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ORLANDO-After a 20-year run, Townsend’s restaurant, a name once synonymous with top-of-the-line seafood cuisine, is closing its Downtown Michigan Street doors and reopening Nov. 4 as Jarrett’s Grill.

David Jarrett, a food and beverage department principal at Walt Disney World for 23 years, is buying the 300-seat property from lawyer Clay Townsend’s family for an undisclosed sum. Townsend will be a non-operating minority investor.

Jarrett is bringing in another food industry veteran, John Clark, the chef at Epcot’s Coral Reef restaurant at Disney World, to handle the kitchen. The menu will emphasize American dishes. The restaurant will aggressively solicit banquet and catering clients.

Townsend, a personal injury litigator, opened Townsend’s Fish House and Tavern in 1980 while attending the University of Florida’s Law School in Gainesville, FL. The restaurant and bar became an immediate hit with Downtown Orlando’s professional and business crowds.

Jarrett’s Grill is expected to be new competition for nearby Vivaldi’s restaurant and Johnny Rivers’ Smokehouse Bar-B-Q restaurant.

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