Italian/Portuguese restaurant,  Bem Bom (Facebook Website), has closed.

The popular concept, co-owned by A.J. Campofiore and Chef Francisco “Chico” Mendonca, opened in August 2018 after a tortuous two-year build-out in a former bank at 3101 Corrine Drive [GMap] filled with long delays and permitting hangups at city hall.

A pandemic later, Chef Chico passed away suddenly in May 2021, leaving the restaurant in the hands of Campofiore and Mendonca’s family.

“I tried to do my best by Chico and keep the restaurant going, but I never invested in him hoping to actually run the restaurant. I just wanted to see him do his thing. I kept it going as long as I could, but it was time to walk away.”


Campofiore shared with Bungalower that while Bem Bom is permanently closed, his new City Beautiful Cafe, in Orlando City Hall is still going strong and that he has lined up a new tenant with a fresh concept for the Audubon Park restaurant space.

“We’re not ready to formally announce anything yet, but I think everyone is really going to like what this chef has to offer and they’ll be a great fit for the neighborhood.”


Read more about Chef Chico’s story HERE in a great piece by Amy Drew Thompson for Orlando Sentinel.

Brendan O'Connor

Editor in Chief of

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  1. Honestly? It’s the right move. The restaurant was sub-par and almost always empty. I’m excited to see what moves into the space.