Universal Orlando announces its replacement for Emeril's

April 9, 2019, 1:24 PM · We finally now know what will be replacing the former Emeril's restaurant on Universal Orlando's CityWalk. The resort announced today that the site will become the home of a new concept called Bigfire.

Built around a wood-fired grill, the two-story restaurant will be themed to a lakeside hunting lodge, serving bison burgers, a "chili and cocoa rubbed" steak, freshwater fish, and salads with smoked meats.

Concept art courtesy Universal Orlando

For desserts, it'll be S'mores, prepared tableside, keeping with the campfire theme. Another dessert option will be Baked Alaska.

The new restaurant will open this summer. The opening of Bigfire continues Universal's move to replace third party restaurants with its own concepts on CityWalk, following the opening of NBC Sports Grill & Brew, Antojito's, and Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen.

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Replies (11)

April 9, 2019 at 2:14 PM

So... Universal is building what Gaston's Tavern at Disney should have been.

Take a look at that concept art. I LOVE the way that Universal is using beams and glass to evoke a olde-timey half-timbered tavern building, but in a modern style. Really nice design.

April 9, 2019 at 2:36 PM

This seems a little out in left field for the modern and urban asthetic of CityWalk. If the location of this restaurant wasn't right in the heart of the district, this concept might work. However, it's a big non-sequitur when juxtaposed on the larger CityWalk landscape. This overall concept sounds like a cross between Ted's Montana Grill and Bugaboo Creek.

April 9, 2019 at 2:57 PM

Great addition! Sounds like a nice concept that should be a lot of fun, and tasty.

April 9, 2019 at 3:02 PM

I think this is great for several reasons.
CityWalk is intended to delight and surprise. If everything looks like everything else – snore. Putting something that has such a unique design style in the middle of the rest of the established locations will draw attention to it.
There seems to be no Celebrity Chef attached to it. I get that the parks want a guaranteed hit with a multimillion dollar attraction. It’s what draws people from across the nation and the world. Then when they are already there to ride the big IP blockbuster, give them people a chance to “discover” a restaurant that nobody back home has ever heard about.

April 9, 2019 at 4:01 PM

Sounds and looks promising. I'm particularly interested with "each dish will be expertly paired with the perfect type of wood to bring out the smoky goodness in each bite," Robert, we share our love for modern decor.

April 9, 2019 at 5:00 PM

Love it.....and the menu already has me salivating profusely in bated anticipation.

April 9, 2019 at 7:44 PM

Have never associated CityWalk with delight or surprise including working there for over a decade. Main attraction lately is way easier to deal with than Disney Springs thanks to being far less busy.

April 10, 2019 at 8:03 AM

I'm with Rob. It's wonderful to see a non-IP based attraction or chain. You know...the reason most of us fell in love with Disney back in the day.Kudos for Universal trying something completely original.

April 10, 2019 at 8:57 AM

THE biggest missed opportunity in IOA is lack of bars/restaurants that are on and over the lagoon. It would be great to have a multi-tier facility on that cleared area near Mythos. Views of coasters, Hogwarts, and lit-up attractions (at night)...

April 10, 2019 at 3:44 PM

CityWalk is solidifying itself as Universal's fourth gate now!

April 10, 2019 at 10:12 PM

Oh, let's not even start that. :^)

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