Pete's Pier

Pete's Pier in Crystal River.

Before launching into this month’s new restaurants, stores and businesses, I want to introduce a feature called the “Tip of the Hat” department.

I plan to highlight local businesses that have achieved some honor or designation that makes it stand out.

First up is Pete’s Pier Marina in Crystal River, which has earned the coveted "Clean & Resilient Marina" designation from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP).

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The marina has made numerous upgrades to become the FDEP's first Clean & Resilient Marina in Citrus County. 

They replaced their fixed docks with floating docks, renovated their bathrooms, restored the deck and are replacing their pump-out unit. 

The state noted Pete's Pier emergency and evacuation plans; an active emergency preparedness leadership team that provides training to staff and boaters; floating docks that extend into deep waters; and dock-anchoring systems designed to resist storm surge and high winds. 

Now, on with the comings and goings:

 Why no Aldi in Citrus?

Citrus County has been hoping for an Aldi grocery store for years.

Dunnellon recently celebrated the opening of its new Aldi, the third in Marion County. Hernando County has two Aldis - one in Spring Hill and one in Brooksville.

And yet, nothing in Citrus County.

This, despite it being one of the fastest-growing chains in the nation with the goal to become the third-largest by the end of 2022.

The Chronicle has reached out many times to Aldi’s corporate office and asked representatives when Citrus can expect its first store.

Two weeks ago, the latest inquiry brought this response from Matt Thon, Haines City division vice president for ALDI.

“At this time, we do not have any information to share about a potential ALDI store opening in Citrus County," Thon said. "As soon as there are any updates regarding ALDI stores in that area, we will reach out.”

And the Chronicle will do the same. Keep your fingers crossed.

Another Dunkin on the way?

Dunkin Donuts has expressed interest in building at the southeast corner of U.S. 19 and West Homosassa Trail but no permits have been issued as of June 8.

The county in 2020 approved a Planned Urban Development (PUD) for a new self-service car wash and restaurant - between RaceTrac gas station to the north and a CVS pharmacy to the south.

The site currently has multiple commercial uses, including a two-story office building and a four-bay self-service car wash, both built in 1988. There’s also another office building that’s been there since 1974.

Plans call for demolishing those existing buildings and building a new car wash and Dunkin Donuts.

The Chronicle will continue to update developments there.

Homosassa getting new eateries

Homosassa residents will soon be able to patronize two new fast-food restaurants in their neighborhood.

A new Wendy’s at the corner of U.S. 98 and U.S 19 has spent the past month hiring employees and is expected to open soon. 

Construction is well underway for a new Taco Bell at 9357 U.S. 19, next to the Shoppes of Sugarmill Woods. Joining Taco Bell at the complex will be a new Verizon store.

Opening dates have not been announced for either business.

Odds and ends

- Winn-Dixie on June 9 unveiled its new Beverly Hills liquor store at 3589 County Road 491.

- The Law Offices of Lucas & Magazine has opened a branch at 2200 State Road 44 West in Inverness.

- Campbell & Company investment firm opened a branch at 2202 State Road 44 in Inverness.

Contact Chronicle reporter Michael D. Bates at 352-563-3205 or To see more of his stories, visit

(1) comment


Any information on why or what is going on at the corner of 491 and Truman Blvd in Beverly Hills. They have been clearing the corner of the Winn Dixie plaza.

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