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Harborita Cantina Closes After 13 Months

The Harborita Cantina in Safety Harbor closed on Saturday, June 20, 2015.
The Harborita Cantina in Safety Harbor closed on Saturday, June 20, 2015.

The Harborita Cantina, a Mexican restaurant that opened in downtown Safety Harbor on Cinco de Mayo in 2014, officially closed its doors on Saturday, June 20.

The eatery, located at 519 Second St. South, was formerly home to the Nantucket Bucket seafood restaurant. Prior to that, it was Heather’s Place, a casual café owned by Heather Conrad, who went on to help run both Nantucket Bucket and the Harborita Cantina.

According to the general manager at the Cantina, who gave his name as Kevin, the owners recently decided to close the doors after just 13 months in operation.

“We’re closing today at 6 p.m.,” he said on Saturday afternoon. “I have no idea when it’s reopening. It depends on the new owners.”

The Harborita Cantina closed on Saturday, June 20, 2015.
The Harborita Cantina closed on Saturday, June 20, 2015.

Safety Harbor Connect has learned another restaurant owner in town is planning to take over the business, keeping the Mexican theme while making upgrades to the facility as well as the menu.

A recent attempt to contact the person in order to make comments on the record was unsuccessful. We will continue our efforts and bring you an update on the story as soon as possible.

When the establishment does reopen, the new owner will try to do what the previous group failed to accomplish —  make the place a success.

After Nantucket Bucket opened to much fanfare in November 2012, it quickly gained mixed reactions for its food, setup and service.

Nantucket Bucket closed in April 2014.
Nantucket Bucket closed in April 2014.

Eighteen months later, the owners, led by successful area restaurateur Russ Latimer, decided to do away with the seafood theme by closing “the Bucket” and rebranding the restaurant as the Harborita Cantina, a casual spot featuring Mexican food that was served from a “taco bus” style kitchen.

Like the Bucket before it, the results were met with mixed reviews, with many online commenters criticizing the service as well as the food while others praised the relaxed atmosphere and simple Mexican fare.

Now, it appears there will be another attempt to establish a Mexican restaurant in downtown Safety Harbor.

Stay with Safety Harbor Connect for more details as they become available, or sign up for our newsletter and receive the latest headlines right in your inbox.

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  1. We have been to Harborview Cantina several times after baseball games at SH field. We love this place. While we all agreed that the ordering process was strange, we had a blast, the food was always good and it was reasonably priced. The kids loved it, we enjoyed everything. People it is what it is! No it was not perfect, if you want perfect go to some high priced establishment. You still don’t get perfect. This casual atmosphere was enjoyed by many. Very sorry to see it go!

  2. I went once. The food was pretty bad. No flavor. I didn’t go back. I hope loli’s management considers this place. Their authentic tacos would sell out here.

  3. Haters gonna hate! I loved it! Never had any service issues. Loved the atmosphere and the live music. I loved the food so much that I ate there multiple times a week. I guess some people went on bad days and some went on good days.

  4. Ditto on everything they said!!! The name is great for Safety Harbor, but I really think it should be changed so folks know that it is different. Maybe Harborita in the Harbor or just Harboritas or Harborita’s Fresh Mex.

  5. We had such high expectations and they just kept getting lower and lower until we finally stopped going back. Terrible service, terrible food and the margaritas were more juice than alcohol. Hopefully the new owners will know how to make a drink and use fresh ingredients like REAL avocados in the guacamole!

  6. Completely surprised it lasted as long as it did. Service was horrid and the food inedible. – Homemade margarita mix…. does not come from Margaretville bottled mix last time I checked. And who puts green peppers instead of onion in guacamole. And Lets not even get started on the lack of management or the staff personality.

  7. I stopped going there after not getting served twice in a row. That place was a nightmare! Worst service ever!

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