Park of the Week: Islands of Adventure

Universal Orlando Closes Its Classic Monsters Cafe

May 13, 2022, 2:38 PM · Legend tells of many ways to extinguish a monster. There's the classic stake through the heart. A silver bullet. A raging fire. Now, Universal Studios - home to so many classic Hollywood monsters - has added yet another weapon to the arsenal. You can take 'em out with a press release.

The Universal Orlando Resort confirmed with a statement today that it has closed the Universal Studios' Classic Monsters Cafe at Universal Studios Florida.

"After more than 20 years of serving dreadfully-delicious quick-service menu offerings, Monsters Cafe in Universal Studios Florida permanently closed in the spring of 2022 to make way for a new dining experience," Universal said in its statement to reporters.

The Monsters Cafe opened in 1998, but has endured an irregular schedule at times as Universal has used the restaurant as a flex space on many occasions. Universal most recently recast the cafe as a barbecue restaurant, as detailed in a blog post just last December.

Monsters Cafe

The Monster Cafe might have been the "permanent" home for Universal's Classic Monsters at the Universal Orlando, but its demise hardly represents the end of the monsters at the resort. A Classic Monsters house has become a tradition at Universal's annual Halloween Horror Nights, and the Monsters have gotten some time in Universal Studios Florida's ever-changing Tribute Store, too.

Universal is leaning into its Classic Monsters, not away from them. Removing their brand from a restaurant that had failed to connect with guests may be as much about protecting that brand as it is creating another opportunity to develop a more popular eatery.

No word yet on what might replace the Monsters Cafe or where else the Monsters might make their next year-round home at the Universal Orlando Resort. (Update: Some readers have reached out to remind me that the Classic Monsters will be getting a land of their own at the new Epic Universe theme park. But I suspect we will see more of them in the other Orlando parks, too.)

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Replies (8)

May 13, 2022 at 3:21 PM

As much as I liked the theming, this Cafe's food was rather generic. My guess for a replacement would be Gru's Lab Cafe, given it's proximity to the Despicable Me and (soon-to-be?) Minions attraction.

May 13, 2022 at 3:28 PM

I confess that we didn't eat there much except for snack breaks during HHN, but I loved, loved, LOVED the theming and I'll miss hanging out there. I'm hoping that Universal confirms all those Classic Monsters Land rumors about Epic soon!

May 13, 2022 at 3:37 PM

I'm a big classic monsters fan and am sad to see this go. The theming of the different rooms was really well done. But, yeah, the food was just OK, and it was never that busy in there. So this isn't a surprise.

May 13, 2022 at 3:38 PM

One of those spots the theming was so much better than the food but a fun visit.

May 13, 2022 at 4:35 PM

Robert your opening was hilarious!
Even though I've never ate at that establishment, I too have always enjoyed the theming. Interestingly enough, from the first day I heard about Monsters at Epic I immediately assumed they would close and relocate, only this time for food that I'm willing to try.

May 14, 2022 at 2:08 AM

TBH I always found the idea of eating a meal surrounded by horror movie monsters/related theming unsettling, and I actually like horror movies. For that reason have never eaten there and I think i've only gone in there once or twice just to peek around and see what was there, so to me this change is long overdue.

May 14, 2022 at 8:43 AM

The food was below average to bad, but I did love the theme. I agree with the hope that they will go all in with Epic on the monsters. To this day the most fun I have ever had on any attraction was the House of Horrors in Hollywood. Of course young children and the timid were appropriately warned away.

May 18, 2022 at 4:55 PM

Easily the worst food on property. But I really enjoyed the theme

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