We’ve seen a lot of exciting changes in recent years at the Disney Springs shopping and dining complex in Walt Disney World, and the evolution of the area formerly known as Downtown Disney isn’t done yet. José Andrés’s ThinkFoodGroup recently unveiled a sneak peek at the striking design of Jaleo, the new Spanish restaurant that’s opening in 2019 on the spot previously occupied by Wolfgang Puck.
Jaleo at Disney Springs is being built in collaboration with Spanish design firm Capella Garcia Arquitectura. This will be the chain’s sixth location (after Washington, D.C.; Bethesda, Maryland; Arlington, Virginia; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Mexico City)—and its largest at 22,000 square feet.
The restaurant’s unconventional design consists of a two-story building that lacks solid walls and is completely open to the outside. Large windows offer views of the lake while protecting diners from the sun. “There are no cubic forms, no opaque walls, no straight lines: Here reigns a plant-like organic structure with its dynamic forms. An avant-garde, expressionist, and welcoming architecture,” says Juli Capella, principal at Capella Garcia Arquitectura. The architectural form of the building is inspired by an artichoke, which is native to Spain; the petals themselves form pergolas, which extend toward the outdoors.
Inside, Jaleo’s features a double-height central courtyard that connects the restaurant’s two floors. The family-focused layout features a casual dining area with foosball tables where guests can share tapas, as well as a more formal central dining area for ordering paellas and grilled meats from the open kitchen and wood-fired grill. Two terraces, one overlooking the Disney Springs promenade and another overlooking the lake, can be booked for private dining.
If you don’t have time to sit down, the front corner of Jaleo will offer quick-service dining on street-inspired sandwiches and salads. Menorcan painter Marc Jesús created the casual eating area’s central mural.
Jaleo’s decor incorporates orange and yellow tones with wood and ceramic materials; it features artwork by Spanish photographers Rafael Vargas and Ciuco Gutiérrez.
Look for Jaleo at Disney Springs to open this winter, and learn all about the other dining and entertainment options at Walt Disney World in The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2019.
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