Cypress Restaurant, a Tallahassee treasure, closes after two decades

by Tallahassee Table
Owners David and Elizabeth Gwynn will keep open their other two local restaurants, Vertigo and Grove Market Cafe.

It’s tough enough when any restaurant closes but it’s even harder when it’s a favorite and a local icon. David Gwynn announced on July 13 that, after more than two decades, Cypress Restaurant will be closing. Vertigo Burgers & Fries and Grove Market Café will remain open.

David tells me not to be sad, but I can’t help it. Cypress was the first fine dining restaurant we visited when my husband and I moved to Tallahassee and it became an instant favorite. We would bring our visitors here. It has always been a delightful experience — the food, the service, the setting.

During the pandemic, we enjoyed takeout meals from Cypress. Photo by Tallahassee Table

Cypress endured the worst of the pandemic, pivoting and taking bold steps, offering takeout food and cocktails, eventually changing the menu to offer tapas as well as their classics. We missed the atmosphere at Cypress during the pandemic but still loved their food and drinks when we ordered takeout. Still the same dedication to quality.

“Don’t be sad!” David just wrote me in a text. “Business has been good. It’s just that we’re worn out and can’t keep this pace any longer. We are at peace with it so no tears here. And yes, gives us the opportunity to focus on Vertigo and Grove. Thank you!”

The restaurant will be closing July 24 so there’s still time to show the Gwynns and staff some love. We are happy we’ll be able to catch them at their other locations. Thank you to the Gwynns for years of fantastic meals and great memories.

“Big Dave’s Plate” is on the breakfast lineup at Grove Market Cafe, owned by David and Elizabeth Gwynn. Photo by Tallahassee Table

I’m also a fan of Vertigo and Grove Market so am very happy they’ll be open.

Oysters Rockefeller one of the many splendid dishes at Cypress. Photo via Cypress Restaurant

Cypress fan and Tallahassee Table reader Sarah Shuler Thompson wrote on our Facebook page: “This will be a huge loss to the Tallahassee dining scene. I can’t help but respect their choice to bow out how and when they wanted to, but Cypress will absolutely be missed!

Another fan and reader, John M. commented: “Terrible news, but at least they went out on their own terms. Birthdays, anniversaries, special events… All good memories and good times were had there.”

All the best to the Gwynns.

Cypress Restaurant recently remodeled and spruced up the exterior. Photo by Alicia Devine / Tallahassee Democrat

Here’s David’s announcement:”

Elizabeth and I hope that you and yours are doing well.”It is mind-blowing to think that it has been twenty-one plus years since Elizabeth and I opened Cypress Restaurant. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience full of wonderful people, food, and drink. It has gone by so fast. We would love to continue for another twenty-one years but we are older, wiser, and… well, just that… we are older and wiser. With that said, Cypress Restaurant’s last day of operation is Saturday, July 24th.

Scallops have been a special treat at Cypress. Photo via Cypress

“We owe the longevity of our success to both our customers and employees. Our customers are simply the best. They have appreciated our efforts and offerings and have supported us during the toughest times. We are honored that you chose to dine with us.

“Elizabeth and I would not be where we are without all the incredibly talented staff members that believed in us and the business we created. Thank you for helping us grow and thrive. Special thanks to two original employees, Caroline (Brewster) Richter and Lee Harris, who went above and beyond for us with their individual sacrifices and contributions.

“We are appreciative of the accolades over the years from Florida Trend Magazine and Tallahassee Magazine. Both our customers and employees were instrumental in our receiving the recognition for our efforts.

“We will forever cherish the wonderful relationships we made along the way. From the incredibly gifted artists and musicians who shared their talents within our space to the local farmers and producers who allowed us to offer locally produced goods before it was trendy and to the beverage vendors who opened our eyes (and palates) to the world of wine, beer, and spirits and who helped guide customers through almost two decades of our popular wine dinners. Thank you all.”

Above all else, infinite love and appreciation to our families, especially our two sons. When we opened, they were toddlers and are now young men. We are so proud of them. We dragged them all into the crazy life of restaurateurs.

“Although Cypress is closing, you can still see Elizabeth’s and my sweet smiling faces when you visit Vertigo Burgers and Fries and Grove Market Café. “Again, thank you all for a wonderful experience.”

David and Elizabeth Gwynn

You may also like

Leave a Comment