Rumors have been floating up from Orlando that the owners of the Smiling Bison might close their Bennett Road location.

Early this afternoon, co-owner Josh Oakley posted on Facebook that such a move was not a rumor. Oakley said the original Smiling Bison location would close at the end of December, though an exact date has not yet been determined. Oakley and his business partner, Ron Thomas, will now focus all of their efforts on the Sanford location.

oakport-adParking was always an issue at the Orlando location, and there were other factors, too. Always classy, Oakley simply explained that the decision as “many circumstances well beyond our control prevent our long-term sustainability at that location.”

Orlando’s loss is Sanford’s gain, though I hate to see any small business make the decision that Oakley and Thomas had to make. I always pull for the local guys to find success.

Oakley indicated the Sanford location is thriving and in the process he gave mad props to the Celery City.

“Virtually all of the prevailing circumstances are in our favor (in Sanford),” Oakley wrote.” The hype is real folks … Sanford is a great town and getting better every day and we feel privileged to be a part of it.”

Sanfordites,  if you enjoy eating at the Smiling Bison, start making your reservations a little earlier. We’ve got company coming from the big city.  Make sure y’all give them a big Bokey welcome.

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