OPENINGS: Contemporary craft barbecue joint the Noble Smokesman has opened in an office park on Lake Ellenor Drive near OBT and Lancaster Road. The brisket is a specialty … The old North Quarter Tavern and Bar Room spaces on North Orange Avenue will soon give way to new concepts – City Pub and Bitters & Bottles … Burgerim, specializing in mini burgers, will open on North Orange Avenue downtown next to Insomnia Cookies and Orange County Brewers. No opening date has been announced … Construction has finally begun on Sonny Nguyen’s Mills 50 Japanese pub/izakaya Tori Tori, while over in the Waterford Lakes Town Center, work is progressing on Nguyen’s other project – Domu Chibi Ramen. Both are expected to open this year … Bar 17 Bistro has opened inside Universal Orlando’s Aventura Hotel. The rooftop bar and grill offers “urban international” fare … Kalalou Caribbean Bar and Grill on South John Young Parkway near the Mall at Millenia celebrates its grand opening Aug. 31 … Knocker Tots, a veteran-owned and operated mobile food vendor, will soon serve its vegan tater tots around town … Lebanese resto Meza has finally opened in Baldwin Park.
CLOSINGS: Rustic Table, which replaced Park Station on Park Avenue in Winter Park, has shuttered … Le Pho, the fast-casual Vietnamese restaurant in the Chase Plaza, has served its last bowl of soup.
NEWS: Rosen Hotels & Resorts will eliminate the use of plastic straws in its 26 hotel restaurants by 2019.
EVENTS: Top Chef Kenny Gilbert will join Rhys Gawlak (Swine & Sons) and Nick Sierputowski (Ravenous Pig) in an “End of Summer BBQ Roast” at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, at the Ravenous Pig. Call to reserve a table … La Tomatina, the tomato-tossing festival in the Valencian town of Buñol, Spain, will be celebrated at Tapa Toro with a special eight-course chef’s table dinner Wednesday, Aug. 29. Cost is $89 plus tax and tip … The 2018 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival gets underway Thursday, Aug. 30, and runs through Nov. 12 … The Edison hosts "A Gatsby Evening," a swanky 1920s-era party, Sunday, Sept. 2. In addition to the live entertainment, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and Moet Champagne will be offered. Doors open at 7 p.m. and cost is $75.