June 30, 2014 – Cinnabon (replacing Finlays), French Bistro (replacing International Cafe) and Starbucks (replacing the Lower Lot arcade) will likely open later this week, Inside Universal has learned.
Part of a comprehensive rearrangement of the park’s overall food offerings, these new venues represent a concentrated effort to overhaul and rebrand portions of the park in a more cohesive manner. While Starbucks and Cinnabon can be seen as convenient additions aimed at bolstering in-park food offerings, French Bistro can be portrayed as the last piece of Universal’s newly rethemed Moulin Rouge, which connects Universal Plaza to Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem.
Replacing what had been International Cafe, French Street Bistro takes the place of Universal’s first foray towards into offering healthy in-park food, and will likely offer an Americanized French selection of food as Inside Universal first noted back in April of this year. In similar fashion, Theatre Cafe, which replaced the Hollywood Shoppe gift shop, is typically seen as International Café’s successor, offering a selection of healthy grab-and-go sandwiches and salads.
In similar fashion, Finlays – which was part of the larger Universal Plaza project – has seen its fair share of rebrands, undergoing three different paint schemes in the span of just one year. With the closure of the original Cinnabon in Simpsons Plaza, the brand eventually relocated to the small venue adjacent to Baker Street and Universal Plaza.
Finally – as Inside Universal reported back in April – the closure of the Lower Lot arcade made way for a concentrated company wide effort to introduce Starbucks locations across Universal parks in the U.S. Indeed, Starbucks has been making inroads at Universal Studios Hollywood’s sister location, Universal Orlando Resort.
Jon Fu is the editor-in-chief of Inside Universal.
Jon originally founded InsideUniversal.net in 2006 as a summer hobby aimed at providing families and fans a resource for all things “Universal Studios Hollywood.” Since then, the website has taken him throughout the United States and around the world – including to places like Universal Orlando Resort, Universal Studios Japan and Universal Studios Singapore.
Jon currently resides in Santa Cruz, California. You may reach him at email@example.com.