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Steer interior

  • Watch for The Steer Steakhouse to open in a couple of weeks in the former Bauern-Stube space on South Orange Avenue. As you can see in the photo above (courtesy of Alan Herrington, who also did the redo), the place is looking pretty good. Just getting all of the German kitsch out of the building, which began its life as a Pizza Hut hut, must have been a chore. The restaurant is from Herrington's brother Jay, who also owns Fish On Fire.
  • Speaking of The Steer, there’s still no word on when Bovine, the steakhouse that will occupy the former Park Plaza Gardens space, will open. But yes, the owner is sticking with that name.
  • Our friends at Big Fin Seafood Kitchen are hosting a Happy Hour with street food flare, Sunday, May 19, from 5 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $45 and can be purchased here. You can also see the menu at that link. Just go back and click on it, I’m not putting another link here.
  • The next Chef’s Night at Second Harvest is Thursday, May 23, from 6 to 9 p.m., and it’s going to be a stellar one. Check out the chefs in these sub bullets: 
    • Chef Jason Wolfe of Cuisiniers Catered Cuisine & Events
    •  Chef Scott Pizzo, chef de cuisine of Highball & Harvest at the Ritz-Carlton
    •  Executive sous chef Anukul Hampton of the Hilton Bonnet Creek
    • Chef Alberto Navarrete Arias of La Luce
    • Chef Rabii Saber, executive pastry chef of the Four Seasons
    • Wine for the evening will be provided by Quantum Leap. Tickets are $125 and can be purchased at this completely different link.

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Dexter’s of Winter Park plans to move to the former TR Fire Grill & Lounge space from its current location in Hannibal Square.

According to Adrian Mann, the owner of the building that houses Dexter's has not renewed the leases for any of the business occupants. He did not know what the plans are for the current space. The move is expected to occur in July.

Dexter’s was founded in the 1980s by Dexter Richardson as a retail wine and sandwich shop on lower Park Avenue. In 1988 he moved it to a space on Fairbanks Avenue where the Rollins College bookstore now stands. Mann joined him as a partner and the menu expanded beyond sandwiches. When it moved from that location, in 1999, to the then emerging Hanibal Square neighborhood, the retail wine shop part of the business was dropped.

Last fall, the four-restaurant chain was sold and split up among different investors. 

TR Fire Grill & Lounge closed the restaurant at 1035 N. Orlando Ave. in Feburary of 2018.

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Fiorenzo19 decor2

Fiorenzo, the Hyatt Regency Orlando restaurant formerly known as Fiorenzo Italian Steakhouse, has emerged from its monthslong renovation. Even though it shortened its name, it is still Italian and you can still get a good steak.

But Italian steakhouse didn’t fit the restaurant’s new designation as an all-day restaurant. And there is a preconceived notion of what a steakhouse looks like.

And before the renovation, Fiorenzo lived up to that stereotype: it was dark and moody.

Fiorenzo19 decor3

That has changed. The space has been brightened and opened up, including at the entrance, which used to be behind a wall hidden from the lobby but now is fully visible with a lobby bar. George Wong Design did the renovation.

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Felipe door

Felipe Rodriguez Tequila House will open Friday in the space that was most recently Truck Stop Pop-up Kitchen and before that the site of the original Graffiti Junktion.

The space on Wednesday was still undergoing last minute renovations. A significant part of the remodel is a permanent roof over part of the building that previously had been covered by an awning. (For many years it was an open air, uncovered patio.) It now has a cedar plank ceiling and the floor has been refinished with a copper leather epoxy.

According to the new restaurant’s website, Felipe Rodriguez grew up on a blue agave farm in Mexico and started making his own tequila, as you would expect anyone who grew up on a blue agave farm in Mexico to do. "My community loves my tequila, so now I want to share it with the world,” Rodriguez is quoted as saying.

It’s unclear whether Felipe Rodriguez actually exists.

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Sideward exterior

Have you noticed that there are a lot of microbreweries popping up lately? Just in the downtown area there’s Orlando Brewing, which is sort of the granddaddy of local beer makers at this point, newcomer Rockpit Brewing in Sodo, Ocean Sun Brewing on Curry Ford West, where Hourglass Brewing will soon open, Ten10 Brewing Company in Mills 50, and downtown’s Orange County Brewers, which can’t seem to hold on to a partner food provider.

Now comes Sideward Brewing to the Milk District, taking over the backend of the building at the corner of Bumby Avenue and Robinson Street that also holds Stasio’s Italian Deli & Market. Sideward is not the biggest local brewer when compared with some of the others mentioned above. But it has two things the others don’t.

One is a license to produce cider on the property as well as beer. (Cider production requires a winemaking license, for some reason.)

The other thing Sideward has to its advantage is some pretty good food to go along with the beers.