If you’ve ever been to Universal Studios Florida, you’ve probably been offered a slice of pizza by an oversized werewolf. The pizza-proffering Wolfman is one of three notable figures on a rotating sign outside Monster’s Cafe, a popular quick-service restaurant at the theme park. Alongside the Wolfman, the Creature from the Black Lagoon mixes up a salad bowl full of shrimp, and Frankenstein holds forth a menu like a maître d’. If you see it once you’ll probably remember it for life, and it’s so fun and absurd that it’s one of my favorite things in the entire park.
Unfortunately the restaurant that sign advertises, Monster’s Cafe, is now officially closed. The news started to spread earlier today, and a Universal spokesperson has confirmed that a new restaurant concept will be coming to the space. There’s rampant speculation that it’ll be a new East Coast outpost of Minion Cafe, a Minions-themed restaurant that opened at Universal Studios Hollywood in 2021, but Universal hasn’t confirmed what the new restaurant will be.
As great as that sign is, the actual restaurant itself might be even cooler. Guests ate in a series of dining rooms themed to different classic Universal Monsters movies; if you ever wanted to eat barbecue chicken in Dracula’s Castle, or spareribs in the Black Lagoon, this was your shot. The main entrance and ordering area looked like Dr. Frankenstein’s lab, a fitting theme for where your lunchtime desires would come to life. Each room was decorated with photos and props evoking those classic horror films, and all in all it was one of the best designed spaces you could find in Universal Studios. Hopefully you were able to check it out during the 21 or so years it was in operation.
It’s a bummer Monster’s Cafe won’t be around the next few years, and it’ll be a legit tragedy whenever they take that sign down, but its closure should’ve been expected by people who pay attention to these parks. Universal’s third Orlando park, Epic Universe, is on pace for a 2025 opening, and although Universal hasn’t officially announced or confirmed this, it’s been heavily rumored for years that one of the new park’s themed areas will be based on the classic Universal Monsters. We can expect a new restaurant to open inside that land, one that might be even more impressively themed than Monster’s Cafe was. It might take a few years, but I think we’ll probably see the Wolfman serving up some slices at Universal again.