On Friday and Saturday nights, Jack’s Place at Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando features a caricaturist who inconspicuously roams the restaurant floor and quickly sketches patrons. Being handed your own portrait is an added treat after an enjoyable dining experience.
In fact, the walls are covered with caricatures from such luminaries as Neil Armstrong, Queen Elizabeth, Alfred Hitchcock and more—all done by Jack Rosen, father of Harris Rosen, owner of Rosen Hotels & Resorts.
The restaurant is like a shrine to Jack Rosen, who once worked at New York’s Waldorf Astoria as a safety engineer and would sketch famous guests as they checked into the hotel. He would then show his subjects his sketches and ask if they might autograph them. They were happy to oblige.
“Jack’s Place recognizes my dad’s extraordinary autographed caricature collection,” Rosen said. “As someone who appreciated a good meal, we wanted to be sure that the cuisine we served was always first rate, so the combo of acknowledging his artistic work with his inclination to treasure wonderful cuisine is how we wanted to honor my dad.”
The Rosen Shingle Creek’s AAA Four Diamond restaurant A Land Remembered is named after the historic novel about a multigenerational family that begins in the mid-1800s in Central Florida with the family as cattle barons. The story progresses through the years to the early 20th century when the last generation builds an impressive hotel. Rosen, who felt like this story mirrored his own, decided to name the restaurant after the book, with the author’s permission.
“We’re a family company, family-oriented, so family is something we cherish,” Rosen said. “This is why it’s so important to recognize the members of my family throughout our hotels. Even the dining outlets that are not related to my family members have a family story behind them, such as A Land Remembered. This is what we do. This separates us philosophically from the big guys. This is what makes us so different.”
The restaurant’s private dining room features reproductions of artifacts and photos from the time periods featured in the book. The restaurant also features colored photographs of the Everglades by the renowned photographers Clyde Butcher and Steve Vaughn.
At Rosen Centre, huge life-like depictions of wildlife from the Florida Everglades can be seen on the wall of the Everglades Restaurant, including a manatee floating above diners and a vibrant mural of Florida flora and fauna. Rosen has a love of the outdoors and nature and named the restaurant in honor of a friend who was dedicated to preserving the Florida Everglades.