The 2022 edition of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will run 129 days, from July 14 through Nov. 19, though some of the global marketplaces will open a few weeks later. So that’s a good reason to wait before rushing right out – that and the fact that the temperatures will be about 125 degrees until mid October. Unfortunately, this year’s festival will not be bringing back cooking demonstrations, seminars and wine tastings.
The Colonial Lanes bowling alley in the Milk District, which has been closed for four years, will be reset late summer as Primrose Lanes Restaurant and Bowling Club. This is great news for anyone who has longed to go out to dinner in rented shoes. Only 8 of the original 32 lanes remain, and the building is a lot smaller, too, having been halved and then quartered to make way for a storage rental facility and a fitness club. Team Market Group (Mathers Social Gathering, The Wellbourne) will be running things.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House will move its Winter Park Village restaurant into the former Pier 1 space. Can’t wait to see if the new steakhouse will be decorated with rattan and futons.
Speaking of Central Florida-based restaurant chains (Ruth’s Chris is headquartered in Winter Park), Red Lobster is losing its CEO after only only eight months on the job. Kelli Valade’s last day will be Friday. Can’t wait to see which restaurant her going away party will be at. Anyway, industry analysts are all aflutter trying to parse what Valade’s departure means for the downtown Orlando-headquartered seafooder and its prospects to attract a new CEO. I’m wondering why a company like this didn’t have a replacement – or three – lined up already, not just in case someone decides leave but in the event someone has a health issue. You know, like maybe eating a bad oyster or something.
New York based In Good Company Hospitality will open The Wilson Cocktails & Seafood at the Meliá Orlando Celebration in July. It will be a second location for IGC’s Wilson brand – the original is in NoMad also at a hotel, the Innside New York on W. 27th Street. The menu will feature brick chicken, lobster BLT, Brussels sprouts tacos and fresh shucked clams and oysters (note to potential CEOs).
IGC Hospitality will also open Park Avenue Tavern around the same time the Wilson bows. Oddly, it will not be on Park Avenue but rather in the former Dexter’s of Winter Park space in Hannibal Square.