Winter Park reels in East Hampton Bait & Tackle seafood restaurant

The restaurant is casting for a soft opening in October.
By: 
Sep. 10, 2018

For the Winter Park locals looking for a seafood fix, you’re in luck — East Hampton Bait & Tackle is coming to Winter Park next month. 

The new seafood eatery will take over the old TR Fire Grill location at 1035 N. Orlando Ave. Greg Pranzo, creator of the Cinco Tacos & Tequila restaurant on Orlando Avenue, is behind the new project. 

“We figured Winter Park is the Beverly Hills of Orlando (with Cinco Tacos & Tequila),” Pranzo said. “We said ‘Hey, maybe Winter Park is the East Hampton of Orlando too.’ … I spent years growing up in the Hamptons, and we felt there was a void of a gathering place that’s for seafood and sushi.”

The owner said the new restaurant will take inspiration from East Quogue, West Hampton, Hampton Bays, Southampton, Bridgehampton, Watermill, Montauk and more. Some of the seafood served at Bait & Tackle will consist of both East Coast and West Coast oysters, in-season stone crabs, three different types of lobster rolls and desserts.

Pranzo is particularly excited for customers to try the beef Wellington, which has to be ordered two days in advance, and the baked Alaska, an ice cream and cake dessert. 

Bait & Tackle will have a full bar with brunch seven days a week, as well as a patio with fountains and other water features. The bar also will include select wines picked from Long Island and the Hamptons. The owner also is planning daily specials such as all-you-can-eat crab legs one day a week and a wine mixer event on the outdoor patio every Monday.

Pranzo said he chose the TF Fire Grill location because of the two hotels planned next to the property, as well as the nearby fountains. Michael Quatrini, a venture capitalist partnering with Pranzo on the project, said the interior will have a “nautical” aesthetic with a darker, mahogany-toned wooden than the current pine color. Rather than the current seating layout, which Quatrini likens to an eatery such as Chili’s, the new space will have a more upscale look, complete with a blown-out indoor/outdoor bar for a good view of the fountains. 

“We’re going to bring in a richer color treatment that’s going to have it look a little more elegant than the light pinks and mustard colors that (the location) has now,” he said. 

As was the case with Cinco Tacos & Tequila, Bait & Tackle will have an extended, soft opening throughout October before a grand opening in November. 

“A lot of folks here at Cinco know we like a soft opening, because we really want to get it right for the community,” Quatrini said.