Seminole Classic Casino had a huge upgrade last year and now comes another major piece: A food court.
Called "Eat Street," there will be an Italian outlet ("Slice"), Asian ("Soy Good") and an American ("Mojo") with coffee, Cuban coffee and deli sandwiches. The work is expected to be completed in mid-July.
"It looks drastically different," said GM Larry Buck said, who says the mantra is "good food fast and everything is cooked to order."
When those restaurants open, Classic will close the existing deli and immediately begin construction in that area. That is expected to be completed by mid-September and it will be called "Flying Cow," a burger-and-wing place with the slogan "Wicked Wings and Banging Burgers.”
"We decided to do it during the off-season to minimize disruption," Buck said.
The take on Classic is that it's a locals favorite, and people come there to gamble, drink and eat.
"I thought the final thing we really needed to do was improve our dining options," he said. "We said 'What we really need is good food fast for a locals place. They come here for an hour or two and they want a quick bite. Most aren’t looking for the four-star experience. If so, they can go to our sister casino across the street."
There will be a variety of seating, including a bar with stools, low-table dining and some contoured booths with a five-foot wall separating them from the casino. That's just high enough to keep passers-by from peering over into the diners, but is low enough for restaurant guests to hear the ding-ding-ding of slots nearby.
Meanwhile, one of the best deals in town, the Seminole Classic buffet, closed to make room for the food court upgrade. The buffet was too small to meet or exceed the expectations of a traditional casino buffet, Buck noted.
"We know a lot of people loved it, but given it’s small size, we were bound by a pretty small menu that would lack the diversity of the traditional casino buffet," Buck said.
Buck also noted that a bar in the northwest part of the casino that became popular will be re-instated at the end of food court. Patrons enjoyed watching TV and socializing at that spot, he said, and he is eager for it to return when construction is complete.