Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Disney World Proclaims BoardWalk Restaurant Completely Closing

Walt Disney World has confirmed that one other restaurant at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort can be going out of enterprise in 2024, the third such everlasting closure through the phased reopening. This submit shares dates & particulars, together with the interim alternative deliberate for the ‘Showplace of the Shore’ alongside Crescent Lake.

Let’s begin with the meat of the story, which is that Large River Grille & Brewing Works could have its closing day of operations on January 21, 2024. The restaurant will finish its practically three-decade run and be completely closed as of January 22, 2024. To one of the best of my data, Large River is a gap day BoardWalk authentic, and first opened in 1996. (I’d be shocked if it’s modified a lot since then.)

For individuals who had been unfamiliar with it, which I’m guessing is lots of you because it was by no means significantly busy, Large River Grille & Brewing Works was the one working brewpub at Walt Disney World. The third social gathering desk service restaurant served American bar fare, reminiscent of barbecued ribs and burgers. Large River had a somewhat giant indoor eating room together with a waterfront outside patio.

Most notably, Large River Grille & Brewing Works had a big menu of award-winning, handcrafted ales and lagers brewed on the premises. Favorites included the Large River I.P.A and the seasonal Candy Magnolia American Brown Ale. An intensive collection of wines, margaritas and specialty cocktails are additionally accessible. Friends may additionally watch the onsite brewmaster craft 5 specialty beers via floor-to-ceiling glass home windows.

Large River Grille & Brewing Works was one of many slower to return eating places at Walt Disney World through the phased reopening, opening its doorways once more in February 2021 after a virtually year-long closure. Whereas sluggish by the requirements of WDW as an entire, it arguably outperformed the typical at BoardWalk, which misplaced ESPN Membership and Ample Hills Creamery on the opposite finish of the promenade.

On this finish, Jellyrolls and Atlantic Dance Corridor appear to be hanging on by a thread, which was the case even previous to the occasions of March 2020. In the meantime, Trattoria al Forno is doing simply fantastic on the opposite aspect, however its beloved Bon Voyage Character Breakfast has but to return.

For the final year-plus, Walt Disney World has been enterprise a quasi-reimagining or refresh to the BoardWalk, which has already included the additions of BoardWalk Ice Cream (alternative for Ample Hills) and BoardWalk Deli (alternative for BoardWalk Bakery). Different stuff has occurred contained in the foyer and visitor rooms, all of which is past the scope of this submit.

Subsequent up is Blue Ribbon Corn Canine, which is a small however beloved fast service spot. Then comes the large one–The Cake Bake Store, which is able to possibly/hopefully open someday in 2024 because the everlasting alternative for ESPN Membership. All of that is related as context to the commentary under, which discusses the viability of companies on the BoardWalk.

Phrase first emerged on social media that Large River Grille & Brewing Works goes out of enterprise, by way of a discover despatched by the third social gathering restauranteur to its staff. Between that, notifying them that the restaurant could be closing in just a few days’ time, and Walt Disney World seemingly being caught flat-footed by the information, it’s fairly clear that this was not preplanned and coordinated. It was, nevertheless, a very long time coming. We’re truthfully shocked Large River lasted so long as it did.

Clearly, there’s no phrase but on any plans for a everlasting alternative for Large River Grille & Brewing Works. Frankly, we wouldn’t count on to listen to something from Walt Disney World for months. It wouldn’t shock me the least if there’s no announcement till 2025.

Within the meantime, Walt Disney World has indicated {that a} rotating collection of meals vans will provide lunch choices at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn beginning February 22, 2024. I’m a bit shocked even by this, so maybe I’m being too pessimistic with my prediction of no information on a Large River alternative this yr.

It’ll be attention-grabbing to see what replaces Large River Grille & Brewing Works in the long run. If we’re fascinated by this logically, what makes essentially the most sense is one other brewery. A sports activities bar & grille that’s like a mixture between Large River and ESPN Membership could be good, and fill a significant function that’s now conspicuously absent from this space.

There are lots of dads and different sports activities followers who get pleasure from watching “the large recreation,” and there’s not an excellent choice for that that’s simply accessible from the parks. Large River Grille & Brewing Works is walkable from EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and in addition is inside Skyliner distance of a ton of resorts. A family-friendly(ish) sports activities bar makes lots of sense right here.

It’s form of unlucky that this didn’t occur just a few years in the past. Large River looks like it’s been on life assist for ages, and there’s part of me that wonders whether or not Cake Bake Store could be stepping into right here and ESPN Membership would nonetheless be working had Large River gone below again through the closure when Ample Hills did.

Actually, I’m extra questioning if something will change Large River Grille & Brewing Works, somewhat than what. Whereas it’s enjoyable to take a position concerning the potentialities, it’s most likely additionally value inspecting the fact that Disney’s BoardWalk isn’t the counterprogramming to Downtown Disney (now Disney Springs) that it was envisioned again within the Nineties.

There are nonetheless occasions when BoardWalk is completely hoppin’, nevertheless it definitely isn’t an enormous hangout for locals. (Walt Disney World’s restrictive resort parking guidelines have seen to that!) Not solely has this space not lived as much as its full potential and doesn’t see the foot site visitors wanted to maintain a restaurant row, however there already are lots of eating choices. BoardWalk, Yacht & Seaside Membership all have lots of choices, and that’s to not even point out Swan & Dolphin, Swan Reserve, all the Skyliner resorts, or World Showcase.

Whereas I believe the circumstances had been distinctive that led to the closures of Ample Hills and ESPN Membership, I can’t assist however surprise if Walt Disney World goes to have a troublesome time luring one other third social gathering into this house. I assume it’s potential that Disney will open its personal restaurant on this location, however that’s troublesome to see given the whole lot else they’ve completed (or not completed) on the eating entrance within the final a number of years.

If you happen to’re a 3rd social gathering with the choice of going into Disney Springs, World Showcase, or right here…which might you select? The Large River spot–on the ‘lifeless’ finish of BoardWalk–could be a very robust promote for me. It could nearly need to be a singular and well-liked idea that is aware of it might rise above the situation, fill tables regardless, and would favor the decrease hire. (Just like the Cake Bake Store!) However I’ve by no means been in command of any tier of restaurant above a Subway sandwich store, so what do I do know.

On a private word, most of my recollections of Large River Grille & Brewing Works are fuzzy however fond ones from the mid to late Nineties and early aughts. This was the kind of restaurant that was proper up my household’s alley after I was rising up. Coming from a small city that received its first “massive” restaurant (Applebee’s) the yr I left for faculty, we completely cherished stuff like this. Large River, Planet Hollywood, All Star Cafe–these had been our go-tos. They had been novel and enjoyable, serving up enormous plates of approachable meals.

Whereas I don’t purport to be an professional on this type of factor, I’d say that Large River Grille & Brewing Works was forward of its time, for a time. Since then, time has handed it by. Acknowledged otherwise, Large River was a forward-thinking idea within the mid-90s earlier than the craft brewpub actually turned “a factor” you possibly can discover in just about any metropolis. The thought was an attention-grabbing one, however Large River did not evolve and keep contemporary. Which is exactly why, I assume, lots of you studying this–even Walt Disney World followers–could have by no means even heard of Large River, a lot much less dined right here.

Whereas “researching” this text, I used to be going via the DTB archives making an attempt to determine when the heck was that we final dined at Large River Grille & Brewing Works. I appeared to recall being there a few occasions inside the final decade, however my photograph archive didn’t corroborate that. Then I discovered this tidbit in a visit report about, because it seems, our closing expertise at Large River:

After being seated [at Big River], I spotted this isn’t what I remembered. In any respect. Now I understand how Brian Williams feels, as a result of I remembered the atmosphere being completely totally different. There’s no method that’s a results of the inside being redone within the interim–that inside was simply 10 years previous.

Anyway, we had been considered one of 4 events in your complete restaurant, which might usually be good, besides we had been seated between two tables of households, each of which had crying kids. Households with crying kids don’t hassle me, significantly at Walt Disney World, the place that comes with the territory.

Nonetheless, I believe I converse for actually your complete universe after I say that I don’t discover kids’s cries to be a harmonious melody. I assume mother and father should agree with this, or else they’d encourage their kids to cry extra, as a substitute of much less.

The purpose being: if 85% of the tables in your restaurant are open, why on earth are you going to seat a pair with out children proper subsequent to 2 tables of crying children? I don’t care how the restaurant is split up for servers, that’s simply poor service.

We figured we’d simply ask to be re-seated when our server got here, however after that took an inordinate period of time, we began to re-evaluate what, precisely, had led us to Large River Grille. Clearly, my reminiscence of the place was suspect. Nearly nobody else was right here. The decor would’ve been drained and dated by the requirements of a real-world strip mall in Pennsylvania. At this level, we simply determined to bail.

Large River Grille & Brewing Works, you’ll be missed. Not by me, however most likely by somebody. Like Ace Ventura Pet Detective (an all-time basic), I’m completely pleased with my fuzzy and fond–however most likely very rose coloured–recollections. There are some issues higher left previously, and for me, Large River is a type of.

Planning a Walt Disney World journey? Study inns on our Walt Disney World Inns Opinions web page. For the place to eat, learn our Walt Disney World Restaurant Opinions. To economize on tickets or decide which sort to purchase, learn our Ideas for Saving Cash on Walt Disney World Tickets submit. Our What to Pack for Disney Journeys submit takes a singular have a look at intelligent gadgets to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Experience Guides will assist. For complete recommendation, one of the best place to begin is our Walt Disney World Journey Planning Information for the whole lot you want to know!

Your Ideas

What do you consider Large River Grille & Brewing Works completely closing? Will you miss it or are you excited for no matter’s subsequent? Assume that one thing will take its place on that finish of the BoardWalk anytime quickly? What could be your superb alternative for Large River? Count on different ideas on this finish of the BoardWalk to exit of enterprise sooner or later within the not-too-distant future? Do you agree or disagree with our evaluation? Any questions we may also help you reply? Listening to your suggestions—even if you disagree with us—is each attention-grabbing to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas under within the feedback!

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