Gloria Movies, Dining, Entertainment & Play

MetaCorp has repeatedly made huge investments at inconvenient times. Remember when the Marina Tower construction, as MetaCorp ventured into hospitality, coincided with the departure of our refinery’s operator?

A similar story unfolded with the opening of the brewery, the cement factory, the laundry, it was always deemed not-so-smart yet it all worked out magically because life is a giant basket of opportunities, and we have to learn to expertly play the cards we’re dealt.

But don’t let me distract you, we’re talking about glorious Gloria, a huge investment, mid-pandemic.

The complex opened early December with a glittering cocktail reception. It was clear from day one that it will have an impact on the way we consume entertainment, dine and interact with our friends, how we celebrate our children’s birthdays and how we watch sports on weekends.

It just has to achieve synergy, and that takes a bit of time.

We visited the VIP Lounge & Grill just recently, for dinner and a movie, and liked the place, so we skipped the movie and stayed for dinner.

The VIP Lounge & Grill with a special entrance and a dedicated box-office is nicely appointed with comfortable sitting clusters at a social distance. The room is indirectly lit, and decorated in subdued, relaxing colors. In contrast, the other full length of the room is occupied by an imposing, mile-long bar, aglitter with exotic bottles and elixirs from around the globe, a bartender’s dream stage.

We tried a round of the French Martinis chased by Bourbon Old Fashions. Our waiter also talked us into a few other signature libations. We did not regret any of this.

I found out that evening, that Gloria offers a classic upscale dinner experience in its VIP Lounge & Grill, and was surprised to find fine steaks and premium seafood when looking at the menu, thus our decision to focus on food, and do movies next time.

We ordered. Tuna Tataki with ginger tropical fruit chutney, Gratinated Garlic Escargots, Carpaccio Bomb stuffed with mixed garden greens, topped with pesto, fat Shrimp Croquettes with tartar sauce, a Dragon Roll from P.F. Chang – yes, a selection of Sushi rolls, is available at the lounge, Grilled Salmon with creamy basil sauce, Pan Fried Sea Bass with truffle sauce, and a shared Chocolate Cake with vanilla ice cream for dessert.

We had dinner-dinner, leisurely, paired with a healthy exchange of stories and conversation. Service was gracious and caring.

Gloria features ten state-of-the art movie theaters with about 1,200 seats, an IMAX theater with about 200 seats.

You already heard about P.F Chang’s restaurant with outdoor and indoor seating, offering Asian, Chinese, Japanese and Thai dishes. It is always packed. Locals love it. It’s just like the one at the Dolphin Mall, minus the airline ticket expense.

Sizzles, a sports bar serving Balashi Beer, boasts a new gourmet burger menu, the brain child of super chef Teddy Bouroncle. If anyone knows food, Teddy does.

Starbucks Coffee? No introduction needed.

A most charming health food spot by the name of Lettuce Eat features locally grown, fresh lettuce with a million toppings, for the greatest salad bar option under the sun.

Kids may enjoy the Stay & Play game room, an innovative ice cream place, perhaps too out-there for kids, and the overall excitement of the experience.

Three of the ten movie theaters open into the VIP Lounge & Grill. You may have dinner at the lounge before the show. The menu also features platters to share, cold and warm offerings for nibblers and snackers. Or you may opt to feast on terrific food, a la carte, served at your seat, in the auditorium, with your eyes on the screen, including cocktails and wines, at all three theaters.

One of the theaters also has a top floor, accessed via the main Gloria entrance, where movie-goers carry their own popcorn, soda and hotdogs in.

After the movie, you can always linger longer for a cocktail or two, or have a late dinner.

Gloria Movies, Dining Entertainment & Play is the crown jewel in the MetaCorp’s 100-year celebration. The company just commemorated a century of continuous success, as a diverse, Aruban, family business. It takes generations of fearless risk-taking entrepreneurs to achieve that, people prepared to stumble, dust themselves off and start anew. They must get tougher when the going gets tough, and mostly never let a good crisis go to waste. MetaCorp has made quantum leaps against adversity, and branches out when it is easier to hibernate.

Take five minutes to view the photo expo at the VIP Lounge & Grill depicting the company’s history.

Gloria Plaza, from Monday through Sunday from 11AM till 11PM



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February 22, 2021
Rona Coster