Winter Park is ready to welcome three new restaurants, all pretty much at the same address.
That address is the infamous 358 Park Ave. N., which has seen several restaurants come and go (mostly go) over the last several years. Now an established restaurant group out of Tampa is hoping to get rid of the revolving door.
The main restaurant in the corner space downstairs will be the group’s Hyde Park concept known as Boca. It will feature a market in the rear space of the building that will sell sauces and condiments used in the dishes. The Hyde Park menu showcases shrimp and grits, braised short rib, and seared yellowfin tuna, but you might also expect Winter Park’s executive chef, Dominic Rice, to add his own touches.
The front of the restaurant now has a prominent bar that features a Brazilian-wood top and sides paneled with actual tree bark. Overhangs have been added outside to allow more sidewalk dining, as many as 50 seats. The wall that the bar used to be up against is awaiting installation of a vertical garden, which will grow herbs to be used in craft cocktails. It will be open initially only for dinner and brunch.
Upstairs, the vast space that in the past has been used mainly for banquet dining will be called Park Social. Its decor is late ’60s early ’70s — think Austin Powers and Atari. It has its own bar and kitchen.
Around back in the Hidden Garden where you’ll find the Scott Laurent Collection and Bistro on Park is Atlantic Beer and Oyster, or A.B.O. The small oyster bar has rustic — and rusted — tables on wheels rescued from and ice house, and will feature several beers on tap as well as in cans (no bottles, I was told, because those aren’t allowed on boats).
A.B.O. may open as early as next week. That may come as a surprise to some who thought it had opened earlier in the month. However, the certificate of occupancy isn’t expected until Monday or Tuesday. The other restaurants are at least two and a half weeks away from being completed.