Food & Drink » Tip Jar

Nine new restaurants open, one closes; plus White Castle Food Truck and Annual Blues B-Q


It's been a long time coming, but the former Harmoni Market/Wildside BBQ/Hangar Grille space in College Park is getting a restaurant that might actually last. Armando's Cucina Italiana & Pizzeria will open its second location in the Edgewater Drive space after completing some renovations.

Openings: In Mills 50, Propagation, a hybrid beverage and furniture store à la Washburn Imports/Imperial Wine Bar, will serve espresso and coffee drinks along with midcentury modern furniture in early March. Umi, specializing in Japanese fusion cuisine, has moved into the former Avenue Thai space on the southern periphery of Park Avenue. Look for the Golden Knife Chop House (also described as a "gastropub," "Continental restaurant" and "tapas bar") to take over the Zilly Bee space on East Pine Street downtown. In Altamonte Springs, Turkish Bar & Grill has opened in the former Wassabi Asian Fusion on Douglas Avenue.

South + York, the Winter Springs farm-to-table resto that held much promise but needed some work, has closed.

In the tourist sector: NY-based McFadden's Restaurant & Saloon will be a part of I-Drive 360 complex with great views of the Orlando Eye; Gourmet grilled cheese outfit Tom + Chee opens at the Crossroads Plaza in Lake Buena Vista in April; Spoleto Italian Kitchen opens a second location in the Florida Mall in June, with a third location set for August in Winter Park Village. The Whiskey, a craft cocktail and burger bar going into the former Cricketers Arms space in Dr. Phillips, will serve a $100 burger when it opens in March, and further, they plan to stage Food Fight – an Iron Chef-style showdown – soon after opening. Details TBD.


Dude! The White Castle Food Truck rolls into Fun Spot Orlando Feb. 19-20 and Fun Spot Kissimmee Feb. 21-22 ... The 9th Annual Blues B-Q takes place downtown at the City Commons Plaza 4-10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28 ... Finally, some sad news to report: Gail Givoglu, co-owner and founder of Mediterranean Blue, passed away Feb. 2 at the age of 56. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family.

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