The owners of one of Rio de Janeiro's most popular rock and roll live music venues are preparing to open a second location on Orlando's International Drive, leasing a shuttered restaurant site that lies amongst a handful of South American hotel investments.
Located at 7308 I-Drive, the 7,500-square-foot space under contract lies directly between Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition and Extreme Dinosaurs. It was formerly leased by The WingHouse, which was open less than two months before a parent company restructured and closed multiple restaurants in Orlando earlier this year.
The new tenant is an affiliate of Rota RJ 65, which has grown over the past four years in Brazil's coastal city of Rio de Janeiro as one of that market's leading live music venues. It has a full-service bar and restaurant themed for motorcycle enthusiasts and fans of classic rock and roll from around the world.
"The largest 'House of Rock' in Brazil is now coming to Orlando," co-owner Ademir Nogueira told GrowthSpotter. "When my partner and I visited Orlando we saw the huge Brazilian population, all the British tourists and others from countries we know are fans of exactly what we do here (in Rio de Janeiro). At the end of last year we started looking for sites, did a market study and found the right space on I-Drive."
Nogueira's plan is to replicate the Rio de Janeiro bar locally as "Route 65 At I-Drive." The venue would book rock bands from Brazil, the United States and other countries to play primarily classic rock from around the world, and offer karaoke nights.
He is currently applying for a liquor license and interior construction permits from Orange County, and wants to complete the build-out to open by July 15 to coincide with the final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
"There's a very heavy influence of South American tourists on the north side of I-Drive right near this property, and a few hotels immediately north and south of this property have been bought recently by Brazilian and South American investors," Krzyminski said. "So the Rota 65 group is setting themselves up well for a customer base here."
The properties referenced include the former Continental Plaza Hotel bought in April by a Brazilian hotel company, a nearby Hampton Inn also bought in April by a Peruvian investor, and a Brazilian investment group that bought the former International Palms Resort in October 2016 and thoroughly renovated it over the past year, reopening in March as the Avanti Palms Resort.