Downtown Crowd

Heart of East Hill

Situated in the heart of historic East Hill at 1010 N. 12th Ave., lies one of Pensacola’s most mysterious and beloved architectural landmarks, the old Sacred Heart Hospital. Formerly Pensacola Hospital, the historic Sacred Heart Hospital opened its doors in 1915 as the first Catholic hospital in Florida. Boasting impressive late Gothic Revival-style architecture, it took only one year for Evans Brothers Construction to complete the entire building. The thriving hospital eventually outgrew the building, and was moved to a much larger and modernized facility, which is what we know today as Sacred Heart Hospital. The name was changed from Pensacola Hospital in 1948, and the historic Sacred Heart Hospital was added to the United States National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Back in the hospital’s heyday, nurses would walk the wards tending to its around 150 patients—some say they still do. Over the years, there have been reports of numerous sightings of a ghostly apparition dressed in a nurse’s uniform, who still continues to roam the building. Today, the structure remains as both a medical and architectural landmark and houses a number of small businesses that serve as the heart of the East Hill neighborhood. The building currently serves as home to an eclectic mix of both old and new tenants, ranging from the beloved O’Zone Pizza Pub and private CPAs and attorneys to performing arts and yoga studios and more. We have brought you details on some of the bustling new businesses that now call the historic building home.

Lamonte Gelato

The makers behind Pensacola’s wildly popular pop-up dining experience, TROUBADOUR Dining Pensacola, returned to the local dining scene in February 2023 with the debut of their latest business venture, Lamonte Gelato. Owned by local husband-and-wife restaurateurs, Alex and Ashley Lamonte, this authentic Italian-style gelateria offers an impressive lineup of artisanal small batch gelatos. Each gelato flavor is made from scratch by Alex himself, without the use of premade mixes, artificial flavoring, dyes or fillers. Some house specialties include gelato truffles, fraps and affogatos. The menu also features hand-crafted waffle cones, espresso drinks from the shop’s fully stocked espresso bar and locally roasted Alla Prima Coffee. A variety of dairy-free and gluten-free options are also available. Lamonte Gelato is located in suite #133 and is open Wednesday through Sunday from 12 pm to 9 pm. Check out the full menu online at, or follow Lamonte Gelato on Facebook and @lamonte_gelato on Instagram.

A Mano Panino

Also the brainchild of local restaurateurs Alex and Ashley Lamonte, this new Italian-inspired sandwich shop made its debut in January alongside the couple’s existing gelato shop, Lamonte Gelato. The menu features 10 signature sandwiches with flavors inspired by the street food of Florence. Each of the sandwiches are made from scratch with fresh, all-natural ingredients and served on homemade schiacciata bread (an Italian flatbread similar to focaccia). The flavor profile for each of the schiacciata-based sandwiches are matched to an Italian classical music term. One customer favorite is the #9 Delicato Sandwich, which is the shop’s signature vegan option that includes balsamic roasted eggplant, marinated zucchini, sunflower seed and arugula pesto with giardiniera relish. You can order online and enjoy on the go, or dine-in at Lemonte Gelato. A Mano Panino is located in Suite #128 and is open Wednesday through Sunday from 12 pm to 4pm. View the menu and order online at, or follow @amanopanino on social media.

The Burrow

This neighborhood biergarten, cocktail lounge and eatery made its debut in early 2024 as the new extension of Pensacola’s popular Odd Colony Brewing Company. Meticulously crafted by co-owners Brett Schweigert and Blake Foster, The Burrow perfectly fuses the warmth and coziness of a rustic wilderness lodge with the unique vibe of a European biergarten to create an eclectic—and comfortably elevated—experience. The restaurant and brewery are both nature and seasonally inspired, featuring earthy cocktails, campfire-inspired menu offerings and loads of Belgian-style lagers. The inner quarters provide an intimate experience for dinner and drinks, while the 8,000-square-foot outdoor biergarten is more laid-back with picnic table seating and outdoor entertainment. The beer menu is offered both in the taproom and outdoor biergarten and primarily focuses on lagers. The eye-catching house food menu was cultivated by local chef Amy Potmesil, who has ties to many popular restaurants such as Union Public House, The Well and The Nest General Store. Her menu design complements the rustic, cabin-esque vibe, with hickory smoked menu items such as smoked mussels and wild boar meatballs. Other menu favorites include Bone Harvest lager boiled peanuts and the beer-brined pork chop. The Burrow if located in Suite #111 and is open Tuesday through Sunday (hours vary). Check out @TheBurrowbyOC on Facebook or @theburrow.oddcolony on Instagram.

A Curious Wine Shop

This quaint wine shop is packed with delightful curiosities, and of course, plenty of tasty wine. Owned and operated by husband-and-wife, John and Hilary Towns, A Curious Wine Shop celebrated its opening on January 23. The shop is located in a portion of the building that formerly served as the principal’s office for the Pensacola Private School of Liberal Arts, providing the perfect ambiance for the couple’s niche business concept. With Hilary’s extensive background in wine education and John’s profession as a geologist, the two have set out to not only make wine more accessible to the average consumer, but also to educate them on the stories and science behind the wines they drink. Hilary became a Certified Specialist of Wine through The Academy of Wine Educators in 2014 and, most recently, served as the Sommelier for Restaurant Iron here in Pensacola. The shop offers regular wine tastings during operating hours, but the main pillar of the business is Hilary’s self-curated wine tasting boxes, which include three bottles of wine and assorted education materials based on a specific theme. Each day, the shop showcases a different tasting box with relevant maps, rocks and aromas for customers to sample and explore. Private tasting classes are also hosted Tuesday through Thursday, which can be booked for groups of 6 to 12 guests. The shop also offers a wine club subscription called the Wine Curiosity Club for $65 per month, which includes a featured tasting box (three bottles of wine with educational materials) and an invitation to the class monthly. A Curious Wine shop is located in Suite #221 and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 12 to 6 pm. For details, visit, or follow @drinkwinecuriously on Facebook and @a_curious_wine_shop on Instagram.

O’Zone Pizza Pub

Although this popular dining spot has been a long-time tenant of the building, we would be amiss to not include it on our list. If you’re looking for an eclectic experience and really good pizza – look no further! Housed in the basement (or former morgue) of the old hospital building, O’Zone is notable not only for its delectable pies and selection of cold draft beers, but also for its many ghostly encounters. Rumored to serve as stomping grounds to some spooky resident ghosts, this laid-back pizza pub has become a popular dining and hangout spot for both locals and visitors. The pizza itself draws attention with its Roman-style crust, which is nothing like the other crust varieties you’ll find around town. Made daily, their tasty dough is unique in that it doesn’t quite qualify as hand-tossed, but isn’t exactly thin crust either; it lies somewhere in between, creating a unique flavor and texture you’re sure to instantly fall in love with! Their menu offers a variety of signature pie options, as well as build-your-own pies. One local favorite is the Ponderosa Stomp, which comes topped with a cheddar-cheese blend, barbecue sauce, chicken, bacon, green peppers, green onions and drizzled honey. Gluten-free crust is also available, as well as many veggie-oriented toppings, including a vegan cheese. Pair your pie with a generous twenty-ounce pour of one of the many beer selections available on tap or a specialty cocktail from the bar. O’Zone Pizza Pub is located in suite #111 and is open Wednesday through Sunday from 4 pm to 9 pm. Check out the full menu online at