In the past year, we've seen fashion trends, memes and hit songs come and go. A few spots in the UCF area to grab some grub have either rang in their last orders, cut the grand opening ribbon or made plans to come in this past year. Here are a few places you may have either seen go down, go up or that you might see coming.
Closed for Business
Burger & Beer Joint
This Rock-n-Roll themed burger and adult milkshake spot closed down in January after nine months of business. It left customers with a note on its doors when it closed, disclosing plans of relocating soon. Kitchen manager McKinley Cherisol told the Central Florida Future that "this concept is not for this area." The garage-themed eatery did have success in South Florida, though.
Salsa 2 Go
Back in October, Salsa 2 Go left UCF's campus. The Tex-mex spot was located near the Reflecting Pond, and had been in business at UCF since 2006. Nom Nom Bowls, an Asian-fusion eatery, is now open for business in the space previously occupied by Salsa 2 Go.
Greens & Grille
Greens & Grille, a create-your-own salad and sandwich spot on University Boulevard, closed its doors in December. The space was replaced with Pie Five Pizza Co. the following month.
After six months of patrons waiting, Bento Cafe finally opened its doors for business in March. The restaurant serves up Pan-Asian cuisine, and was founded in Gainesville in 2002 by University of Florida alumnus Jimmy Toung. Bento's concept is centered around serving food quickly and efficiently, all while being made to order. The UCF location is located in Plaza at niversity.
Cheddar's, located about four miles from UCF, boasts one thing from the minute customers arrive — its scratch kitchen. The restaurant opened its first location in 1979 in Arlington, Texas, and now has four locations in Central Florida. It serves a wide variety of food and aims to serve fresh food in a comfortable environment for an affordable price.
Pie Five Pizza Co.
Pie Five Pizza Co. opened its doors in January on the corner of University Boulevard and Rouse Road, replacing Greens & Grille. The pizza joint prides itself on taking just five minutes to serve up a fresh, personal pizza for fans. Along with more than 25 toppings to choose from, it also serves salads and desserts.
Qarma Crêpes, previously located in Downtown Orlando on Summerlin Avenue, is known for its savory, sweet breakfast crepes. The restaurant opened its location in the University Commons Shopping Center earlier this year next to the Kaplan Test Prep. It is also known for its philanthropic efforts, donating three cents out of every dollar earned to various charities each month: one local, one national and one international.
Spoleto - My Italian Kitchen
For the first time in the United States, Spoleto opened its doors in the Plaza on University Shopping Center. The restaurant offers pasta, sauces and ingredients of the attendees' own choosing. Flatbreads, salads and soups are also available. Spoleto is currently boasts popularity in Brazil, Costa Rica and Mexico, and a Winter Park location is currently in the works as well.
In early March, students in the UCF area had another quick-stop spot to satisfy their burger cravings. BurgerFi, which is furnished using environmentally friendly practices, offers burgers that are never frozen, and without additives or chemicals added. The restaurant also offers veggie burgers, french fries, onion rings and frozen custards.
Plaza at University has filled up with retail shops this year, and it'll soon add one more pizzeria to its list. Blaze Pizza taunts fast, casual pizza making, with goals to get customers a personalized pizza in three minutes. Patrons can add as many toppings as they'd like, with each pizza going for just under eight dollars. Blaze's nine signature pizzas include the Meat Eater, Veg Out, BBQ Chikn, Red Vine, Art Lover, White Top, Link In, Green Stripe and the Simple Pie.
For those who crave a sweet late-night snack every once in a while, Insomnia Cookies, set to open by the end of the semester, might be a hot spot for you. The bakery's menu lists a variety of cookies including one popular menu item, the cookiewich, which is ice cream sandwiched between two cookies. Insomnia's service extend outside of its physical location too, as it also provides a delivery service, which runs from noon to 3 a.m. Located next to Spoleto in Plaza at University, this will be Insomnia's first Orlando location.
Little Greek Restaurant
Though no set opening date has been announced, Little Greek Restaurant is set to open in the Waterford Lakes Town Center this spring, according to its website. Little Greek Restaurant is known for Greek salads and Gyros, although its menu also features homemade soups, Falafels, pitas and wraps. With desserts including Baklava and rice pudding, the menu ranges from $2.49 to $13.99 in price.
Duffy's Sports Grill
A popular sports grill with numerous South Florida locations, Duffy's Sports Grill has replaced Romano's Macaroni Grill in Waterford Lakes Town Center after the latter closed suddenly in late March. Popular items at Duffy's include starters, wings, burgers, grill specialties, pasta, sandwiches, desserts as well as bar options. The only current Orlando Duffy's location is near the Mall at Millenia.
Jazmyne Hankerson is the Sports Editor for the Central Florida Future. Find her on Twitter @AsToldByJLee or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.