Magnificat reopens Monday under new ownership as Mags Cafe

Former owners challenged by cancer say closing was best for their family

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Less than a year after News4Jax shared the gut-wrenching story of the owners of the Magnificat Cafe, the restaurant closed in downtown Jacksonville after 17 years.

Three family members were fighting three different kinds of cancer at the same time, and the community rallied around the Desclefs last December. But the owners of the French-American restaurant announced in late August in a Facebook post that they were closing their doors, saying the coronavirus pandemic and their health made it increasingly difficult to continue to operate.

Four days after the café's closing, a new family bought it.

Keeping with the theme of the Magnificat Café, the new name has been shortened to Mags Café. The new owners said there will be familiar items on the menu. They are open from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Monday-Friday.

“I think they very much missed this place,” said Melina Reynolds, Mags Café co-owner. “I think it’s very relaxed like a second home for them to come to lunch so we want to carry that on.”

Reynolds and her brother, Bobby, originally from Indiana, are keeping their café nearly the same but there will be some additions. Bobby has lived in Northeast Florida for more than 20 years.

Reynolds said they are excited to start a new path in their lives while starting a new adventure.

“We kept the menu very similar to begin with. We wanted to live on with their legacy,” said Reynolds. “We will slowly add in some of our own original items as we move forward.”

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