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This Legendary Restaurant From Florida’s Past Has Been Transformed Into Something Amazing

If you lived in Florida in the 60s, 70s or 80s, you might have fond memories of one of the most impressive restaurants that ever existed. In its heyday, the Kapok Tree Inn was one of the top restaurants in the country, and real attraction in its own right. There were actually three locations (Clearwater, Davie, and Madeira Beach), but the Clearwater location was the most well-known. Greek and Roman-style statues, cascading waterfalls, magnificent fountains, grand chandeliers and exotic plants filled the restaurant’s 12 dining rooms and expansive gardens.

It welcomed thousands of visitors and reportedly made millions of dollars a year, right up until it shocked the public by abruptly closing its doors in 1991.

Though the beloved restaurant is long gone, many elements have been preserved at the Kapok Special Events Center & Gardens and inside the Sam Ash music store that now occupies the once impressive entrance. Below are some photos of the Kapok Tree Inn in its heyday and today.

The Kapok Event Center & Gardens is located at 923 N. McMullen Booth Road in Clearwater. It’s open Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m,and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Call 727-725-8733 for more information on the best time to visit.

Did you ever visit the Kapok Tree Inn? Are there any other bygone attractions you wish would come back to Florida?

Victoria W
Victoria is a staff writer for OIYS.