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Popular Key Largo eatery, bar closing down on Sunday

Coconuts Restaurant and Lounge, a popular Key Largo watering hole, will close its doors forever on Sunday after three decades of serving tourists and locals.

Last week, owner Charles Mountain told his lease expires Sunday , and the business, which can seat up to 250 patrons, is now in “shutdown mode.”

On Thursday, the restaurant will hold an auction of its restaurant equipment and memorabilia.

“This is it, if anyone wants to come down and say goodbye to the restaurant and take a piece of it, they should do it this week,” said Todd Matthews, one of the eatery’s manager.

The owner said his landlord, Ocean Properties Ltd., “virtually refused to respond to any proposal that was presented to them” to keep the restaurant open.

Mountain is the latest owner of Coconuts, which opened in the early 1980s at Mile Marker 100, behind the Holiday Inn.

The closing means more than 30 people will be out of work.

“I’m among them,” Matthews said.

Viewing of items for sale at Thursday’s auction begins at 10 a.m.; the bidding starts at 11 a.m. at the restaurant at 528 Caribbean Dr. contributed to this report.