In January 2020 Lakeland’s first 12,000-square-foot food hall called The Joinery officially opened its doors to the public. Owned by Sarah and Jonathan Bucklew, it is a modern and stylish food court and brewery where families and foodies can indulge. Previously, the place was known as Lakeland Brewing Co., and its soul and heart are still present over there despite the makeover. 

The city had helped Sarah and Jon a lot in their project. Thus, the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency provided them with a $250,000 grant. However, since it was not enough, the Bucklew’s had to sell their house and move into an 800-square-foot apartment. 

When first entering into the hall, the customers are met with the selection of seven vendors, selling various delicious stuff, including coffee, pizza, sushi, gourmet plates, and ice cream. The vendors are King State Coffee, Mayday Ice Cream, Ava Pizzeria, Sabu Ramen, Gallito Taqueria, Ato Sushi, and Bloom Shakalaka. All vendors have a uniquely designed space made from shipping containers. Also, each vendor in the food hall with their specially designed murals, an abundance of greenery, and uniquely placed tiles has brought their unique character and special atmosphere into the space. The front area of the food hall has a directory, helping visitors to navigate and not to get lost. 

An inside area of the facility has an industrial look with concrete floors, and high, exposed, and arched ceilings. The interior design looks and feels very fresh with pops of teal and orange, stripes and gingham, and other decorative elements. There is a concrete-wooden 24-tap bar with diverse taps and kitschy drink menu, by offering customers a variety of authentic cocktails. There is also a great selection of white and red biodynamic wines. The Joinery is not brewing yet but hopes to be by April. The owners are planning to make the facility a place for hosting brewers from around the state of Florida – their beer, authentic recipes, and their names. They are also going to hire a brewmaster, who will proactively seek out craft brewers, bring them in, and showcase them.

The facility also provides plenty of sitting options inside, such as square and round wooden tables, stools, benches, and chairs. All the furniture was designed and produced by the Bucklew’s furniture company Seventeen20. A front patio with tables, chairs, benches, and couches boasts an iconic breathtaking view of the lake. There is also a back patio with such facilities as orange umbrella tables, a fire pit, and native Florida greenery from the Nectary. Ornate blocks both inside and outside promotes good airflow and add the layer of privacy at the same time. 

Since the place has been recently opened, the owners Sarah and Jon Bucklew are already brainstorming new ideas for the future to attract more customers. One of them is smores kits that visitors will be able to purchase from the inside bar in order to enjoy themselves by the campfire outside. 

The place boasts a great location: it is about a few minutes walk to downtown. Moreover, it has millisecond access to Lake Mirror. 

The Joinery is a place to be if you are visiting Lakeland, especially if you are a gourmand and a fan of unique, delicious food. It has a lot to offer, even to kids and the pickiest eaters. This place is an awesome addition to the city’s food and bar scene. The exact address is 640 E. Main Street, Lakeland, FL 33801. The facility is currently open for dine-in, takeout, and delivery from 11 am to 8 PM Monday through Sunday.