A new concept called Urbain 40 American Brasserie is planned for the former Cantina Laredo space at the Dellagio plaza on Restaurant Row. It is being developed by a new company, Boulevard Restaurants, owned by Orlando attorney Jaafar Choufani, son of longtime restaurateur Rashid Choufani.
The elder Choufani told me that the new restaurant will be a paean to the 1940s in decor and ambience, including music of the Big Band era, “just like we used to have at Timpano’s,” he said. Choufani was the owner of E-brands, which developed Timpano and Samba Room. (The original Timpano on Sand Lake Road is where Eddie V’s now stands, and Rocco’s Tacos, next door, was the home of Samba Room.) Choufani still has the restaurants at the Morocco pavilion at Epcot and the Latin American themed restaurant Paradiso 37 at Downtown Disney. Paradiso 37 is undergoing renovations to become part of Disney Springs and its size will double.
Choufani said the chef for Urbain 40 will be Jean-Stephane Poinard, who previously owned Bistro de Leon in St. Augustine. (Poinard, from Lyon, France, is the son of a celebrated chef in that city, also named Jean-Stephane Poinard, whose body was found stuffed in a freezer — placed there by his common-law wife, apparently, 18 months before it was discovered — in 2010. But that’s a topic for another time.)
Rashid Choufani stressed that his son owns the company “100 percent” and that he is just helping him out. “I’m just doing this for my pleasure,” he said. He added that the menu, which will feature “big city cocktails and big city food,” will be mid priced.
The restaurant will feature a chef’s table in the kitchen and will make use of the terrace overlooking the Dellagio’s central courtyard and fountain.