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Four Orlando restaurants close their doors

March 3, 2014

It’s always sad to see a local independently owned restaurant close. Within the past week, four local restaurants have succumbed to this depressing fate. Try not to cry too hard, though. We’re sure something new and (hopefully!) delicious will sprout up in their place.

Opening in August of 2012, Peruvian restaurant Lima 41 had mixed reviews online, with high marks for the wait staff and low marks for the pricing. Last week, the restaurant, located on Curry Ford Road, shuttered for good. Hopefully someone can step in and fill the hole left by Lima 41 in the local Peruvian restaurant scene.

Looks like Curry Ford Road is not the place to open a restaurant. Regional Grille & Bayou called it quits last week, too. This should come to no surprise to anyone who has driven past it in the last few months, as their “desperation specials” have ranged from $6 breakfasts on the weekends to “buy one, get one free” lunches during the week. The almost-always-empty parking lot should have been an indicator as well.

Also recently closed is SoNapa Grille in Maitland. Open since late 2011, the restaurant that started as a wine club among friends grew into a full service restaurant in the former Steak & Ale location. Free drink coupons weren’t enough to keep this location alive, sadly.

The bar-restaurant owned by former UCF quarterback Daunte Culpepper has also closed. Culpepper’s reviews on Yelp! are pretty brutal, so this one seemed inevitable. 

There is a lesson to be learned from these restaurant closings, though. If there is a place you love, like, really love … visit it as often as you can. Take your friends, and if you can’t drag them out there with you, tell them about it. Help keep the local restaurateurs alive!

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  • Victoria Abigail Kennedy Lawre

    I’m not surprised about Regional Grille and Bayou. I went in and asked if they had anything gluten free (I have Celiac’s disease). I figured I had a chance being that I cook a lot of Cajun food for myself that is gluten free. Much to many customers’, the waitress’, and my husband’s surprise; the chef came out of the kitchen to rudely tell me no, nothing could be made gluten free. The waitress apologized profusely, but I told my whole family never to go being that so many of us have the same disease. Seriously, if Olive Garden can offer a gluten free pasta and California Burrito can accommodate, what does it hurt to try or at least politely say no?

  • outtolunch

    I am surprised that Matilda’s on Park Avenie is not on that list. Tried to go Friday night and the doors were shuttered and no sign. Drove by last night and looked the same.

  • Anonymous

    Great Peruvian food at El Buzo in Casselberry. My family is Peruvian and loves this place. Good prices and fresh food!

  • Stan Flouride

    I really enjoyed Regional Grill but I knew that it was doomed in that area. I visited once for lunch and once for dinner. We enjoyed our meals and the service was excellent. With a more trendy name and a Winter Park, Sand Lake, or UCF location I think that they would have done well. Sadly we were planning a return visit next weekend.

  • pdthewineguy

    Regional Grill is just moving over to Millenia Mall and SoNapa is going to become Big Fin……it sold because it had value. I think Adam may still have some ownership.

  • Lisa Melegari

    Add Boardwalk Burger to this list. The only Florida location which was on Colonial Drive just east of Maguire Blvd. has been closed up, sign removed, for about 2-3 weeks now.

  • Tasty Chomps

    El Buzo is wonderful Peruvian!

  • ajt62

    Blackfin, I think….

  • Joe

    Is Big Fin or Black Fin a done deal? Can someone forward contact info for one of SoNapa owners, my email is, I have a restaurant group that would like to go there.

  • Joe

    Is Big Fin or Black Fin a done deal? Can someone forward contact info for one of SoNapa owners, my email is, I have a restaurant group that would like to go there.

  • JHayes

    25% of all new restaurants close in the first year, 60% in three years. Four (or five or six) places in the Central Florida area closing shouldn’t come as any great surprise, it’s actually quite amazing that the number is that low.