The Yard elevates outdoor dining and social options in Downtown Wellen Park

VENICE, Fla. (Aug. 25, 2022) – Wellen Park has unveiled its plans for The Yard, Downtown Wellen’s food park and entertainment hub with retrofitted shipping containers, an open-air dining courtyard and a recreational area for all ages. The lakefront venue will offer a diverse line-up of culinary delights, including Greek street food at Agapi, gourmet ballpark favorites from Atlanta Braves-affiliated Pop Dawgs, and lobster rolls and New England seafood at Claw & Co.

Nestled along the 80-acre Grand Lake, The Yard complements Downtown Wellen’s vision as a must-visit regional destination for dining, entertainment, shopping and outdoor recreation.

“So many meaningful connections happen while sharing a meal and enjoying outdoor activities,” said Rick Severance, president of Wellen Park. “Downtown Wellen was designed with the intention of creating special places for people to gather, socialize and make memories. The Yard reflects the vibrant, playful spirit of downtown.”  

The first phase of the highly anticipated Downtown Wellen is well under construction with tenants expected to begin interior buildouts in the coming months and several businesses planning soft openings by the end of 2022 and beginning of 2023. Located off U.S. 41 just west of South River Road in Wellen Park, the lakefront downtown offers retail shopping, restaurants, beauty and professional services in a picturesque setting of public community green spaces, a large event lawn, parks, playgrounds and promenades.

As a one-stop venue for food and fun, The Yard introduces fast casual counter-served convenience in a relaxed and engaging environment offering unique places to play, gather, graze and lounge, including Kind Vibes Outfitter, a 100-year-old relocated oak tree with expansive lounge deck, a playground immersed in natural play, and a lakefront splashpad and fountain area.

Patrons can dine in The Yard’s courtyard, enjoy an impromptu picnic under the canopy of a nearly 100-year-old live oak tree in the neighboring outdoor Heritage Tree Living Room, or while kayaking the lake.

“Downtown Wellen offers so many wonderful outdoor spaces,” said Christine Masney, vice president of marketing at Wellen Park. “We put a lot of thought into emphasizing a connection to nature and the outdoor environment. Whether someone is grabbing a quick lunch, dinner after a Braves ballgame, spending time with friends and family, or visiting for sunset, they’ll always find a perfect spot and the ideal fit for the occasion – relaxed, lively, active or engaging. The Yard is an extension of that philosophy.”

Restaurants will be open daily with lunch, dinner and late-evening hours, with palate-spanning options for every taste.

Pop Dawgs brings the ballpark to downtown, with a menu featuring Henry’s grilled hot dogs served Chicago style or smothered in cheese, gourmet pretzels and variety of butter-soaked popcorn flavors, including caramel and potato stick supreme.

Agapi will offer eat-on-the-go Greek selections, including kabobs, hummus, Greek salad, spanakopita, stuffed grape leaves, tzatziki and baklava.

Claw & Co.’s menu includes New England favorites like lobster rolls, fried clams, fried clam bellies, clam chowder, lobster bisque, onion rings and French fries.

The Yard complements the many new restaurants coming to pedestrian friendly Downtown Wellen. Diners will discover a variety of cuisine – from new American and fusion at The Banyan House, downtown’s flagship waterfront restaurant, and Coastal Italian at Mirabella’s to pizza and tavern fare at Oak & Stone Craft Beer & Artisan Pizza, steak and small plates at Villani & Co. Steak Seafood Raw Bar, and super-premium ice cream at Bright Ice. The Banyan House is also the exclusive caterer at Solis Hall, Downtown Wellen’s lakefront community space and event venue for weddings, parties, concerts, anniversaries and community celebrations.

Downtown Wellen, now 100% leased, has also welcomed Breakwater Home Fashions, Paint Nail Bar, Naples Soap Company, Dana Tyler Jewelry & Fashion, Kind Vibes Outfitters, Capstan Financial Consulting Group, Florida Lakes Vein Center, Florida Lakes Spa, Agility Physical Therapy, and Dr. Jeffrey Seymour Smiles Orthodontics as part of its diverse mix of retailers, businesses and healthcare providers.

The Grand Lake creates a scenic backdrop throughout Downtown Wellen and offers a floating dock and recreational activities, including fishing, kayaking and paddleboarding with rentals available at Kind Vibes Outfitters. The outfitter will also rent bicycles and e-bikes for exploring the 2.8-mile walking, cycling and jogging trail circling the lake.

Consistently ranked among the U.S.’s top-selling communities annually by prominent real estate consulting firm RCLCO, Wellen Park offers a mix of single-family and multifamily residential, commercial and recreational options. The community currently has approximately 9,500 residents, and at full buildout will have more than 50,000 residents and 22,500 homes within its three distinct districts: West Villages, Downtown Wellen and Playmore.

Wellen Park’s expanding residential choices include single-family homes in picturesque neighborhoods, a bundled golf and country club community, paired villas, coach homes and condominiums, one- to three-bedroom apartments and rental homes, a rental apartment community for active adults 55 and older, and world-class independent, assisted living and memory care.

Wellen Park is close to top-ranked beaches and the area’s many attractions.

To learn more about living at Wellen Park, call 941-960-7805, go to or visit the Welcome Center at 12275 Mercado Drive in Venice, Fla. The Welcome Center is open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Jennifer Hamilton, Gravina, Smith, Matte & Arnold Marketing and PR, 239-275-5758, [email protected]


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