One of the city's original tapas restaurants has closed. Sort of.
El Bodegon Tapas & Wine at 400 S. Orlando Ave. in Winter Park shuttered before the new year, but the new owners decided to reopen the concept (with the same chefs, management and menu) in a "bigger and better location" in historic Cocoa Village.
The new beachside location opened March 1 in a former bank building that's seen a carousel of restaurants pass through its doors — Pho Cocoa Fusion, Korean American Fusion, and Sublime Restaurant & Sangria Lounge, just to name a few.
El Bodegon in Cocoa Village
Along with Rocco's Italian Grille and Hillstone (né Houston's), El Bodegon anchored the dining scene along the Winter Park portion of South Orlando Avenue for a good decade before closing its doors on New Year's Eve 2017.
For me, El Bodegon was one of those restaurants I never thought a lot about, but was always conscious of every time I drove past it.
When Bulla Gastrobar opened just up the road
, fans of Spanish cuisine had another option, and a more contemporary one at that, which certainly hurt the old stalwart.
Back in 2010, I lauded El Bodegon for serving time-honored, and strongly flavored, tapas fare
particularly their paella Valenciana, which made me feel like "it was Sunday in Seville, not a Friday in Orlando."
114 Harrison St.
Cocoa, FL 32922