Beloved Gainesville Icon Breaks Ground Today: Rebuilding The Swamp Restaurant

Press release from The Swamp Restaurant

The rebuilding of the historic Swamp Restaurant broke ground today, beginning the 10-month construction journey that will revive the beloved Gainesville landmark.

A community icon, The Swamp Restaurant closed down in 2020 when a developer bought the land and tore down the charming old building. The Gator Nation fought back: students and alumni alike expressed outrage at the loss, petitions circled on social media, and a state representative stepped up to bat in an effort to save The Swamp.

Due to the community’s overwhelming love of the restaurant, the owner, Ryan Prodesky, has chosen to rebuild. The Swamp Restaurant is being constructed at 1026 SW 2nd Avenue in Gainesville’s Innovation District, only a two-minute walk from the University of Florida. Rebuilding in the Innovation District ensures that The Swamp will still be steps away from campus for students to grab a bite between classes or enjoy spirited gameday tailgates.

The two-story, 6,000-square-foot building has been designed to keep all of The Swamp’s fan-favorite features intact: the charming appearance of a historic house, the white picket fence, and the front lawn. There will be some updates and improvements to the site, as well. The Swamp Restaurant will expand to offer even more seating, the bar and restrooms will be larger, and the kitchen is designed to be more efficient. The old murals and memorabilia will stand beside new eye-catching art pieces for visitors to take photos with while making memories. A brick walkway leading up to the building will be stamped with the community’s love for the project, with The Swamp installing both old and new engraved bricks that guests have personalized.

Local architecture, engineering, and construction companies have been hard at work on the project, which has been undertaken by Trimark Properties. Monarch Design Group has worked on the architecture and interior design, with Wayland Structural Engineering completing the structural engineering, CHW Engineering completing the civil engineering and landscape architecture, and Campbell Spellicy Engineering completing the electrical and mechanical engineering. Scorpio is managing the construction process.

“The Swamp Restaurant is iconic,” Domenic Scorpio, President and CEO of Scorpio, said. “These types of opportunities are rare. As a community-centered construction firm, Scorpio is thrilled to bring to life a structure so deeply rooted in the heart of the Gator Nation.”

“Breaking ground is an exciting day,” said Prodesky. “It makes it feel real. The Swamp Restaurant is coming back, and we just took major steps forward today.”

The Swamp Restaurant is expected to reopen just in time for the 2022 College Football Season.

The Swamp Restaurant has been a fixture in Gainesville for 25 years, serving up American food and great drinks. Known as a gameday hotspot, The Swamp Restaurant has become essential to the full UF student experience, serving as a home for tailgates, Greek life socials, alumni events, and many more happy occasions for generations of Gators. Visit our website for more updates about The Swamp Restaurant’s reopening.