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The Downtown Disney Thread

Mr. Johnson

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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According to Micechat, the AMC theater will reopen this weekend.
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
No. There is a location within a very famous tourist attraction within Orange County and that location has a Disney reference within the restaurant.
The Capital Grille at South Coast Plaza has a huge portrait of Walt Disney in the back dining room, on the east facing wall.

However, the hostess at that Capital Grille always knows to seat me in the corner next to the portrait of John Wayne. I've had many happy meals and cocktails there in that corner with the Duke. And unlike the spineless dweebs in TDA, the Capital Grille had the cojones to leave the filter tip Winston in John Wayne's hand in that portrait.

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But the real story here is the concept that The Capital Grille could take over ESPNZone. This tells me TDA is finally giving up on their Steakhouse 55 concept; a restaurant that did a good job with their interior design and well designed menu, but then let it all fall apart with their poor training of dining room staff, sloppy overall presentation, with a shockingly amateur cocktail bar out front, and a first-impressions hostess corps that has all the charm and beauty of a swap meet parking lot staff. For years Steakhouse 55 has been a lackluster dining experience that is great for the first two minutes as you look at all the swanky-retro pictures on the wall, then it slides down into Stewart Anderson's territory once you realize how badly trained and managed the CM staff is. :confused:

There is no way in heck TDA is going to keep Steakhouse 55 in business if there's a real steakhouse like Capital Grille with top notch service standards and sparkling polish and swanky panache' in business 100 yards away. Turn Steakhouse 55 into an extension of Goofy's Kitchen and give the kids more room to do the Macarena as they fight over the trough of Marshmallow Mac N' Cheese.

In short, apparently TDA is willing to admit they can’t cut it at the aging DLH and they’ll turn the Resort’s steakhouse business over to a company who can.
 
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Stevek

Well-Known Member
According to Micechat, the AMC theater will reopen this weekend.
Not sure they said that flat out. What they said was "Managers were discussing the return of AMC over the weekend"

What I took that as was, over the weekend, managers were discussing the AMC returning. I didn't take it as it's opening over the weekend. As of right now, there is no AMC DTD theater showing up on the the AMC website.

It would be surprising given that they are opening in Garden Walk in Summer 2019.
 
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Stevek

Well-Known Member
The Capital Grille at South Coast Plaza has a huge portrait of Walt Disney in the back dining room, on the east facing wall.

However, the hostess at that Capital Grille always knows to seat me in the corner next to the portrait of John Wayne. I've had many happy meals and cocktails there in that corner with the Duke. And unlike the spineless dweebs in TDA, the Capital Grille had the cojones to leave the filter tip Winston in John Wayne's hand in that portrait.

View attachment 326926

But the real story here is the concept that The Capital Grille could take over ESPNZone. This tells me TDA is finally giving up on their Steakhouse 55 concept; a restaurant that did a good job with their interior design and well designed menu, but then let it all fall apart with their poor training of dining room staff, sloppy overall presentation, with a shockingly amateur cocktail bar out front, and a first-impressions hostess corps that has all the charm and beauty of a swap meet parking lot staff. For years Steakhouse 55 has been a lackluster dining experience that is great for the first two minutes as you look at all the swanky-retro pictures on the wall, then it slides down into Stewart Anderson's territory once you realize how badly trained and managed the CM staff is. :confused:

There is no way in heck TDA is going to keep Steakhouse 55 in business if there's a real steakhouse like Capital Grille with top notch service standards and sparkling polish and swanky panache' in business 100 yards away. Turn Steakhouse 55 into an extension of Goofy's Kitchen and give the kids more room to do the Macarena as they fight over the trough of Marshmallow Mac N' Cheese.

In short, apparently TDA is willing to admit they can’t cut it at the aging DLH and they’ll turn the Resort’s steakhouse business over to a company who can.
I will agree that the bar is a bit embarrassing BUT I will say that I've never had a bad meal or experience there...in fact, I've had fantastic meals every time. My company actually did my 25th anniversary dinner in the private room and it was great as well. The thing that I have always found a bit challenging is folks coming in wearing shorts and t-shirts...something that shouldn't happen in an "upscale" dining experience.
 

wowsmom

Member
But the real story here is the concept that The Capital Grille could take over ESPNZone. This tells me TDA is finally giving up on their Steakhouse 55 concept; a restaurant that did a good job with their interior design and well designed menu, but then let it all fall apart with their poor training of dining room staff, sloppy overall presentation, with a shockingly amateur cocktail bar out front, and a first-impressions hostess corps that has all the charm and beauty of a swap meet parking lot staff. For years Steakhouse 55 has been a lackluster dining experience that is great for the first two minutes as you look at all the swanky-retro pictures on the wall, then it slides down into Stewart Anderson's territory once you realize how badly trained and managed the CM staff is. :confused:
Totally agree with this assessment of Steakhouse 55. The first few times we visited, it was so good - food, service, ambiance.

Then we had an experience where the waiter seemed to be playing the part of a waiter - it really felt like he was auditioning for a role - and the service was so bad (things like him arguing that I couldn't have pecans on my wedge salad because I'm allergic to shellfish, never checking to see if our food was properly cooked - it wasn't - and then only bringing 1 piece of cake when we'd ordered 3). It was enough that we stopped going there for a few years.

We finally tried again last year for my husband's company holiday dinner and had a great experience - so we went back for our anniversary this summer and had a waitress who was just clueless. Looked at my allergy list and said "oh I can't see this without my glasses, but I'm sure it will be fine". o_O Never came back to offer us another cocktail, which I really wanted. And the steaks were just okay. It had us wishing we'd just gone to Storytellers. No more S55 for us.

We went to Storyteller's the next week and were telling the waiter about our bad experience at S55 and they knew the name of our waitress and weren't surprised to hear how bad she was. :oops:

So I hope they do bring in something like The Capital Grille!
 

jamesv159

Member
Not sure they said that flat out. What they said was "Managers were discussing the return of AMC over the weekend"

What I took that as was, over the weekend, managers were discussing the AMC returning. I didn't take it as it's opening over the weekend. As of right now, there is no AMC DTD theater showing up on the the AMC website.

It would be surprising given that they are opening in Garden Walk in Summer 2019.
I interpreted the Micechat article the same way. That Managers were discussing the possibility of reopening over the past weekend vs the theater will open this weekend.
I also read somewhere that the AMC Garden Walk was canceled. Not sure if this is still the case but can anyone confirm?
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
Totally agree with this assessment of Steakhouse 55. The first few times we visited, it was so good - food, service, ambiance.

Then we had an experience where the waiter seemed to be playing the part of a waiter - it really felt like he was auditioning for a role - and the service was so bad (things like him arguing that I couldn't have pecans on my wedge salad because I'm allergic to shellfish, never checking to see if our food was properly cooked - it wasn't - and then only bringing 1 piece of cake when we'd ordered 3). It was enough that we stopped going there for a few years.

We finally tried again last year for my husband's company holiday dinner and had a great experience - so we went back for our anniversary this summer and had a waitress who was just clueless. Looked at my allergy list and said "oh I can't see this without my glasses, but I'm sure it will be fine". o_O Never came back to offer us another cocktail, which I really wanted. And the steaks were just okay. It had us wishing we'd just gone to Storytellers. No more S55 for us.

We went to Storyteller's the next week and were telling the waiter about our bad experience at S55 and they knew the name of our waitress and weren't surprised to hear how bad she was. :oops:

So I hope they do bring in something like The Capital Grille!
Good to know I'm not a jinx and others have had the same Amateur Hour experience at Steakhouse 55. I've never been in their private dining room in back though, I've just gone in with family a few times and was seated in a big booth. The last visit was several years ago when I finally wrote Steakhouse 55 off for good.

The giant warning flag for all should be the cocktail bar out front; that place is run like a bar at a Chili's in a mall parking lot. And then there's that hostess stand, staffed by some rather unfortunate souls who clearly have no idea that they are supposed to be the first impression for a swanky steakhouse. I assumed they are the same unpolished check-in staff that works at Goofy's Kitchen 30 feet away, and a few days a week they put on a lumpy burgundy blazer and work the Steakhouse 55 podium instead?

When you are charging the prices a fancy steakhouse needs to charge to meet their business plan, there is a level of polish and panache' and presentation and professionalism that simply HAS TO BE displayed. Steakhouse 55 was blessed with a lovely interior design by WDI, and then they ran it into the ground by staffing it and managing it with CM's who quite clearly have no idea how Fine Dining Steakhouses are supposed to work.
 

RescueTheDay

Active Member
I interpreted the Micechat article the same way. That Managers were discussing the possibility of reopening over the past weekend vs the theater will open this weekend.
I also read somewhere that the AMC Garden Walk was canceled. Not sure if this is still the case but can anyone confirm?
As of last month the Gardenwalk said AMC was not cancelled and still on track for early 2019.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.ocregister.com/2018/10/16/rainforest-cafe-wants-to-reopen-at-downtown-disney-company-says/amp/
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
This morning I was talking to two friends who are very well-connected in OC's business/commercial real estate market. They had no specific information about The Capital Grille going in to the ESPNZone building, but the word is out amongst that community that TDA's property management team is actively trying to refill all of the square footage on that end of Downtown Disney with multi-year leases.

TDA is going the big corporate route right now; Darden, Landry's, etc. to try and get this space filled quickly, with at least some of it coming back online by next summer for Star Wars, but the full re-build of that area not complete until late 2019. But the spaces are being offered to deep pocket corporate interests who can put established brands in there as fast as possible. It would take longer and be more piecemeal if they continued the strategy they've been using on the opposite end of Downtown Disney the last few years, by going after small, regional businesses like Salt&Straw, Ballast Point, etc.

Also, there's an angle here that involves GardenWalk, but I'm just going to leave it at that as it's very sensitive to all involved. ;)

Again, while these knowledgeable men had no specific information about The Capital Grille or any other brands going into adjacent buildings, the word is out in the real estate world that TDA is refilling that property with multi-year leases from big corporate interests. The 4th Hotel on or around Downtown Disney is deader than the PeopleMover at this point.
 

Disney Irish

Well-Known Member
This morning I was talking to two friends who are very well-connected in OC's business/commercial real estate market. They had no specific information about The Capital Grille going in to the ESPNZone building, but the word is out amongst that community that TDA's property management team is actively trying to refill all of the square footage on that end of Downtown Disney with multi-year leases.

TDA is going the big corporate route right now; Darden, Landry's, etc. to try and get this space filled quickly, with at least some of it coming back online by next summer for Star Wars, but the full re-build of that area not complete until late 2019. But the spaces are being offered to deep pocket corporate interests who can put established brands in there as fast as possible. It would take longer and be more piecemeal if they continued the strategy they've been using on the opposite end of Downtown Disney the last few years, by going after small, regional businesses like Salt&Straw, Ballast Point, etc.

Also, there's an angle here that involves GardenWalk, but I'm just going to leave it at that as it's very sensitive to all involved. ;)

Again, while these knowledgeable men had no specific information about The Capital Grille or any other brands going into adjacent buildings, the word is out in the real estate world that TDA is refilling that property with multi-year leases from big corporate interests. The 4th Hotel on or around Downtown Disney is deader than the PeopleMover at this point.
So when you say deader than than the PeopleMover, you actually mean its really gonna happen just like the Peoplemover is coming back? ;):p:cool:
 

Stevek

Well-Known Member
I really hope they (Disney suits) fully commit to the area this time. Coming into DTD from the parking lot does not set a great impression for the Disney Resort.
This area should be a no-brainer must fix for them. Right next to the Hotel, parking lot and 3 very large pieces of property that can have a major impact on DTD. Like you, I really hope they do something great in that area.
 

Disney Irish

Well-Known Member
Why a steakhouse ???? So they can shutdown Steakhouse 55
Why not a steakhouse? Can't there be more than one of a particular type of restaurant within the DLR? Last time I checked there was more than one place that served hamburgers. So I don't believe this is part of any plan to shutdown Steakhouse 55. Especially since it likely won't be Disney run.
 

Frontierland's Finest

Active Member
Also, there's an angle here that involves GardenWalk, but I'm just going to leave it at that as it's very sensitive to all involved. ;)
4th Hotel on or around Downtown Disney is deader than the PeopleMover at this point.
Hmmm... My guess would be a free shuttle between the two places. ART is worthless, but TDA partnering with Gardenwalk on a direct shuttle wouldn't be a bad idea.
 
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