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Photo TR: The Wheelhouse Market opens at Icon Park


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Last night TPR was invited to attend a preview of the new Wheelhouse Market food hall. Icon Park and the Wheel have had many names since it first opened a few years ago, but with the observation wheel being officially known as The Wheel at Icon Park, the lobby area surrounding its entrance along with that of Sea Life Orlando and Madame Tussaud's is now known as The Wheelhouse. Previously the space where The Wheelhouse Market occupies featured several national quick service chains, but this new setup focuses on local business and unique flavors to draw guests in. The new CEO of Icon Park previously launched two successful food halls in New York City, so he's no stranger to introducing food concepts in a popular city.

 

Three new concepts and Shack Sweets featuring Jillycakes make up this new food hall. All four locations are operated by the same company and leadership. These concepts are expected to have evolving menus with seasonal ingredients and special offerings throughout the year. Sausage Shack allows guests to choose a type of sausage, bread and sauces, including a choice of 11 home made mustards. 1905 Pizza & Pasta features made to order Italian dishes including tasty flatbread-style pizzas. Latin21 Street Food features Latin flavors from across twenty Latin countries (plus America). Shack Sweets features Jillycakes, a popular local cupcake and cake shop that was previously located in Winter Park. Jilly herself is a bit of a celebrity, having previously won Cupcake Wars on the Food Network. Later in the night we'd get the chance to meet her and learn how to frost cupcakes with her instruction!

 

The Wheelhouse Market is the first of several new projects to further enhance Icon Park. Withtwo new attractions on the way along with several new restaurants, the leaders of Icon Park are looking to the future to make this short-stay Orlando destination more welcoming than ever. They teased that the Wheelhouse would be getting a new entrance soon and the lawn/pop-up shop experiences would be enhanced in the future. When the question of a beer garden was posed, they hinted that anything is possible, looking to their partners at Miami-based Tank Brewing Company, who they shared are now the supplier of local craft beer to the SkyBar at Icon Park.

 

Everything we tasted during our evening was great, with the highlights being the Polish Kielbasa on a Belgian waffle with maple syrup, along with fresh cupcakes from Jillycakes. All of which we enjoyed enough to plan to come back! For this being the first I-Drive foray into the Food Hall craze, The Wheelhouse Market is a sweet and convenient place to enjoy interesting flavors in proximity to the Icon Park attractions and the larger Central Florida destinations.

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My personal favorite was the Polish Kielbasa on a Belgian waffle with maple syrup!

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We had a chance to hear from the team behind the concepts at The Wheelhouse Market and their delicious origins.

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The world's tallest swing ride, The Orlando Starflyer opened last year and has been lighting up the night sky ever since.

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A visit to Icon Park isn't complete without a ride on The Wheel.

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Sausage Shack is definitely a winner!

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Look at all of these options! *drools*

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The CEO of Icon Park shared insights into the growing vision of Icon Park and how The Wheelhouse Market fits into that plan.

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Just half of the menu at Sausage Shack...

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Awesome pesto and tomato flatbread from 1905 Pizza & Pasta.

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Fresh pizza made here!

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A representative from Tank Brewing Company came to share insights into the brews available at Icon Park, which we had the chance to sample. They were delicious!

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So many flavors to explore!

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Just one half of the menu at Latin21 Street Food.

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Some delicious chicken tacos from Latin21 Street Food!

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Eleven of the artisan, in-house mustards offered at Sausage Shack.

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We're excited to be back at The Wheel at Icon Park to experience the new Wheelhouse Market!

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Time for a demonstration from Jillycakes!

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I learned the proper technique for frosting a cupcake!

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In case you didn't know what The Wheel at Icon Park was...

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The finished product looks and tastes amazing!

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The Wheelhouse Market is the latest in a series of exciting additions to Icon Park! We can't wait to see what comes next!

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Time to take a look at The Wheelhouse Market.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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These kind of food halls are popping up all over the place and I've always found them to be a pretty solid concept. The tables in the room look a little cheap but I'm sure with time they'll transform the space into something a little more visually appealing. I've always really enjoyed that entire complex but every time I stop by it just feels so empty, regardless I'm rooting for whatever goes in there to do well so the place continues to grow.

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^I was actually thinking the same thing when I saw those tables. I get it, you're trying to be 'trendy food hall', but those are also not really great for families with small children. Hopefully there are other seating areas that we're just not seeing in the photos.

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^^ I was there in June, and at that time, that's what all the seating was like. It was at least 3 of the same 4 food stations as in these photos, so I guess they've had a long soft-open - nothing indicated it was new or still in previews. The tables are bolted to the floor, and with the high exposed ceilings and hard floors, the noise really reverberates. The food was better than we'd been expecting.

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These kind of food halls are popping up all over the place and I've always found them to be a pretty solid concept. The tables in the room look a little cheap but I'm sure with time they'll transform the space into something a little more visually appealing. I've always really enjoyed that entire complex but every time I stop by it just feels so empty, regardless I'm rooting for whatever goes in there to do well so the place continues to grow.

 

Just thinking that even 'gen-u-ine' picnic benches would suit the 'feel' of the Wheelhouse Market better. Credit to the food offerings, but as the ole Oscar Wilde saying goes: "If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing well.

 

Alice

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^I was actually thinking the same thing when I saw those tables. I get it, you're trying to be 'trendy food hall', but those are also not really great for families with small children. Hopefully there are other seating areas that we're just not seeing in the photos.

 

As of right now that's the only seating space inside of the market area... They did advise that there's a larger project coming to rework the entire entrance experience for the Wheelhouse, so I'd imagine it is possible that more seating could become available after that effort is complete.

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