It’s aliiiiiiive no more!
Another beloved classic in Production Central at Universal Studios Florida is closing its doors. This time, it’s not an attraction. Universal Studios’ Classic Monsters Cafe has permanently closed. Universal shared:
“After more than 20 years of serving dreadfully-delicious quick-service menu offerings, Monsters Cafe in Universal Studios Florida permanently closed in the spring of 2022 to make way for a new dining experience.”
Monsters Cafe opened its doors in May 1998. Over the past twenty years, the restaurant has provided guests with a retro and immersive environment to enjoy food items that range from light refreshments to full-blown pulled BBQ pork sandwiches and everything in-between. Monsters Cafe embraced the vegan/vegetarian movement early, and in recent years The Mummy jackfruit sandwich and the Creepy Spice Roasted Cauliflower have been classic hits.
If you’ve been to Universal Studios Florida in the last 25 years, you’ll know that the cafe is one of the first things to catch your eye and lead you down Production Central’s main street, luring guests into one of the central intersections of the park. The kiosk just outside the main cafe has the immediately-recognizable features of Frankenstein’s Monster displaying a menu, The Wolf Man holding a pizza, and The Creature from the Black Lagoon carrying a salad bowl on its roof. The juxtaposition of showcasing these iconic characters in such a lighthearted manner perfectly encapsulates the tone of the cafe, which serves both as testament to the legacy of these films as well as poking fun at our cultural affinity for the stories.
Universal Studios Classic Monsters is a genre of films that span the early 20th century. The vast majority of these films, which include iconic characters such as Dracula, the Mummy, Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, the Invisible Man, the Phantom of the Opera, and others, were pre-code installations that shaped modern cinema and storytelling. Although not officially tied together as a franchise in any way, the cultural hold these films have on us to this day has bound them together forever. Early cinema icons like Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff delivered genre-defining performances and gave us some of the most memorable scenes in cinematic history.
While no official word has come yet about what is to replace Monsters Cafe, Shrek 4-D has recently closed next door with Minions on the construction walls surrounding the defunct building. There’s also no word yet on whether or not the accompanying Monsters Cafe kiosk just outside its doors will continue to serve guests. One thing we know for sure — just because the cafe might be retiring doesn’t mean our appetite for these stories and characters is going anywhere anytime soon!