Central Florida Restaurants Assessing Whether to Reopen for Friday Dinner; Some Will, Some Won’t

Written By Scott Joseph On October 7, 2016

Central Florida restaurant owners were assessing Friday afternoon whether they would be able to reopen for dinner service.

Most, faced with the dire forecast on Thursday that Hurricane Matthew would be potentially devastating, and with local municipalities imposing curfews through Saturday morning, made the decision to close early Thursday with no plans to open until Saturday lunch or dinner.

But with less damage from a weakened and redirected storm, many were scrambling to see if they could reassemble enough staff to open the doors — and recoup some of the losses from having to suspend service the day before.

“We are opening,” said Scott Geisler, general manager of 1921 by Norman Van Aken. “The storm turned out to be not as bad as anticipated in Mount Dora. We are asking only local staff to come in voluntarily and do not want staff driving in from the Orlando area.”

“We’re trying to round up employees at this point,” said DoveCote chef and co-owner Clayton Miller. He “wasn’t expecting the curfew to lift,” he added. A few minutes later he messaged: “It’s on. Opening at 6.”

TR Fire Grill in Winter Park posted on its Facebook page: “ Whew that was close! Thanks to our local police and first responders for keeping us safe. TR Fire Grill plans to open at 6pm today for dinner. “

Taverna Opa, at Pointe Orlando, also will be open. Its sister restaurant, Tapa Toro, however, will stay closed until Saturday.

It appeared that Disney Springs restaurants would be operating. A manager at Art Smith’s Homecoming said the restaurant would open at 5 p.m.

The new Bulla Gastrobar in Winter Park posted on its Facebook page that it had reopened.

Attempts to reach other restaurant owners were unsuccessful. Some, having made the decision to lay low until Saturday, apparently were sticking to that plan.
It seems that those who will be opening for business Friday evening were anxious to get back to work.

“We’re going to cook up a storm,” said Miller.

Restaurateurs, if you plan to open this evening, leave a note below.

Southeast 9 23 Bosch

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