O’boys Real Smoked BBQ has vacated the former Harper’s Tavern on Fairbanks Avenue. Craig Tremblay, whose most recent project was the nearby Winter Park Fish Company, has taken possession and will turn the space into a combination restaurant with a separate bar.
That should sound familiar to locals who remember when the building was home to Le Cordon Bleu restaurant and Harper’s Tavern. The Tavern was one of the oldest bars in Central Florida. Both businesses closed following a fire that nearly destroyed the building.
Tremblay says the restaurant will be called Big Star. There’s no significance to the name, or at least “I haven’t thought of it yet,” says Tremblay. The bar is tentatively named the Osceola Room. The restaurant’s menu will have a southern accent but also feature gourmet burgers and, because the barbecue’s smokers are already there, pork shoulder and other smoked meats. There will be some fish, but that won’t be a focus, says Tremblay. He will feature an oyster bar.
The restaurant will have 4000 square feet; the bar will be 2000 square feet and have a separate entrance. It will serve full liquor. Tremblay hopes to have the restaurant side open in about six weeks with the bar taking a couple of months to be operational.
Tremblay says he is still a partner at Winter Park Fish Company but is no longer involved in day to day operations.