Copper Canyon Grill closes; Brazilian steakhouse set to move in

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Rodizio Grill Orlando Rendering

Copper Canyon Grill served its last Big Meatloaf Stack in Orlando Wednesday night. The small Maryland based restaurant has closed its Pointe Orlando location after 12 years.

A new tenant, Rodizio Grill, a Brazilian steakhouse, has already signed on to take over the space.

Erick Cooper, Copper Canyon Grill’s director of operations, said Thursday that the company’s lease was up at the end of June, and after initially considering renewing the lease, the company chose to close instead. Cooper said that managers at the Orlando location knew about the decision a few days ago; the rest of the 45-person staff found out Wednesday evening. “It all actually happened fast,” Cooper said.

Rodizio Grill, which claims to be America’s First Brazilian Steakhouse (that phrase is a registered trademark), is a churrascaria concept that involves servers — gauchos — who wander through the dining area with grilled skewered meats to slice directly onto the plates of diners. It was established in 1995.

The Salt Lake City based Rodizio Grill currently has 21 locations across 12 states, including three in Florida. A Fort Lauderdale location is also planned to open soon. The company plans to make the Pointe Orlando location its flagship, with seating for 500. No date has been given for its opening.

As for Copper Canyon Grill, only six locations, all in Maryland, remain. Cooper said there were no immediate plans to relocate here but said Central Florida will see one again.

“We love the Orlando market,” Cooper told me, “it’s been very good to us. We will be back.”

Last week Pointe Orlando announced a $32 million renovation project to begin in the fall and take 12 months to complete.

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