Universal CityWalk Announcement: What's Coming, What's Going.

December 12, 2013
Today Universal announced what they have planned for a major CityWalk remodel. We'll have 8 new restaurant concepts along with a remodel of the Universal Studios Store. This is the first phase of the evolution of CityWalk with these new restaurants opening by June 2014. We'll likely have another announcement next summer for a phase 2. Posted below is the official press release restaurant descriptions and photos from Universal.

NOW OPEN – Red Oven Pizza Bakery: Take a quick trip to Italy for authentic, artisan pizza--made fresh, while you wait--at Universal CityWalk’s first-ever Neopolitan-style pizza bakery. The combination of the highest quality ingredients and a traditional 900-degree stone-lined oven ensures every slice is pizza perfection. 

Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food: Take a journey through the cantinas, street carts, and markets of Mexico for unique tapas-style dining at Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food. Only the freshest ingredients are used to create craveable, made from scratch Mexican street fare in an environment of unmatched authenticity.

Hot Dog Hall of Fame: Strike out your hunger at Hot Dog Hall of Fame with some of the most iconic hot dog creations from our nation’s most famous ballparks. Take a seat in the bleachers and enjoy a loaded Chicago dog with all the toppings, a perfectly charred Boston brat, a monster LA dog and more.

The Cowfish: Innovative sushi joins forces with creative burgers for an untraditional dining experience at this reincarnation of the popular North Carolina hotspot. The result: "Burgushi". A cutting-edge fusion of burger and sushi, burgushi items include sushi rolls created using burger components and sandwiches created using sushi elements.

A new modern Italian kitchen concept: Immerse yourself in the essence of modern Italian cuisine at this new restaurant created by Universal Orlando. Watch as the culinary team handcrafts your pasta from scratch to create fresh takes on classic dishes in a clean, contemporary dining atmosphere.
See photo above. 

Cold Stone Creamery: For more than 25 years, Cold Stone Creamery has served up the finest, freshest ice cream, cakes, smoothies and shakes using only the highest quality ingredients and their signature process of preparing your custom ice cream creation on a frozen granite stone. 

Bread Box: With a Bread Box sandwich, you’ll be transported back to your childhood kitchen or your favorite street corner deli.  Here you’ll find that the combination of quality meats and vegetables, fresh bread, and simple preparation can transform a sandwich into something more.
Menchie’s: One of the world’s most popular frozen yogurt shops is coming to Universal CityWalk.   The dream was to create a place where people from all walks of life and ages could enjoy themselves—not only with great tasting, quality frozen yogurt and an expansive self-serve toppings bar, but with a unique experience in a fun and happy environment that makes you smile.

Since its opening in 1999, Universal CityWalk has served as the “entertainment capital of Orlando,” quickly becoming the hottest place in town among locals and visitors to grab a bite to eat, catch a movie, dance the night away and more.  The two-tiered, 30-acre complex features a collection of nightclubs, restaurants and shops themed after some of the most recognizable names in entertainment, including Bob Marley – A Tribute to Freedom, Emeril’s Restaurant Orlando, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville and Bubba Gump Shrimp Company.  Universal CityWalk is also home to Rising Star – an energetic karaoke club where guests can perform with a live band and backup singers, the 36-hole mini-golf course, Hollywood Drive-In Golf, and the indescribable, nationally-renowned live show, Blue Man Group.

We're excited with this announcement of some rather intersting restaurants. Sushi on a burger? Sure, we'll give it a try! Follow Cowfish on twitter (@CowfishOrlando) to get a feel for what they're about. Hopefully the new Mexican restaurant has excellent margaritas. The addition of more restaurants means the possibility of more Happy Hours. We'll find out just what they may be offering as we get closer to opening dates. This expansion will add some new life & excitement to the area. With the exception of the loss of Cigarz, we're looking forward to this.

What's Going Away
**Update: We've gotten word that Cigarz, Katie's Candy Co. and TCBY will be closing to make room for the expansion. No word on the other properites that we mentioned, but given the locations of the other new restaurants, they should be safe - for now.

Cigarz's last day will be December 31, 2013. Katie's Candy Co. and TCBY will likely be closing at or around the same date. We're obviously upset that our favorite "locals" bar at CityWalk will be closing. We'll be stopping by a few times for a last hurrah and proper send off. 

**We're still waiting on information on which (if any) clubs/bars will be lost with this expansion. However, it's a bad sign that Red Coconut, Cigarz, Pat O'Brien's and The Groove are missing from the description above. If they do end up killing those properties, it looks like they're trying to make CityWalk more family-friendly than before - and we're not big fans of that. 

What are your thoughts? Let's talk in the comments. 

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Reader Comments (2)

Cigarz closes 12/31. There is an advertisement in the Orlando Weekly. They currently are offering 20% off all tobacco products excluding cigarettes. Really sad that Cigarz is closing with the announcements that are basically taking City Walk, and turning it into a food court. I know some of these places will offer drinks, but can't beat the Cigarz prices. Plus I thought it was decent of them to offer such good specials to the team members.

December 12, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersean

Aha, I'm not up on my Orlando Weekly reading. We're definitely going to miss our favorite "locals" bar at the park. Yup, no one will come close to the prices & pours that made those of us love this place. Completely agree about your "food court" comment. It looks like they are working on phasing out the adult aspect of CityWalk.

December 13, 2013 | Registered CommenterPartyThroughTheParks

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