’s to lease the restaurant,” said Mark Tripson, who is representing the Sexton family in the deal for the New Patio. “As to what they are going to put in, you could call it dining with a Spanish flair.”

Tripson said the two sides are still working out the details, but he expects to have the lease signed before the end of the week.

The landmark Ocean Grill, Patio and Sezchuan Palace restaurants were built by Waldo Sexton and remain part of the family holdings.

The closing of the Clubhouse Bar and Grill, a place for locals with moderately priced food and drinks, leaves few entertainment options for residents in the western half of the county. The restaurant’s struggles began with the departure of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2008 , coupled with 14 percent unemployment for the County and soaring energy prices.

The closing of the New Patio and Clubhouse Bar and Grill, comes after three high-end established have shuttered their operations since the end of season. Carmel’s closed its doors in April, followed by the closing of Stella’s and Pearl. Stella’s, which was located two blocks from the Clubhouse, has re-opened as a breakfast, lunch and dinner eatery called Bonnie Lee’s.

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