I hadn’t visited the Winter Park Fish Company since it opened more than eight and a half years ago. Opening chef George Vogelbacher left the business a few years ago to cook at Maxine’s on Shine. There have been lots of other changes, here and around the neighborhood (who remembers that O’boys was just up the block in the building where Ravenous Pig is now — and where Vogelbacher’s Le Cordon Bleu restaurant was for many years?).
I figured it was time to go back and check it out.
It seems to be something of a mini trend for bars to partner with nearby or even next-door restaurants. Most bar owners seem to want to focus on the alcohol and not have to worry about all the problems associated with serving food. Yet they recognize that their customers might want something to eat while they drink. And generally speaking, it’s probably a good idea for the drinkers to have something in their stomachs.
Ocean Sun Brewing announced that it would allow customers to order food from La Fiesta Mexican restaurant when the two became neighbors on Curry Ford Road. And Hourglass Brewing in Longwood has an open-door policy with Wako Taco — literally; there is a door from the bar to the restaurant so people can order without going outside. And when the food is ready, someone from Wako will find them in the bar to deliver it.
That’s the setup at Big Time Street Food Co. in Thornton Park. There is a doorway from the nascent food operator into Burton’s Bar, the longtime dive that has been a fixture of Thornton Park before it was Thornton Park. Order some food at the takeout-only Big Time and you can walk through the doorway to Burton’s and wait for it at the bar. You can eat it there, too, if you like.
SeaWorld is diving deeper into special-event waters and has announced a new Craft Beer Festival for Nov. 3 through 11, but only on weekends. So, basically, two weekends. That isn’t much time to sample the more than 100 beers, mostly from Florida, the theme park plans to have on draft. Food will be involved, too, with over 20 “unique” food items, according to a press release.
Another SeaWorld item: happy hour. Through Sept. 2, guests can can enjoy BOGO offers on all beverages and some food items at Flamecraft Bar and Sharks Underwater Grill. It starts daily at 4 p.m. The press release doesn’t mention an end time, so it’s either all evening or it’s a literal hour of happy.
More SeaWorld: Free beer. Also through Sept. 2, the park is offering free domestic and seasonal beers at Mama’s Pretzel Kitchen Patio. You may have two of the seven-ounce pours.