Mango's Tropical Cafe

Mango’s Tropical Cafe explodes into life on the Orlando entertainment scene

Posted on: February 1st, 2016

A colorful and challenging project comes alive

The client: Mango’s Tropical Cafe

Mango’s Tropical Cafe in Orlando is a sister venue to the original establishment in Miami. While it takes its inspiration from its predecessor, it is three times larger and much more ambitious.

Its vibrancy is breathtaking. Audacious colors explode from the artwork, walls, terrazzo floors, and lighting. All of it comes from the creative and inspired mind of the venue’s founder, David Wallack.

According to the Orlando Business Journal, “Mango’s Tropical Cafe brings International Drive something new — a nighttime venue that is a combination restaurant, nightclub, and attraction. It created more than 400 local jobs and is expected to play a role in providing visiting conventions a place to hold after-hours events.” **

Located at the corner of tourist paradise, I-Drive and Sand Lake Road, the $40 million dollar attraction took three years to complete.

The club boasts two floors of music, live shows, and a multitude of bars. Mango’s hopes to give Orlando a competitive edge when it comes to the convention and trade-show business.

“This is what is needed,” said Mango’s COO Josh Wallack. “It is a game-changing facility.” *

Custom furniture insert embedded in a solid bamboo wainscot wall

Custom furniture embedded in a Solid Bamboo wainscot

Type of project

  • Restaurant
  • Performance Space
  • Bar


Half-round Tre-Gai Bamboo trim

amaZulu, Inc.’s half-round Tre-Gai Bamboo trim used on wainscot and to cover columns bound with synthetic rope

Project scope: Mango’s Tropical Cafe

  • Install themed elevator area
  • Install window and door inserts
  • Install wainscoting on curved walls
  • Install column covers
  • Install bar faces


Half-round shaved solid bamboo poles

Half-round Solid Bamboo Poles shaved for tight fit

amaZulu products used in Mango’s Tropical Cafe

Bamboo Slats fabricated into one piece with curved fiberglass cast mold components serve as decorative inserts for door and windows. Solid Bamboo Poles provide wainscoting for the walls. Tre-Gai Bamboo trim tops the wainscoting.


Custom molded bamboo

Custom molded bamboo integrate with glass doors leading to club

The challenges

  • Many curved walls
  • Fire retardance to meet local codes
  • The settled floors of the existing building made leveling difficult
  • Vibrations from the performance-grade sound system
  • Heavy-use facility

The joys

  • An enthusiastic, creative, and involved client


Custom molded bamboo

Custom-molded bamboo for curved wall

The innovative strategies and solutions

This challenging yet rewarding project required a complete turn-key service to go from design assist to installation. It involved extensive work with the client to customize the architect’s design. David’s many inspirations throughout the project made changing the designer’s plans a frequent occurrence.

amaZulu’s Kay Fitzsimmons and her teammates educated their Mango counterparts about our capabilities and built a trusting relationship that resulted in a world-class environment.

This project put our customization and fabrication expertise to the test. Many custom products had to be created to work with standard amaZulu products.

We also recommended product alternatives to the designer’s specifications. For example, larger posts for the stage to create a larger presence.

Mango’s Tropical Cafe Custom products

There is extensive wainscoting in the facility. The split solid bamboo poles are extremely durable for the high traffic use that they will be exposed to on a daily basis. The bamboo poles had to be installed with tight tolerances and shaved to get a tight fit. They had to be easy to clean and prevent food entrapment between them. These requirements meant custom milling for the split solid bamboo.

The client wanted the entrance doors to contain bamboo “sunbeams”. Our standard product was a challenge to install onto glass, so we developed a new custom-molded bamboo to bring this idea to life.

Curved walls provided a challenge for the horizontal Tre-Gai bamboo trim. Again, we fabricated the trim by using a mold of real bamboo to create custom trim for each wall. The result was perfect.

Bamboo slats helped theme Mango’s elevator area with a geometric design. The natural colored slats proved to be too light, so we darkened them with stain when adding the polyurethane finish.

All of the products were upgraded to commercial specs to stand up to heavy use. For example, the fastener system had to be upgraded to handle vibrations from the sound system. Chemical fasteners were used alongside mechanical ones.

Fire retardance

All products were fire retarded and have a coat of a special polyurethane to add more luster to the bamboo finish.

Above and beyond the call of duty

amaZulu’s commitment to the project was unquestionable, and our team was available 24/7 to ensure a satisfactory result. Our existing relationship with the general contractor made the complicated installation go quickly and smoothly.


Bamboo Slats with a geometric design

Bamboo Slats theme elevator area with a geometric design

The results

Mango’s Tropical Cafe was an inspired vision that took a lot of time and effort to bring to fruition. The theming products amaZulu provided were an essential part of creating the environment the club needs to thrive and grow. Our products, skills, and expertise blended with David’s fertile imagination and vision to bring a world-class entertainment attraction to life. The client is delighted with end-result.

According to Mr. Wallack:

It’s amazing to see your dreams come true and that hard work does pay off

Local Press Releases:

Project Video:

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