Former Orlando Magic player Tracy McGrady is getting into the restaurant business with the opening of HomeCourt by Tracy McGrady in Lakeland. The restaurant will be basketball themed (duh) but will also feature an “immersive golf simulator.” Decor will showcase Magic memorabilia, including jerseys and an Adidas show wall, which I can almost smell.
A 40-seat bar will have a top made of reclaimed planks from a basketball court. I’m hoping that whenever someone spills a drink, several guys with oversized mops will rush out to clean it up.
The restaurant, which will debut Wed., Feb. 24, is in conjunction with Salt Partners Group of San Francisco. So why Lakeland? McGrady is a native of Bartow, so where else would he put his HomeCourt?
- Speaking of the Magic, the rooftop bar – on A rooftop, not THE rooftop – formerly known as One80 Skytop Lounge will henceforth be known as SkyLounge at Amway Center and will be operated by Downtown Hospitality Group of Florida, an LLC whose address is listed as the Amway Center. Of course, the lounge will only operate when there are games or events at the arena, so there’s going to be some down time.
- If you’re looking for a more regular high-up bar, consider the SkyBar Rooftop Terrace in the newly opened AC Hotel Orlando Downtown, the Marriott-operated property on the upper levels of the SunTrust building. I presume people drinking there can wave to drinkers at the SkyLounge, as long as it’s a game day.
- HomeCourt, SkyLounge, SkyBar, SunTrust – you’d think we were running out of spaces to put betweenwords.
- Twelve Talons Beerworks will offer a more down-to-earth drinking experience when it opens in a former laundromat in the Milk District. Expect good, clean fun.
- We’re hearing about some of the venues that will occupy The Hall on the Yard, a food hall set to open this spring in Ivanhoe Village. Jack Witthaus of Orlando Business Journal reports the restaurants will include: Chef & I, American fusion; Poké Rose; Fork & Hen, Southern; Wabi Sabi, Japanese fusion; True Island Cuisine, Caribbean; Humbl; Daily Bread Bakers; Pasion, Mexican fusion; and Spice Affair, Indian, but apparently not fusion. The project is from Jamal Wilson, who operates other The Halls, including The Hall on Franklin in Tampa.