Anyone who was still harboring hopes that Luma would move back into its old space should be convinced by the photos above. Seen through the front windows, the interior is gutted as workers remodel it for the new tenant, Ava, a Mediterranean style restaurant with owners from South Florida. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it won’t be opening any time soon.
As for Luma, word is that the owners were negotiating for another Park Avenue space, the site of a former high-end appliance venue on the lower part of the boulevard, but that fell through. I’m also hearing that the restaurant group is looking to open one of its existing brands, which include Prato and Luke’s, outside the area, possibly North Florida.
- Not far from Park Avenue, over at Hannibal Square, a piano restaurant is planned for an empty retail space. Cafe-Boutique Piano will feature various European cuisines.
- Cafe-Boutique Piano would have been a neighbor of Dexter’s Winter Park if it hadn’t moved to Ravaudage Plaza two years ago, changing its name to Dexter’s New Standard and then pretty much dropping the Dexter’s moniker altogether. That’s all moot now because New Standard has closed. I’m told the restaurant had financial woes because of the high costs associated with the live music New Standard was offering. But Dexter’s Winter Park was also known for live music, you say. That’s true, but apparently the New Standard was booking more expensive talent and had lighting and sound technicians on staff. The food prices couldn’t cover the costs, and customers weren’t keen to pay a cover charge (especially when they could sit on the terrace at Miller’s Ale House and hear the music). So there’s a keen restaurant space available. (Luma at the Ravaudage, anyone?)
- Congratulations to James Pretell, whose name was chosen at random from the recipients of my weekly News from the Flog eletter. He won a $50 gift card to Big Fin Seafood Kitchen just for allowing delivery of my newsletter to his inbox. The other gift certificate for $50 to Tap Room at Dubsdread went unclaimed, so it goes back into the hopper for this week’s drawing. If you get my eletter in your inbox, you’re registered to win. If not, join us here.
- Speaking of Tap Room, it was again named one of OpenTable’s 100 Best Neighborhood Gems in America for 2021. The annual list is based on comments from diners who made reservations through the online booking service.
- Pour Choice Taphouse, which apparently is different from a tap room, is set to open in the Mills 50 district next door to Pop Thai. Its gimmick will be a row of 50 beer spigots that customers will tap themselves.
- A little down Mills Avenue, behind Tori Tori and fronted on Thornton Avenue, Sonny Nguyen plans to open Edoboy, a standing-room-only sushi bar. Seriously, it will have no seats or stools and space for only eight people to stand and eat.
- In Windermere, Dim Dim Sum, which specializes in [checks notes] dim sum, has opened at The Grove, the shopping complex where S. Apopka Vineland Road bisects Conroy Windermere Road, which is more names than two roads really need.
- The Monroe, the newish restaurant from Good Salt Restaurant Group, has added lunch hours.
- Good Salt also owns Seito Sushi in Baldwin Park and has hosted three prior Ramen Rumble events. This year, it’s partnering with Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs and hosting Ramen Rumble 4 there. Besides those two restaurants, Susuru, Ramen Takagi, Yugiri Ramen Project and Ichicoro Ramen will participate in the broth-based battle on Sept. 28. Tickets, available here, are $80, with proceeds benefitting Give Kids the World. There will be two sessions: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. or 8:30 to 10:30 p.m.
- As long as we’re in the Disney area, I’ll tell you that Steakhouse 71 will open Oct. 1 at the Contemporary Resort, replacing The Wave, which opened in 2008 and really wanted to be known as The Wave…of American Flavors, for some reason. The Wave had one distinction in that all of its wines, with the exception of sparklers, were in bottles with screw caps. Steakhouse 71 (the 71 notes the year Disney World opened; this is its 50th anniversary in case you haven’t heard) will be a three-mealer, and yes, you can get steak and eggs for breakfast. Because the last time I checked this was still America.