The 2016 football season may very well be the last season with a staple Gainesville restaurant.
Past all the bars in mid-town across the street from the stadium and on the other side of 13th Street on the outskirts of campus is one of the best slices of pizza in the college town.
Leonardo’s has been a staple on campus and on the gameday scene — for those not wishing to tailgate or stand at the Mid-Town bars along University — since the 1970s.
The restaurant’s incredible run appears set to come to an end. The owners have sold the restaurant to the University of Florida, The Gainesville Sun reports. It will remain open until the summer of 2017.
Leonardo’s owner, Steve Solomon, approached the university about selling the property with the condition it remain open for the next academic year. He will still own Leonardo’s 706 further down on University, but not nearly as close to campus.
Solomon decided to begin scaling back his operations and his workload. This seemed to be part of his plan all along.
Leonardo’s was always a bit of a walk from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, but well within walking distance for a pregame snack before football and basketball games.
Solomon cited declining business as a reason for deciding to change his operations. But alumni for sure always found their way to the eatery on gamedays or whenever they were in Gainesville.
It is a local spot that will be missed when it finally closes its doors.