Universal Studios’ Classic Monsters Cafe, one of the best themed quick-service restaurants at Universal Studios Florida and the entire resort, has closed permanently without any notice. There are still plenty of other quick-service and table-service options throughout the park and resort, but there aren’t any that are quite as special as this one. Universal Orlando Resort has confirmed the closure through Twitter saying:
Hi there. We are sorry to hear of any disappointment. Universal Studios’ Classic Monsters Cafe is closed to make way for a new dining experience. More details will be shared at a later time – stay tuned to our website for updates.
Universal Studios’ Classic Monsters Cafe was located in the Production Central area of the park directly across from the Universal Music Plaza Stage. The current rumor floating around is the restaurant will be rethemed as a Minions restaurant to correlate with the new Minions attraction, which caused Shrek 4-D to close its doors earlier this year. With Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem, the new Minions attraction, and a Minion restaurant all in this area, it would basically become a Minions land.
As for Universal Classic Monsters, they are set to have a dedicated land in Universal’s Epic Universe, so it’s not like Universal Orlando is turning their back completely on the monsters who helped make the studio. However, a restaurant like Universal Studios’ Classic Monsters Cafe probably wouldn’t fit into Universal’s upcoming park, because it served as more of a themed tribute to the monsters than an immersive experience. That’s not to say it wasn’t immersive in its own way. Each of the rooms you could sit in was themed to the different monsters and the ordering area was the laboratory that created the monstrosities you were about to consume.
In terms of the food, the restaurant was running a barbecue-style menu. It felt unique in a park that serves a lot of standard theme park items like burgers, chicken, and pizza, but it wasn’t the greatest food. Part of the problem is the restaurant was never extremely busy, so brisket would sit under heat lamps and dry out completely before being served. The rotisserie chicken could be found in other locations. The sides were relatively strong. Honestly, Universal shouldn’t abandon the barbecue concept entirely. They just need to find the perfect spot for it and the Monsters Cafe wasn’t it.
Part of the reason for that is bad menu placement. Placards outside would showcase what was served in the restaurant, but even once you entered inside you had to go pretty far inside to get a full glance at the menu. You could also find the full menu in the Universal Orlando app, but it wasn’t the most accessible for people walking in wanting to glance at the menu before making a choice.
You were greeted with a beautifully themed environment if you did decide to eat at the restaurant. My personal favorite room was the Frankenstein/Bride of Frankenstein room tucked away in the very back of the restaurant that was also connected to the Dracula section. I didn’t have a lot of chances to eat in the Mummy, Invisible Man, Phantom of the Opera, Wolf Man, or Creature from the Black Lagoon sections because they were the first seating areas on the left and right sides of the restaurant after getting your food and would fill up quickly. The sci-fi section was kitschy but still tied in well.
Universal Studios’ Classic Monsters Cafe will be missed by many, including myself, but it’s always exciting to see what Universal Orlando has in store for the future. While the Minions are starting to feel oversaturated, the menu will surely be brand new and hopefully unique and creative and fans of the family-friendly franchise will be happy.