George Miliotes has announced the appointment of Ron Rupert as executive chef for his long-awaited Wine Bar George at Disney Springs. Along with the announcement came word that the restaurant is now scheduled for a spring opening. The statement even specified spring of 2018, so that’s encouraging.
WBG was first announced here in Dec. 2015, when Miliotes was still getting his paychecks from Darden Restaurants. We covered the ground breaking ceremony in Nov. 2016 and may have even mentioned in the middle of last year that the wine bar would be open by now.
But the delays are probably an indication of the scope of the project. Don’t confuse “wine bar” with a small operation. Wine Bar George will be a two-story operation with seating for 210 guests. When he first announced the concept, Miliotes estimated it would cost between $4 and $6 million.
And now that there’s a real, live chef attached, with a logo stitched on his tunic and everything, we may actually be getting close to popping a cork.
This will not be the first time Rupert and Miliotes have worked together. He was on the opening team of California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, where Miliotes was the general manager. Rupert also opened Jiko — The Cooking Place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and Ariel’s at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts. “I’ve worked jointly with George to develop a menu that represents both global and local cuisine,” Rupert said in the written statement. “Guests can expect to experience food that is familiar, yet new all at once.”
The menu will feature small and shareable plates and cheese and charcuterie selections, all, of course, designed to be paired with wines chosen by Miliotes. The wine list will feature more than 100 by-the-glass selections.
It’s exciting that Wine Bar George is getting closer to opening. But keep in mind that spring runs through June 21. Ah well, the wines will only age longer.