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Ferg’s Depot pulls into Church Street Station, at last

Ferg’s Depot pulls into Church Street Station, at last

Ferg's Depot is finally set for a private opening tonight at downtown's Church Street Station after nearly 3 1/2 years of work at the historic building.

A public opening is planned Friday night for the 15,000-square-foot space on Church Street between the railroad tracks and Graffiti Junktion. The ribbon cutting will happen at 6 p.m. Friday, according to publicist Eddie Peters, marketing manager.

"This is the oldest building in downtown Orlando," said owner Mark Ferguson, who also owns Ferg's Sports Bar in St. Petersburg. "It has so much character."

Ferguson leased the 125-year-old train station building in 2013 with plans to put a taproom and steakhouse restaurant inside, but hit several delays during construction.

"It's a huge undertaking and something the citizens of Orlando of should be proud of," Ferguson said. "I believe in the downtown culture and that people want to live and be close to restaurants and entertainment."

He's also added four shipping containers on the back side to mimic the look of an old cargo train.

Those shipping containers have been converted into bathrooms, a kitchen and a storage space for 150 kegs of beer.

The kitchen faces an outdoor patio which will feature an oyster bar, he said.

The site served as an actual railroad depot from its construction in 1889 until the mid-1920s, before being turned into a handful of nightclub concepts from the 1960s through 2000s.

Ferguson said the Depot will complement the other projects happening downtown including the new soccer stadium and projects outside the Amway Center.

The restaurant portion of the project will start out with a simple menu, he said, with items such as wings, burgers and steaks.

Freddy's Custard

Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers has opened its second store in Orlando, south of Downtown.

Franchisee Brian Pyle opened his first Freddy's restaurant off International Drive and Vineland Avenue a year ago and is now bringing his Midwestern treats and eats closer to the center of the city.

The new eatery is located at 3200 S. Orange Ave., south of Michigan Street, in a free-standing, 3,375-square-foot building.

Oblivion Closing

East Orlando nightclub and restaurant Oblivion Taproom closes Sunday night after nearly five years, according to a social media post.

Oblivion posted on Facebook, "It is with heavy hearts that we announce Oblivion will be closing our doors."

"Thank you all for the support over the last four and a half years, we love you Orlando."

It is located at 5101 E. Colonial Drive, north of Orlando Executive Airport. It opened in 2011.

Oblivion is known for its beer, burgers and events encouraging customers to dress up in Harry Potter, Star Trek and Mad Max costumes.

The business is owned by Pete Wesenberg and Melissa Jahn. They have not responded to phone calls and emails asking for more information.

Steamed buns

A new restaurant is promising to bring quick-serve steamed buns to the Mills 50 neighborhood.

King Bao is taking the place of the former Raphsodic Bakery at 710 N. Mills Ave., serving up the popular boa-style buns filled with meats, broths and other delicacies.

Owner Hoi Nguyen and his wife Sydney Langer are working on the space now and aiming to open sometime in March, he said.

"You see these bao places in New York and Los Angeles — Orlando is ready for this," Nguyen said.

Variations of the bao buns are popular in Chinese and southeast Asian cuisines.

Nguyen and Langer have been busy in the Orlando business scene, recently opening the Art of Fades barbershop downtown. They also ran the Red Sphere Sushi and Sake Lounge in Palm Coast.

King Bao will be a quick, counter service restaurant, Nguyen said.

Raphsodic Bakery, known for its vegan cakes, muffins and cinnamon rolls, closed in September after nearly five years of operation in the space.

karnold@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-5664

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