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Bullet Point Buffet: The Takeover Edition

Written By Scott Joseph On October 24, 2018

1921 exterior

Nibble and bits.

  • 1921 by Norman Van Aken will host a five-course wine dinner paired with the Champagnes of Billecart-Salmon Thursday, Nov. 8, at 6:30 p.m. $180 per person. Click here for tickets. And no, salmon is not one of the entrees.
  • Speaking of Norman Van Aken, the celebrity chef who also owns Norman’s at the Ritz-Carlton in Orlando and Three, a restaurant in Miami, caused a bit of a stir when he declined an invitation to cook for a fundraiser to be sponsored by Donald Trump and his son Eric at Mar-a-Lago. “I would not feel it to be honorable of me to seem to align myself with the policies of the Trump administration as it might be concluded by cooking there,” the James Beard award winner told the Miami Herald.
  • Mooyah Burgers, a franchise out of Plano, Tex., is slated to move into the Mango’s Tropical Cafe complex on International Drive next year. It’s taking a space that was supposed to be Hogan’s Beach Shop (as in Hulk). So, lateral move.

  • The Loews hotels at Universal — Portofino Bay, Sapphire Falls and Royal Pacific — will feature the Bellhop Bar by Loews Hotels in their lobbies. Described as “a retrofitted steamer trunk packed with bespoke beverages stored in antique apothecary-style bottles,” the BHbLH will serve limited “pre batched” cocktails from 5 to 7 p.m. daily. The Bellhop Bar promotion will run from late October (so any minute now) through mid January. After that, they pack it in.
  • Dress for Success Greater Orlando has invited local bakeries to compete in its Cupcake Challenge on Sunday, Nov. 4, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Disney Dining Room at the Rosen College of Hospitality Management. Bakers, bake. Judges judge. Everybody eats cupcakes. It’s $22 for adults, $12 for kid over 12. (They should charge more for kids; those buggers can really pack the cupcakes away.) Proceeds go to Dress for Success, which “empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.” Tickets here.
  • SeaWorld keeps inventing festivals to attract people to the theme park. Up next: the SeaWorld Craft Beer Festival, Nov. 3, 4, 10 and 11. More than 100 beers on draft at 18 locations throughout the park. Food, too, including Candied Bacon Lollipops, Buffalo Burger Quesadilla and BBQ Brisket Mac-n-Cheese. A press release on the festival mentions sampling packages but does not mention what said packages might cost. You may find that at the SeaWorld website.
  • Pearson’s Cafe has closed its shop at 807 N. Orange Ave., Orlando. Pearson’s took over from Green Day Cafe, which took over from Virgin Olive Market, which took over from the Daily Grind Coffee house and Cafe.
  • Word is that the owner of Oudom Thai restaurant plans to put a Mexican ceviche restaurant into the former Gaviota space in the Sanctuary condominium building, though the owner would not return calls to verify. Gaviota, a Peruvian restaurant whose name meant seagull, flew the coop after a short stay. Gaviota took over the space from Nick’s Italian Cafe, which took over from Sanctuary Diner, which took over from FiFi’s Cafe. In between Nick’s and Gaviota, three other concepts were floated that never opened, so don’t start lining up for ceviche just yet.
  • Remember when I told you that Red Claw Lobster Rolls was taking over the food corner inside Orange County Brewers? That was just in June. Never mind, it’s been taken over by Pizza Bruno. Red Claw had taken over for Orlando Pizza & Wing Company.
  • And like one of its patrons after two or three of its legendarily stiff drinks, face down in a dead drunk with no signs of life, Wally’s, everyone’s favorite local dive bar, may lift its head up again. The Orlando Sentinel’s Kyle Arnold reports that a buyer will reopen the bar, possibly by the end of the year. It’s always been my favorite place to reenact the scene where George and Clarence get kicked out of Nick’s bar in “It’s a Wonderful Life.”


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