Behind every dining destination at Universal Orlando Resort is a gem of a story lurking in the background. As you walk into Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Confisco Grille and Backwater Bar is one of the first restaurants in sight. But fable has it was the first structure completed on the corner of the Inland Sea, built by Mugahal Explorers into what was once an old watchtower….
The Story of Confisco Grille
After its time as a watchtower, Confisco Grille was a trading base where ships would be cleared to dock at the Port of Entry. Rumor has the words “Custom House” can still be seen above the main entrance as an indication of its prior use. Years later, it was seized by a strange sea cook named Noli-Man, who turned it into a restaurant.
When Noli-Man’s life was through, the restaurant was passed down to his children. Eventually, a Malaysian Tunku (prince) won the building in a not-so-honorable game of cards. He expanded it, using remains from ships to create rooms for his family to stay in. The rooms would later be converted into more dining space for the rapidly growing restaurant.
But the Tunku was not the last person to own Confisco’s. It was finally taken over by a Tibetan pirate captain who captured it in an intense battle. The captain would go on to build a tiered tower called a pagoda on the top of the structure.
Today, Confisco Grille is the restaurant we know and love. But simply look up, and you’ll be transported back to the past as artifacts left behind by the many sailors, merchants and pirates can be seen scattered across the makeshift walls and ancient ceilings.
The Story of the Backwater Bar
The founding of the Backwater Bar is but another tale. It begins with a crated French boutique from Victorian times. This abandoned structure was found at the dock of the Centre Sea. Polynesians looking to make a profit placed the soon-to-be bar next to the watchtower, completing their business with a straw roof and false front. Walls were eventually added and it became an expansion of the restaurant. Now, the bar is a great place to kick back and relax on your vacation.
Food and Drinks to Fuel Your Adventure
The Backwater Bar serves up a variety of tropical beverages to quench your thirst. Drinks like the Lynchburg Lemonde, Confisco’s Magarita, or the Navigator’s Bloody Mary will have you thanking the long gone Polynesian founders.
Confisco Grille takes inspiration from the many explorers to cross its path. The tales and tastes of all the adventurers who owned the restaurant are transcribed with dishes like Chicken Curry Chakra, the “Walk the Plank” Burger or the House Specialty Pad Thai.
Confisco Grille and Backwater Bar is one of my favorite places at Universal Orlando Resort because of its creative story and all around amazing dining options. I love finding new treasures left behind while I sit and eat.
Comment below and tell me what your favorite artifact at Confisco’s is!
Must be 21 years and older with valid identification to purchase or drink alcoholic beverages.
-From Universal Parks Blog, June 21, 2017 by Taylor Maloney
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