Hourglass

Here are some newsy bits for Thanksgiving week.

Hourglass Brewing of Longwood will open a microbrewery in, of all places, the Hourglass District in Orlando. Actually, there is no official Hourglass District, at least not yet. But that's the name the developers are using for the area surrounding the corner of Curry Ford Road and Bumby Avenue in Orlando. (They pulled the name from nearby Hourglass Lake. I suppose we should be grateful they didn't try to do a syllabic abbreviation and come up with BuCuFo or CurBum or something like that.)

According to Orlando Weekly's Faiyaz Kara, Hourglass will move into a space previously occupied by a church. Ironically, the developers, Giovanni Fernandez and Elise Sabatino, had cleared out the church so that they could move restaurants into the other buildings without running up against the archaic rule that alcohol can't be served in proximity to schools and churches. Because, you know, temptation.

Copacabana tamal

Copacabana, a Cuban cafe from Mount Dora, has opened a second location in Altamonte Springs. It's a bright and spiffy spot with friendly service and decent food.

The Altamonte location opened only recently, and I have to wonder if the owners knew that the parking lot would be nearly nonexistent when they first planned the new place. The small strip mall, which also is home to longtime Indian restaurant Kohinoor and two breastaurants, Twin Peaks and the Winghouse, is undergoing some sort of construction on the central parking lot. People who wished to eat at Copacabana had to hunt for parking along the sides and hike to the restaurant.

It should be testament to the quality of the restaurant that many people did just that. Copa was doing brisk business when I stopped in recently for lunch.

3922 colonial

Next up: Chinese.

That freestanding restaurant on East Colonial Drive that has in recent years been Fazoli's Italian, California Burrito Company, Casa Barcelona (briefly) and the Peruvian Gaviota Brasas & More (brieflier) will now be Peter's Kitchen, a Chinese restaurant.

Gaviota Brasas closed approximately three months ago. I reviewed it in August shortly after it opened and, apparently, shortly before it closed. It was meant to be a more casual restaurant with grilled foods as its focus than the Gaviota Seafood & Fine Peruvian Cuisine in Thornton Park. That restaurant, in the Sanctuary Condominiums building, remains.

Workers were putting up the Peter's Chinese signs Friday afternoon, but an opening date is not yet known. So far the restaurant does not have a website or even a Facebook page. There is, however, a Peter's Kitchen Chinese restaurant in Miami. The manager at that restaurant was unavailable to take a call, but the young woman who answered the phone said the restaurant was not opening another location in Orlando.

It seems a bit too coincidental that there would be two Chinese restaurants called Peter's Kitchen -- a name that doesn't exactly scream moo goo gai pan -- in the same state. And if it is coincidence, the owners of the restaurant set to open on Colonial Drive may want to keep the signage company on speed dial so they can take the Peter's Kitchen sign down after the owners get a Cease and Desist order from the Miami restaurant's lawyers.

Krestaurant interior

There's always a bit of trepidation whenever a major change occurs at a popular restaurant. At K Restaurant & Wine Bar, of course, the change was a transfer of ownership from founding proprietor and chef Kevin Fonzo to Chad Phelps, a longtime chef with mainly institutional experience. (His resume includes 21 years as a chef in the U.S. Navy aboard a submarine, which probably prepared him for the cramped confines of the K kitchen.)

Fonzo seemed inextricably attached to the popular College Park restaurant; after all, it's his initial that gives the restaurant its name. And the James Beard Award-nominated chef has been a charismatic and visible promoter of the restaurant, regarded as one of the area's top chefs. Surely things would not be the same without Kevin at K.

Kevin who?