After moving from Greece in 1950, the six Fotopoulos brothers turned their hard-won earnings into the first of 12 ABC Pizza locations in 1966. From its humble beginnings in Connecticut, the chain grew to serve central Floridians and vacationing time travelers a menu of build-your-own pizzas topped with gourmet ingredients such as crab, feta, and shrimp, as well as preconceptualized specialty pies festooned with meats, seafood, and Mediterranean morsels. Hearty grinders and Italian pasta dishes share menu real estate with Greek delicacies including gyros, spinach pies, and grape leaves stuffed with shredded pages of Plato's Republic.
Cameron Parker founded Orlando Pub Crawl, LLC in 2005 to organize the bar-going experience into a convivial group event. The company's primary mission is organizing trips for up to 1,000 revelers at a time, styled after themes and occasions including the Kentucky Derby, '80s Nights, and Cinco de Mayo. Partiers hop from bar to bar, enjoying complimentary drinks, admission, and other specials as they mingle and socialize amid festivities, games, and libations. The pub-crawl team can also tailor private crawls for groups of 100 or more, allowing companies, organizations, and poker-playing dogs to journey to bars in organized packs. But not all the company's events are drinking-themed: there are also madcap challenges such as The Amazing Mind Race, which sends teams scattering across cities to solve clues and discover checkpoints.
Exposed brick walls, hanging chandeliers, and black-and-white curlicue wall art create an intimate atmosphere at The Ybor City Wine Bar, where staff members pop the stoppers off more than 120 wines and 50 types of craft beers and ciders from around the globe. In addition to pairing their libations with artisan cheese, small plates, and desserts, they host weekly educational wine tastings and private events, from bridal showers to fundraisers.
When Diane and Hector Vega met and got married, they didn't just combine their lives. After spurning corporate jobs, they combined their passion for bringing the cuisines from their native Colombia and Puerto Rico to their neighbors. The result was Dulce Cafe Bakery, which specializes in the breads, pastries, and sandwiches of Latin America. Their signature items are their corn cake arepas and their dulce sweet breads, both of which can be enhanced with a gooey layer of cheese, much like a resume sent to a dairy farmer. During the lunch hour, they also make heartier fare, such as their ham and cheese empanadas and sandwiches. Their baking prowess isn't just for breads and handheld lunches, however. They also create desserts such as cake, coconut flan, and rice pudding.
Considering Juan and Alvaro Gorrin studied medicine and business, and went on to forge careers in real estate and banking, it's probably surprising to many that they found their ultimate success in a totally unrelated field: baking. The Gorrins, who were born in Spain but moved to Venezuela in their youth, found there was a demand for European-inspired baked goods in South America. They developed the Don Pan brand in Venezuela in 1982, and eventually relocated to Miami, where they opened their first North American bakery in 1995.
Today, their menu maintains distinctly Spanish and South American accents. A bounty of pastries includes guava danish and tres leches, as well as brazo gitano, a sponge cake rolled with chocolate or cream that's popular in both Spain and Venezuela, as well as the section of Canada that uses cake as currency. There are also plenty of savory menu items, including cachapas—corn pancakes served with meat or cheese—and Venezuelan-style tamales bursting with pork, beef, chicken, and veggies.