Norman’s update: Construction is continuing on the relocation space and the exterior now sports a Norman’s sign over the front door. It has a fresh coat of paint but still looks very much like a construction site, which it is and will be for a while yet. Thomas D. Wood, Jr., an owner, said in an email that he’s hoping for late fall but, “I can’t predict anymore the way construction goes.” He said that the interior walls would be going in over the next two weeks and, “then the pretty stuff starts.” The patio should be complete by the end of September, he said.
Norman’s, from the eponymous Norman Van Aken, closed its original Central Florida location in September of 2019, vacating the space at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando that is now home to Knife & Spoon. Even as it closed it announced that it would relocate to Dellagio Plaza on Restaurant Row and move into the former Bravo! Italian restaurant space.
Then 2020 came along and, well, you know.
It’s taken longer than anyone expected for the new Norman’s – Knife & Spoon opened within a year – but at least we know it’s still happening. Said Wood: “We are not going to rush anything just to open as it is too important .”
Domino’s Pizza has announced that it is closing all of its locations in Italy. Oh that’s just great – I’m going to be in Rome in three weeks; where am I supposed to find pizza now? [Note: Previous sentence was meant to be written in the Sarcasm font.] What’s amazing about this news item is not that Domino’s is closing its Italy stores but that there were any there in the first place. Imagine the size of the meatballs on the person who first suggested the company expand to the land of pizza. Heck, that would be like Einstein Bros. Bagels, the Miami-born and now Colorado-based bagelry opening shops in New York.
Upate: There are four Einstein Bros. Bagel shops in New York.
Speaking of bagels, some people are bound and determined to make College Parkers eat bagels whether they want them or not, and so far they do not. There was a Bagel Bruno paired with a Foxtail Coffee Co. on Edgewater Drive. Didn’t take. Then Belanger Bagels opened up the street a bit. It closed, though in College Park’s defense they were Montreal-style bagels. Now Jeff’s Bagel Run is going to make a run of it in Belanger’s space. I’m thinking if you want to sell something edible, round and with a hole in it, you’ll have a better chance with doughnuts.
Oh, Shipley Do-Nuts, the phonetically named Texas-based maker of fried sweetness, plans to open its first Orlando shop later this year. It will be at 5919 S. Orange Blossom Trail, so not too far a drive for College Parkers.
Alcohol-free cocktails are having a moment but Tito’s, the popular “handmade” vodka brand, has taken the concept of the zero-proof drink one step further by selling a can with zero drink in it. Emblazoned on the side of the vessel are the words “Tito’s in a Can” with an asterisk that clarifies “ingredients not included.” What’s more, the empty can costs $20. It is a double-insulated stainless steel Igloo brand can that is refillable. Or I guess that should be fillable, because it isn’t filled with anything at the time of purchase. The cans can be purchased at the Tito’s website, where you will be told adamantly and in no uncertain terms that you are purchasing something that 100 percent has no kind of liquid in it whatsoever. One especially nice thing: You can specify that a portion of the proceeds from your purchase of the drinkless drinking can go to one of five charities.