Opening soon: Mamak, Freshii, Zab Thai and another Shake Shack 

Plus don’t miss the O-Town MacDown

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New restaurants to look for in the near future: Mamak Asian Street Food, a restaurant specializing in Malaysian market fare, opens soon in the former Ha Long Bistro space on Colonial Drive downtown … Look for a second Shake Shack to open in the I-Drive 360 complex … Freshii, a quick-service “health casual” restaurant, opens in the Marketplace at Dr. Phillips at the end of the month … Spice Burgr will take over the space occupied by the short-lived Meltz in downtown’s Chase Plaza … The former Perkins building on East Highway 50 in Clermont is getting a major makeover, thanks to the soon-to-open Zab Thai … On Sept. 15, Cooper’s Hawk Winery No. 2 comes to the I-Shops on I-Drive … Wop’s Hops Brewing Co. opens in Sanford at the end of September.

Downtown could get a little louder if the London-based Ace Cafe opens on Garland Avenue between Livingston and Robinson streets. Plans for the motorcycle-themed complex – housed in the former Orlando Weekly building! – call for a two-story restaurant and bar, an outdoor bar area, a motorcycle dealership and a courtyard concert space.

The O-Town MacDown – a mac-and-cheese competition featuring chefs from many local restaurants (Crooked Spoon, Tchoup Chop and Napa, to name a few) goes 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23, at the Orange County Convention Center. The event also features live entertainment and cooking demos. Cost is $10, with proceeds donated to Give Kids the World – a nonprofit resort for children battling life-threatening illnesses.

Preview week for Orlando Magical Dining Month gets underway Monday, Aug. 25, with a host of participating restaurants offering three-course prix fixe meals for $33 (tax and tip not included). The event continues through Sept. 30.


Cindy’s Café, formerly Cindy’s Tropical Café, has opened on North Orange Avenue in the Health Village … Harry’s Poolside Bar & Grill has opened at the Rosen Centre Hotel featuring a Caribbean-inspired menu … Cantina Laredo in Dr. Phillips has closed.

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