Bongo’s Cuban restaurant closing at Disney Springs, confirmed by Gloria Estefan

We had heard rumors regarding Bongos at Disney Springs, but now we have confirmation. Here’s the scoop from the Orlando Sentinel.

Disney Springs restaurant Bongo’s Cuban Cafe will close in August, owner and Cuban-American pop icon Gloria Estefan said during a visit to Central Florida on Thursday.

Bongo’s Cuban Café will leave the Disney-owned dining and entertainment district as its 22-year lease ends in summer.

“They are growing in a different direction, and we are growing in a different direction,” Estefan told the Orlando Sentinel at the announcement of a new restaurant, Estefan Kitchen, opening at the Margaritaville Orlando Resort. “So we thought a fresh start is wanted.”

Bongo’s is one of the oldest celebrity-run concepts left at Disney Springs. The theme park has pushed for remodels at many of its concepts, including Planet Hollywood and a relocation of Wolfgang Puck’s eatery. It’s also brought in new celebrity restaurants from names such as Jose Andres and Art Smith.

Bongo’s serves Cuban-style cuisine such as churrasco, vaca frita with seafood such as shrimp and fish. It also has a quick-order menu outside for pedestrians.

But the Bongo’s brand has lost momentum. Locations at the Hard Rock Hotel in Hollywood, Florida, and the American Airlines Arena in Miami also have closed.

Estefan said they want a “transition” to the new restaurant at Margaritaville Resort Orlando.

Her husband and business partner, Emilio Estefan, said it also gives them the chance to expand beyond their Disney Springs roots.

“And we wanted a nightclub,” Emilio Estefan said. “I think that’s a part of the Latino experience.”

Stay tuned for more updates as we hear it!

Photo from Bongos Disney Springs

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Michele Atwood is the Owner/Editor of The Main Street Mouse and it’s subsidiaries and author of the books “Moving to Main Street U.S.A.” “How Many Sleeps Till Disney?” and “How Many Sleeps Till Disneyland?” Michele also contributes Disney news to the Joe Kelley Morning Show on 107.3 WDBO in Orlando. She and her family made the move from Michigan to the Orlando area to pursue their Disney dreams. Michele is a life long Disney fan, and has two sons who have followed suit, each going on their first Disney trip before their first birthday’s. Part of the goal Michele has for The Main Street Mouse is not only to keep members informed, but to create somewhat of a Disney Family by relating to others through personal experiences and opinions. Also, Michele is making it a priority to share stories of inspiration and hope to other Disney Fans in an effort to share the Magic and hopefully make a difference in the lives of others. ~ I enjoy writing personal perspective blogs, doing TMSM Meet Ups for our readers, and keeping the constant interaction going with others, sharing the Disney Magic to people when they can’t be at their Happy Place.

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