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Mouth of South relocation impacting Florence neighborhood

Posted at 5:48 PM, Jul 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-16 19:02:48-04

A popular restaurant in Florence that burned last year will reopen in a different location.

Mouth Of The South is moving to 70th and Ames streets

Some Florence business owners are worried, the departure might hurt their bottom line. 

There's a huge empty space where Mouth Of The South used to sit.

Neighbors say business was so good it kept the other shops busy.

Mouth Of The South's owner says moving was in the best interest for his business.

"We can fit larger groups, where before we couldn't fit anything larger than ten, it was impossible," said Ryan Ernst.

A loss for the Florence community, but a gain for a growing business has sparked mixed emotions.

"It's not that I did not want to go back there because I did not like the area, I wouldn't have started it there," said Ernst.

Last year, Mouth Of The South caught fire forcing owner Ryan Ernst to make some changes.

"When you are a 48 seat restaurant and have 90 people standing inside and people walking away and leaving because it's nowhere for them to sit," said Ernst.

'We don't have that problem here," said Ernst.

Soon to reopen off 70th and Ames, Ernst says this move was a no-brainer.

"We have a bar that people can come in and have appetizers and drinks if that's what they want to do, we have a full dining room and patio, the patio is almost 1000 square feet," said Ernst.

 Enzo's owner Enzo Zurlo says losing Mouth Of The South will be a loss for this strip.

"It hurts because it's not really any other good restaurants in this area," said Enzo Zurlo.

Zurlo says customers learned about Enzo's after visiting Mouth Of The South and vice versa.

"We feed off each other," said Zurlo.

Other businesses agree.

"It kept a lot more people on the strip here in Florence," said Jeremy Brock.

Ernst says a cost efficient move in central location was an opportunity he could not pass up.

"It hurts not going back to Florence but we had to take a look at everything and make the best fit for what we wanted to do and how we wanted to keep going," said Ernst.

The restaurant is expected to reopen some time in August.