It was announced about a year ago that the block that holds F&D Woodfired Italian Kitchen in the Hourglass District (which is inside the Curry Ford West District) would be developed for the construction of a mixed-use complex. That meant that F&D’s free-standing building – which has been home to myriad restaurants for decades, including International Cafe and other Latin American eateries – would have to be demolished and the restaurant relocated.
That relocation is coming, but instead of just across the street or into temporary housing until the construction is over (one assumes a restaurant will be one of the uses for the mixed-use complex), it will move down the street to the corner of Primrose Drive and Curry Ford Road. The structure, currently undergoing remodeling, has held numerous businesses over the years, including a produce market, a garden shop and a pet boarding operation called the Dog Mahall. The large lot in front of the building was often used as a Christmas tree lot.
F&D Restaurant Group’s chief operating officer, Tim Barber, said the building, shown at top, will have about 150 seats and approximately 3500 square feet, including patio seating up front. That will effectively double the capacity over the current location, which F&D had expanded greatly but was still modest. (One of the reasons so many other restaurants failed in that location was that the limited number of seats made it difficult to turn a profit.)
Barber also said that when the new location opens, which will probably be late summer, it will likely lose Italian from the name and just be known as F&D Woodfired Kitchen. It will still feature some of the popular Italian dishes, he said, but the menu will expand to other cuisines.
F&D Woodfired Italian Kitchen has two other locations, in Winter Park and Longwood, and the group also operates F&D Kitchen & Bar and F&D Cantina in Lake Mary. A second Cantina (or third if you count the one that used to be in Waterford Lakes) opened recently in Thornton Park in the former Jax/Baoery/Cityfish space.
Watch for that review soon.