October 07 2022
Drink Up Week isn’t just about our favorite drinks — it’s also about celebrating the history behind our favorite places. We’re looking back at how the Lakeland staple Cob & Pen came to be. Spoiler alert: The house has moved locations three times.
This home wasn’t always the restaurant + bar we know today. | Photo by @justlakelandpics
1927 — the year the building was built. Originally known as The Tudor House, the iconic structure was built 95 years ago as a home on the corner of West Beacon Road and South San Gully Road.
1935 — the first year the home was relocated. After spending a few years on West Beacon Road + San Gully Road, owner O. Forrest McGill moved the home to a spot on Lake Hollingsworth Road.
1969 — the year Gene Holloway purchased the home. Gene expanded on it, adding a bar + a ballroom with the intention of using the home to entertain. Those efforts paid off in the 1970s when Elvis Presley visited after playing at the Lakeland Civic Center, now known as the RP Funding Center.
1987 — the year the home was re-purchased. The head of neurosurgery at Lakeland Regional Medical Center, Robert Mozingo, bought the home from the Holloways. It was under this ownership that another well-known guest walked the halls, former first lady Barbara Bush.
The home is relocated to South Florida Avenue. | Photo by @ginathepetnanny
2014 — the year the home came into the possession of a developer, who hoped to demolish the structure. However, Greg Fancelli — a land developer + grandson of Publix founder George Jenkins —ended up purchasing the home and relocated the building for the last time to its current location at 1221 S. Florida Ave. Here, the building underwent restoration and got a new addition that mirrored the existing structure.
- 2016 — the year Cob & Pen opened. After sitting vacant on South Florida Avenue for a few years, the restaurant you know and love opened its doors to the public.
We’re celebrating by raising a glass of one of Cob & Pen’s house cocktails, the Life of the Party — made with blanco tequila, Sauvignon Blanc, Sprite, and pineapple + strawberry agave.
Send this to invite your favorite Cob & Pen-pal for drinks tonight.
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Cafe Zuppina Happy Hour | Mon., July 25-Sat., July 30 | 2-4 p.m. | Cafe Zuppina, 4417 Florida Ave. S. | Price of purchase | Swing by Cafe Zuppina during this happy hour and get $1 off the specialty Drink Up Week beverage – the Blueberry Pancake Cream Cold Brew. 🫐
Rec Room Happy Hour | Thurs., July 28 | 4-7 p.m. | Rec Room, 202 N. Massachusetts Ave. | Price of purchase | Celebrate Drink Up Week at this arcade bar with happy hour specials — pro tip: Mention LALtoday to receive tickets that you can trade in for game tokens.
Live @ Hillcrest – Mike Weeks | Thurs., July 28 | 6:30-9 p.m. | Hillcrest Coffee | Free | Sip your favorite coffee while you enjoy + support music from local artists. ☕️
Quinteassence Kava Bar Happy Hour | Mon., July 25-Sun., July 31 | 5-7 p.m. | Quinteassence Kava Bar, 839 N. Massachusetts Ave. Ste. 101 | Price of purchase | Celebrate Drink Up Week with 20% off Quinteassence’s entire menu — pro tip: Ask them about their Drink Up specialty bev, the Kavarita Express. 🍍
Friday Night Comedy at Union Hall | Fri., July 29 | 9-10:30 p.m. | Union Hall | $8 | Sit back + enjoy a night of laughter from Florida’s best comedians.
Harry Potter’s Birthday Celebration | Sat., July 30 | 2-4 p.m. | Books-A-Million, Lakeside Village | Free | Come dressed up to celebrate Harry Potter with a Horcrux Scavenger Hunt, Honeydukes Photo Op, + gift card raffles.
Back 2 School Bash | Sat., July 30 | 10 a.m.-12 p.m. | Wilfred Smith Resource Center, 135 Ave. Y NE, Winter Haven | Free | Kick off the school year with music, crafts, prizes + free school supplies — first come, first served. ✏️
- Big and Little Chef: Breakfast in Bed | Sun., July 31 | 10 a.m. | Publix Aprons Cooking School, 4730 Florida Ave. S. | $80 | One parent + one child can work together to learn how to make breakfast favorites. 🍳
- Snapology Summer Camp | Mon., Aug. 1 | 9 a.m.-4 p.m. | First Presbyterian Church, 175 Lake Hollingsworth Dr. | $150+ | Children can learn about robotics + animation through play with LEGO bricks at this summer camp. 🤖
Catapult Demo Day | Thu., Aug. 4 | 5:30-8 p.m. | Catapult Lakeland, 502 E. Main St. | Free | Stay in the loop and hear from innovative + high-growth startups as they share what they’re building in our city at this public, pitch-style event.*
We have a monthly guide filled with events + activities you can plan for in advance. Click the button below to bookmark ideas for upcoming date nights, family outings, and time with friends.
Hampton Farms has been in biz for 75+ years, so you know they’ve got the snacking thing down. | Photo provided by Hampton Farms
We’re four days into LALtoday’s first Drink Up Week — and we’re loving every second. Here’s something else to add to your plate: Hampton Farms gourmet peanuts — because the only thing better than a drink is a drink + a snack.
Here are three of our go-to pairings:
Is your stomach rumbling? Click the button to start your order. 🥜 *
- 94º | Mostly sunny | 10% chance of rain
Polk County commissioners will meet on Tues., Oct. 25 to consider changing garbage hauling providers after a rise in missed collections in west Lakeland that were reported in July. If approved, the Commission could select a new provider to start collecting in October 2024. (The Ledger)
The Southwest Florida Water Management District voted to reduce its millage rate to one 10.8% lower in the upcoming fiscal year, beginning Oct. 1. The taxes raised by the Management District are used for water quality improvement projects, water supply development, and more. 💦 (The Ledger)
Lakeland Regional Health’s new Harrell Family Center for Behavioral Wellness will be home to the Bill and Kathy Pou Pediatric & Adolescent Unit when it opens later this summer. The unit is named after the former chairman of the board of W.S. Badcock Corporation + his wife.
WACO Kitchen is cleared for takeoff. The restaurant announced it will open Mon., Aug. 8 at Lakeland Linder International Airport. Visit for lunch Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. or for drinks Mon.-Fri., 4-7 p.m. Get a headstart on your first order with the new menu. 🛩️
Fur-tunately for cat lovers, two new cat cafés are in the works. Kitty Cat Lounge is set to open this fall on East Orange Street, and Purrology Café is in development on South Florida Avenue. Until then, you can find felines (and cat-friendly plants) at Botany Cats mobile cat lounge. 🐈 (Fox 13 News)
Eight Catapult members, including Voyager Industries + Mike & Mike’s Desserts, will pitch their start-ups at Demo Day on Thurs., Aug. 4 from 5:30-8 p.m. at Catapult. This event is free + open to the public, and will feature food, drinks, and networking opportunities. Reserve tickets to learn about these businesses.
Polk County Public Schools Superintendent Frederick Heid received the Florida Art Education Association’s Superintendent of the Year Award due to his advocacy for school arts programs. And he’s not the only winner. Lewis Anna Woodbury Elementary art teacher Rebecca Schempp earned the New Professional Award for her education + community involvement. 🎨
No. 26. That’s what Lakeland-based IT provider Alltek Services ranked on the 2022 Channel Futures MSP 501 managed service provider rankings. Over 500 providers from around the world made this year’s list. Factors considered in the rankings include sales, profits, revenue, and innovation + technology solutions.
Don’t go thirsty on this Thursday. Head to Nineteen61 for Bar61’s Drink Up Week special: The Camuflaje. This refreshing cocktail is made with pisco, passion fruit purée, and lime juice, poured over ice cubes made from red wine + chicha — a Peruvian agua fresca — and garnished with chocolate bitters. 🍹
Embrace summer with two new specialty cocktails from Frescos Southern Kitchen & Bar for LALtoday readers only. Get tropical with the Tiki Time (made with spiced rum, banana liqueur, lime, grapefruit, and ginger), or keep it simple with the Endless Summer, featuring blackberry brandy, lemon + simple syrup.
Lake Gibson High School graduate Brendon Abdon left it all on the mat when he won a national wrestling title last week. Brendon won the 160-pound class title at the 2022 US Marine Corps Junior Nationals competition. Following his win, Brendon will start his college career at the University of Arkansas this fall. (The Ledger)
Before the historic Kress Building was home to the Explorations V Children’s Museum, it was a five and dime store, then a courthouse (with jail cells in the basement to prove it). Check out these photos of the building that may soon house an event venue + office space. (Fox 13 News)
Orlando International Airport (MCO) recently released a list of confirmed airlines (as of July 8) that will start flying out of Terminal C when it opens in September. Peep the list here. ✈️ *
The Kelly Recreation Complex does not offer indoor pickleball on Sundays as we shared in yesterday’s newsletter, but worry not. The complex’s indoor pickleball courts are open Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-12 p.m. and Monday evenings from 5:30-8 p.m. Game on.
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There are several developments in the works right now for Lakeland Regional Health. You’re looking at recently released renderings of its future 5.6-acre location at 5610 S. Florida Ave., which plans to provide emergency medical services.
Other sites in the works include one near I-4 on Kathleen Road, which will include primary care + clinical space for Graduate Medical Education residents, and a 100-acre site in development on US Highway 98 South. These developments will help more patients receive care at Lakeland Regional Health — which has the second busiest emergency department in the country.
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Editor's pick: Of course, if you go to Cob & Pen you have to try my favorite — the iconic house fries. You can’t go wrong with the garlic fries + truffle mayo for dipping, but don’t be afraid to branch out and try whatever the flavor of the week is. It’s never failed me before.
Missed yesterday's newsletter? Read our Q+A with six local beverage business owners, here.
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