Orlando | Tampa


Thoughtful design contributes to Orlando crowned as “Best Foodie City in America.”

Clayton Sims & Megan Padilla

While Orlando is renowned for its world-class attractions, there’s another dimension that’s gaining well-deserved attention. Orlando was recently crowned the “Best Foodie City in America,” topping the list of 182 ranked by WalletHub.com. The city’s culinary scene has not only evolved but also played a pivotal role in redefining the identity of Downtown Orlando.

Behind the thriving restaurant scene, there’s more than meets the eye. It’s not just about delicious dishes but also a testament to how thoughtful design and construction is contributing to the city’s growth. The transformation of Downtown Orlando is closely intertwined with the rise of innovative and diverse eateries, that foster a welcoming, dynamic and inclusive atmosphere.

These restaurants are not just places to enjoy a meal; they’re vibrant hubs of culture and community. They serve as gathering spots for locals and visitors, enhancing the overall experience of the city. In a city as diverse as Orlando, where cultures blend seamlessly, these restaurants become essential bridges connecting people from all walks of life.

Thoughtful design and construction doesn’t stop at creating visually appealing spaces; it extends to creating the infrastructure that supports these culinary endeavors. The recognition of Orlando as a foodie haven is not only a reflection of its culinary diversity but also a tribute to the collective efforts of organizations like Interstruct Design + Build. We’re not just builders; we’re city shapers, community builders, and enthusiasts for the city we call home. We are laser focused on design-focused incremental development of downtown Orlando, lot-by-lot, not block-by-block.

Financial Incentives to Entice New Restaurants + Retail in Downtown Orlando

Another indicator that the downtown hospitality scene is moving in the right direction is this recent news from the Downtown Development Board (DDB) and Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA). 

Recently, as reported on Bungalower.com, Orlando City Council approved a new financial incentive program to help entice new restaurants and retail shops downtown that could give hundreds of thousands of dollars to businesses looking for a home in the urban core.

The program has officially been divided into two separate branches; the DTO Retail Program and the DTO Restaurant Program, which will award qualifying businesses funds for build-outs and rental assistance. Businesses must have operated for at least five years to qualify for funding.

Because Interstruct develops our own projects, we think like a client and are experienced with submitting designs to the Architectural Review Board along with applications to tap into city-funded grants to help offset costs for owners and tenants.

Interstruct’s experience with hospitality projects

Hospitality projects including restaurants, bars, coffee shops and food halls are a silo of Interstruct’s business. “We’ve been part of building a better downtown since 2001,” says CEO Ryan Young.

Take a look at some of our work in this area that is so vital to community building.

Primo at JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes

Nearly 20 years since opening at the JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes, fine-dining restaurant Primo got a brand-new look and Interstruct had the privilege of building it. ⁠Since reopening, Primo has landed on the Michelin Guide’s Florida list.

⁠The new look of the 8600 SF dining room and 1200 SF terrace reflects the updated menu, inspired by owner Chef Melissa Kelly’s Puglian heritage. ⁠

⁠Primo’s high-end finishes really pulled out all the stops: an incredible array of tile from Italy, custom wood ceilings in the private dining room and a hanging wood trellis ceilings in the main dining room, custom light fixtures and dimming systems, custom steel doors at the entry and private dining room, custom steel windows at the bar, curved drywall ceilings throughout, etc. ⁠

⁠Interstruct has a solid portfolio of hospitality projects, but Primo has jettisoned to the number-one spot on our list of restaurants we’re proud to have built and excited to share.

⁠Photography by Seamus Payne

Stemma Craft Coffee, Downtown Orlando

Stemma Craft Coffee is a seed-to-cup coffee experience located in first-generation retails space in the MMA Robinson building on Orange Avenue near Robinson in downtown Orlando. Interstruct provided full design-build services to owners María and Rebecca Blandon who share their ancestors’ artisanal coffee-making legacy from the Alturas of Nicaragua.

Our in-house architecture studio, Interstruct Design, drove this project from start to finish.

Stemma Craft Coffee was a Hospitality & Dining finalist in the 2022 Golden Brick Awards presented by the Downtown Orlando Partnership.

Photos by Chad Baumer

Bellhop Orlando, Downtown Orlando

Bellhop Orlando is in a street-facing location on the main thoroughfare of Orange Avenue, in the historic Angebilt. The owners pivot morning hours to a coffee-shop concept and shift to cocktails as the day progresses. This activates a prime downtown Orlando space from early morning until late at night. It also provides a vital community gathering space for tenants in the completely rebuilt workspaces of Expansive in the Angebilt, design+build by Interstruct.

Stemma was a Hospitality & Dining finalist in the 2022 Golden Brick Awards presented by the Downtown Orlando Partnership.

Photos by Chad Baumer.