The University of Central Florida long planned for a hotel on its campus. Last week, the Celeste Hotel finally opened, part of Marriott’s Tribute Portfolio of independent hotels.
And with the hotel comes a new restaurant for East Orlando: Aurora (there’s a lot of super-terrestrial branding here). It will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and has an American menu under the direction – or as the hotel’s website puts it, the “inspiring culinary genius” – executive chef Mike Trudnak. Trudnak has also been the e.c. at at the contradictorily named Orlando Lake Mary Marriott.
Look for shrimp & grits, grilled skirt steak, pork tenderloin and a breakfast item called the Metro Pileup. Brilliant.
- FK Your Diet, a breakfast and lunch restaurant, has taken over the former McGinnty’s Irish Pub on Hansel Avenue south of SoDo (SoSoDo?). The FK is for foster kids, which doesn’t make as much sense as what you originally thought it meant. But owner Doug Miller, who grew up a foster kid himself, has pledged to donate five percent of the restaurant’s revenue to agencies that deal with foster children. There are two other FKYDs, in Fort Myers and Cape Coral.
- FusionFest, the two-day multicultural event, will be held Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 28 and 29, on Seneff Arts Plaza in front of the the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Each day, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday, attendees can experience music, dance, and foods from around the world. You can also meet people from different parts of the globe and ask them why their countries are doing so much better at handling the coronavirus than the U.S. It’s free to attend but food and beverages will be available for purchase.
If you’d rather avoid the gathering, a virtual world experience will be offered online Friday, Nov. 27, through a platform called Topia that somehow allows your avatar to “walk around” a digitally drawn space. I’m not sure what that means, but you can find more information at the FusionFest website.
- Wally’s Mills Avenue Liquor, the undivey bar that was covid-closed back in March, has reopened with a newly created side patio. Also, it now opens daily at 7 a.m., so that much is like the old days.
- Hunger Street Tacos is planning to open a second location in the Plant Street Market building in Winter Garden next year.
- Congratulations to Raglan Road Irish Pub on its 15 year anniversary.