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Mingos Downtown is Closed; UCF Mingos Uncertain

In news that will surprise no one, Mingos in downtown Orlando is closed. The restaurant, in the former Graze and Prickly Pear space in the Sanctuary condominium building, was largely financed by Nik Patel, who is under indictment for fraud. A second Mingos, in the Doubletree by Hilton near UCF that opened a few months ago, is under new management. A woman who answered the phone there Friday evening said she didn't know if it would continue to be known as Mingos or would be called something else. 

I'm guessing something else.

On its Facebook page, Mingos in downtown Orlando said it was closing because of "an inability to reach an agreement in lease negotiations within a timely manner..." 

The restaurant was not poorly reviewed, but having a partner embroiled in a messy legal issue that has seen him selling off homes and cars doesn't bode well.

H/T Joe Sarrubbo.

Kevin Dundon Nominated for Taste Award

kevin-dundon2Kevin Dundon, master chef and co-owner of Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant at Downtown Disney, has been nominated for a Taste Award from the Lifestyle Entertainment Industry for his PBS and Create TV series, "Kevin Dundon's Modern Irish Food." Dundon is nominated in two categories: Best Food travel Series and Best Chef in a Series.

The awards recognize and acknowledge excellence in video, film, mobile and interactive content focused on food, drink, fashion, design, travel and lifestyle.

The winners will be announced in December and they will be feted at a red-carpet celebration in Hollywood (the one in California) on January 15. 

Dundon also owns Dunbrody Country House Hotel and Cookery School in Wexford  on Ireland's south coast, where much of the series is filmed. He was also the charming host for the first international Scott Joseph's Supper Club in Dublin in August. We congratulate him on the nomination and wish him good luck.


Rick Bayless in Talks for Disney Springs Restaurant

Rick BaylessJust yesterday I told you about Art Smith perhaps opening a restaurant at the still-under-construction Disney Springs at Downtown Disney. Now I'm hearing that Rick Bayless, another Chicago area chef, is also in the negotiations phase. Bayless's restaurants include Mexican flavored Frontera Grill and Topolobampo, but according to my sources, he would bring a new brand to Central Florida. The arrangement would be made under a licensing agreement, but, I'm told, Bayless would be hands on with the development and ongoing operations of the restaurant.

Other restaurants that are slated to open include Morimoto Asia and Boathouse.

More details as I learn them.



Celebrity Chef Art Smith Rumored to be in Talks for Disney Springs Restaurant

Art Smith, a celebrity chef with restaurants in Chicago and Washington, D.C., is in talks to open a restaurant at Walt Disney World, most likely as part of the Disney Springs project currently under construction, according to a source close to the chef.

Smith is a former personal chef to Oprah Winfrey and the owner of Table Fifty-Two in Chicago's Near North Side, the "home of Southern hospitality in Chicago," according to the chef's website. Other restaurants include Art and Soul in Washington; LYFE Kitchen in Palo Alto (it stands for Love Your Food Everyday); and Southern Art and Bourbon Bar in Atlanta.

Smith is also a native of Jasper, Florida, near the Georgia border, and in 2013 announced that he was in the planning stages to open a cafe with comfort food and a Starbucks. Smith and his husband, the artist Jesus Salgueiro, own a home in Jasper.

A spokeswoman for Walt Disney World would not comment on the rumor of an Art Smith restaurant at the resort, and attempts to reach someone in Smith's organization were not fruitful.

Earlier it was confirmed that Morimoto Asia and the Boathouse would be part of Disney Springs. Other restaurants that are rumored to be opening but not yet officially announced are STK and Edison.

Monday, 24th November 2014

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