Sigma Chi alumni open spacious downtown bistro
Published: Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 17:07
Kyle Israel experienced plenty of success during his four-year tenure as a quarterback for the UCF football team, leading the team to its first conference championship.
Now, he looks to find similar success in the business world, along with partners Travis Barr and Carey Sobel, by opening the American bistro, Terrace 390, in the heart of downtown Orlando.
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All three owners, former members of Sigma Chi fraternity at UCF, have made it clear that they are not going anywhere. Israel said he has high hopes regarding the growth of downtown Orlando.
"UCF has been fueling the economy of downtown Orlando, alumni have been making the move to downtown Orlando upon graduation," he said.
Terrace 390 has a remarkable outdoor patio. The spacious, 10,000-square-foot terrace is perfect for enjoying the beautiful Floridian climate both day and night. With a huge outdoor bar and plenty of seating, this place is ideal for special events.
Inside, well, it's comfortable to say the least. The bar is the focal point in the room surrounded by 10 flat-screen televisions, making this spot an ideal location for downtowners to watch UCF football games.
Weekly specials include "Get Over the HUMP" Wednesdays, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. By paying a $17 cover charge, customers receive all-you-can-drink wine, bottles of Budweiser and Miller Lite, sliders and house-made chips and live music. There is also live music on Thursdays, and local DJs perform Friday and Saturday night.
Happy hour is every day from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. and includes $3 wine and cocktails, $2 drafts and half-off flatbreads.
Terrace's menu affords customers a wide variety of options. The homemade potato chips, an absolute must, will redefine what you consider a potato chip. Terrace 390 also boasts a few family traditions, like Barr's grandmother's traditional meatball sub.
Cost-wise, the menu is reasonable for a college student's budget and has everything from fresh fish, flatbreads, sliders, pasta and much more. If reading the menu isn't enough for you, Terrace 390 takes it to the next level by allowing customers to see every item on the server's Apple iPad.
"People eat with their eyes," Israel said. "We want every customer to know exactly what they can expect from our fresh products."
With 85 percent of its staff coming from UCF, Terrace 390 has made it a priority to give back to the community since its opening on April 8.
On June 8, Terrace 390 hosted the first Patch Party, a fundraiser that brought more than 450 people to the restaurant to promote the tradition of UCF athletics.
UCF senior hospitality major Molly Mattox, a hostess at Terrace 390, worked the event.
"It was a great event that really showed how much of an impact our alumni has on our school still," Mattox said.
Head coach George O'Leary spoke at the event, and Israel noted how supportive O'Leary has been by coming in four to five times a week. In addition to fundraisers, the guys give back to UCF by marketing specifically to hospitality students at the Rosen College, sending emails when new positions are open.
Samantha Major, a senior sociology major and waitress at Terrace 390, said she looks up to all three guys and all of the time and dedication they have put into making the restaurant a success.
"It is truly inspirational and I really enjoy coming to work because there is such a great group of people here," Major said.
Interaction with staff is of the utmost importance to Israel.
"We have a great team as far as balancing each other out; it takes time management and organization," Israel said.
So go out and support your fellow UCF alumni and take a trip to 390 N. Orange Ave. Whether it's to grab a few drinks, enjoy dinner and live music on the terrace, or just to see a few familiar faces, this place is exactly what downtown Orlando needs — a little UCF spirit.