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Flying Fish Cafe Closing Jan. 31 for Overhaul

Written By Scott Joseph On October 13, 2015

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Flying Fish Cafe is next in line for a complete renovation. The popular restaurant at Disney’s BoardWalk will not be taking reservations beyond January 31, 2016, and will close Feb. 1 for several months as the redesign takes place.

I also hear that when it reopens, Flying Fish Cafe will have a new bar and lounge, to be built in the sweets shop space between Trattoria al Forno and the Fish. That will be a great addition.

California Grill underwent a similar renovation a couple of years ago and was out of commission for about half a year. Both restaurants were originally designed by the late Martin Dorf of New York. no word yet on who will be doing the redo of the Fish; San Francisco’s Puccini Group was tapped for the California refurbishing. Update: This may be an inside job handled by Disney Imagineering.

Dorf’s design of Flying Fish Cafe recalled his childhood memories of Coney Island — Flying Fish is a reference to an amusement ride — and it was filled with all sorts of fun sights. (One fun fact about the original design: Dorf told me that before the restaurant opened, the wife of Michael Eisner, Disney’s chief at the time, came in to tour the restaurant. There were a couple of fish finishes that showed the sea creatures standing erect. They looked, Dorf admitted, quite phallic. Mrs. Eisner took one look at them and said, “Those go.” They went.)

The menu will be overhauled, as well, but just as California Grill kept its pork tenderloin with polenta, Flying Fish Cafe will retain the potato-wrapped snapper. Chef Tim Keating will stay on to work with the Concept Development Team.

Flying Fish Cafe is among the top tier of Walt Disney World restaurants, on par with California Grill and Citricos.

More to come.

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