Wolfy's in Sanford closed indefinitely after owner's arrest

By Jeff Allen, Seminole County Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, February 09, 2018, 11:39 AM EST

A longtime downtown Sanford bar and restaurant that’s been open for decades is now closed. Wolfy’s Lakefront Bar and Grill is closed indefinitely and its owner is locked up in the Orange County jail on no bond in an ongoing tax evasion case.

  • Wolfy's in Sanford closed indefinitely
  • Owner Ed Levine accused of violating probation in a tax evasion case
  • Wolfy's has operated in Sanford for 30 years

Wolfy’s owner, Ed Levine, faced a judge from jail for a hearing Thursday morning. Levine is accused of violating his probation in a case where he was convicted of theft of state funds in Orange County several years ago. Court records indicate Levine was charged with the same felony in Seminole County in 2017. He was arrested in January 2018 and then taken into custody in Orange County for violating his probation.

The landlord for the business, Frank Cerasoli, tells Spectrum News 13 Levine failed to pay January rent, so he began the eviction process. 

There’s now a final eviction notice on the bar’s front door that says as of Thursday afternoon the landlord has the right to remove everything from the property. Vendors could be seen trying to get into Wolfy’s on Thursday to get their property. 

Cerasoli says it’s unclear if he will allow the building to be opened again as “Wolfy’s.” He says property managers are now evaluating the situation and considering what to do with the property where Wolfy’s has operated for about 30 years.

Keith Pangle biked from Orlando to Sanford on Thursday to hit up one of his favorite spots, only to find out it was closed.

“Every once in a while, I take a ride up here to sit on the water and have a burger and something,” said Pangle. “It’s a nice place to visit, I’ve been coming here for about 15 years. I hate to see it go. It’s a nice place here on the river.”

Tim Gorbey also stopped by Wolfy’s on Thursday.

“It’s the only place we found that had the pork roll sandwich on the menu, and my daughter said it had a very nice view of the river and you can sit outside to eat, so we were looking forward to partaking in some local flavor,” said Gorbey. “I think that’s pretty sad.”

Wolfy’s closing is not the first major change to Sanford’s Marina Island on the Lake Monroe waterfront recently. A hotel on the island since the 1960s was recently torn down to make way for an assisted living facility.