2014 is shaping up to be an epic year for Universal Orlando. In addition to the opening of Diagon Alley Expansion and Cabana Bay Hotel, Universal announced today that CityWalk will go under “it’s first phase of expansion” in the upcoming year.
Eight new venues across CityWalk throughout 2014, including Menchie’s, Cold Stone Creamery, The Cowfish Burger and Sushi, and more.
The expansion comes after a nationwide search for culinary concepts that include a mix of established national brands, up-and-coming concepts and Universal’s own creations. The new venues will share an overall theme that includes inviting common areas, al fresco dining, open kitchens and more.
“We want Universal CityWalk to grow along with the rest of our destination,” said Ric Florell, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Resort Revenue Operations at Universal Orlando. “We are bringing our guests an amazing new collection of experiences that will be world-class and offer something for everyone.”
CityWalk is also doing a little realigning too. Starbucks location will be moving down into the former Endangered Species shop. Replacing it’s former location is The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar, which is known for it’s eclectic menu.
The Universal Store will be getting a face-lift as well.
With these newly-announced venues, some of CityWalk’s current tenants will be closing at the end of the year, including the popular hang out Cigarz.
Original concepts include Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food, a unique tapas-style restaurant, Bread Box, a home-style sandwich shop; A new modern Italian kitchen concept, where guests can watch as the culinary team handcrafts their pasta from scratch; and Red Oven Pizza Bakery – Universal’s first-ever Neopolitan-style pizza bakery, which is now open.
More on CityWalk’s future will apparently be announced next June.
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.
New Venues Opening Throughout 2014
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. Replacing Latin Quarter
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. Replacing Galaxy Bar
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. Replacing Starbucks Upstairs
Pranzos: 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. Replacing Pastamore
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. Replacing Pastamore
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. Replacing Cigarz
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. Replacing TCBY
Check out the map below to see where the future venues will be located: