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Florida Group Publisher Graham Jarrett Editor in Chief Jessica Bryce Young Editorial Staff Writers Monivette Cordeiro, Xander Peters Calendar Editor Thaddeus McCollum Music Editor Matthew Moyer Digital Content Editor Colin Wolf Contributors Peg Aloi, Rob Bartlett, Jen Cray, Jason Ferguson, Liv Jonse, Holly V. Kapherr, Faiyaz Kara, Seth Kubersky, Bao Le-Huu, Cameron Meier, Richard Reep, Joey Roulette, Moriah Russo, Leah Sandler, Steve Schneider, Madeleine Scott, Nicolette Shurba Editorial Interns Larissa Hamblin, Paola Perez, Megan Scavo


Advertising Director of Sales Jeff Kruse Major Accounts Specialist Leslie Egan Senior Multimedia Account Executive Dan Winkler Multimedia Account Executives Scott Navarro, Scotty Spar Classified and Legal Rep Jerrica Schwartz Account Manager Danielle Lebron Marketing and Events Marketing and Events Manager Rachel Hoyle Events and Promotions Coordinator Kevin Ruane Marketing Interns Kelsey Stidham, Hayley Ullman Creative Services Art Director Melissa McHenry Production Manager Daniel Rodriguez Graphic Designer Justin “SKIP” Skipper Production Intern T’mara Morrow Business Operations Manager Hollie Mahadeo Business Assistant Allysha Willison Circulation Circulation Manager Collin Modeste Euclid Media Group Chief Executive Officer Andrew Zelman Chief Operating Officers Chris Keating, Michael Wagner VP of Digital Services Stacy Volhein Digital Operations Coordinator Jaime Monzon Human Resources Director Lisa Beilstein euclidmediagroup.com National Advertising: Voice Media Group 1-888-278-9866, vmgadvertising.com

Cover Illustration by Sean Walsh, @secretsocietygoods

Orlando Weekly Inc. 16 W. Pine St. Orlando, Florida 32801 orlandoweekly.com

7 Helplando

29 Beerlando

A handy guide to Central Florida services you may find you need

Phone 407-377-0400 Fax 407-377-0420

9 Car(or no car)lando

Tap in to Orlando’s breweries and taprooms and drink your way through Central Florida’s best craft brews

Five ways to leave the driving to others

31 Muralando

Orlando Weekly is published every week by Euclid Media Group Orlando Distribution Orlando Weekly is available free of charge, limited to one copy per reader.

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Copyright notice: The entire contents of Orlando Weekly are copyright 2018 by Euclid Media Group LLC. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher is prohibited. Publisher does not assume any liability for unsolicited manuscripts, materials, or other content. Any submission must include a stamped, self-addressed envelope. All editorial, advertising, and business correspondence should be mailed to the address listed above. Subscriptions: Additional copies or back issues may be purchased at the Orlando Weekly offices for $1. Six-month domestic subscriptions may be purchased for $75; one-year subscriptions for $125. Periodical Postage Pending at Orlando, FL POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ORLANDO WEEKLY, 16 W. Pine St. Orlando, FL 32801.

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It’s a map. Of Orlando. Where to go and what to do when you get there

Orlando is packed with walls of distinction – you just have to know where to find them

33 Looklando Seven sites to delight your eyes

43 Soundlando 13 crucial spots to hear live music

45 Barlando 13 of the best whistle-wetting establishments

47 Bandlando Keep your ears open to these local bands

49 Outlando

19 Coffeelando

Local artists to watch

Get outside and get active in all the glory of Central Florida’s great outdoors

Seven Orlando coffeeshops ranked by weirdness

37 Darklando

51 Laughlando

35 Createlando

21 Eatlando

Explore the historical and haunted side of your city

10 iconic Orlando orders that will give you a taste of the town

39 Ladylando

23 Shoplando Skip the tourist-trapping outlets – spend your money in Orlando’s coolest stores

25 Doglando Don’t leave your very good boy behind when you go out

Advice on where to find new friends, make business contacts, or just get laid, from Jazmin Diaz of Q4Q

41 Poo-lando Local Instagram @theshittybeautiful might sound crappy, but it’s a love letter to local businesses

Six ways to bust a gut

53 Screenlando Beyond Moviepass: Film series and festivals around town

55 Sportlando Sticks, balls, blades and wheels

59 Eventlando There’s always something to look forward to



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your posters. And if you adopted from OCAS, your pet is microchipped.

the Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association, legalaidocba.org or 407-841-8310.

Hey, I hate my current political representation. What’s the best way for me to vote them out? You can update your voter registration when you update your driver’s license, but for a direct route – and a guaranteed early voting site – head over to the Orange County Supervisor of Elections office at 119 W. Kaley St., or contact the office at 407-836-2070. Find more information online at ocfelections.com.

I need a new driver’s license, because I’m pretty sure I lost mine in the move (or maybe left it on that hottie’s nightstand). You have a couple of options, but both require a wait in line. You can find your closest full-service Department of Motor Vehicles office by going to flhsmv.gov/locations/orange, or you can (and probably should) just call the local county tag agency at 407836-4145.

I need medical attention, but I don’t have insurance or a job. Theoretically, the emergency room of any local hospital should treat you. But there are several free clinics operated by Shepherd’s Hope (shepherdshope.org) around town serving the ill on a first-come-firstserved basis. The downtown medical volunteer center inside the Orange County Medical Clinic at 101 S. Westmoreland Drive sees patients from 6-9 p.m. every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Patient registration starts at 5 p.m.

I think I got an STD, or maybe I’m pregnant? The LGBT+ Center of


Photo by Austin Chan

A HANDY GUIDE TO CENTRAL FLORIDA SERVICES YOU MAY FIND YOU NEED Help! I need to call the police. (But I promise it’s not because I see a Black family barbecuing in a city park.) If you’re in the city of Orlando and it’s not an emergency, dial 321-235-5300. Outside city limits (but still in Orange County), call 407-836-4357. Of course, if it’s an emergency, the old 911 will do no matter where you are.

I called the police and they said I’m not in city limits! Huh? Go to cityoforlando.net/gis to see Orlando’s somewhat idiosyncratic borders. You might think you’re in Winter Park, when

actually you’re in Orlando. You might be in Orlando, while your neighbor across the street is in unincorporated Orange County. This stuff matters because if you’re not in city limits, you’ll be dealing with the Orange County Sheriff, not OPD; your trash and recycling pickup will be handled by the county, not the city of Orlando; and rules governing things like sidewalks, curb cuts, septic lines and more will be different. At that link you can also find maps for public schools, historic buildings, City Commission districts, our infamous brick roads (ugh) and much more.

Wait, when do I put out the recycling? Garbage? Yard waste? You can find the regulations and the scheduled weekly pickup times within city limits at cityoforlando.net, or call the solid waste division at 407-246-2314. In Orange County, not Orlando? Check ocfl.net or call 407-836-6601.

There’s a tree leaning against my power line. Call the Orlando Utilities Commission at 407-423-9018.

My cat/dog/potbellied pig ran away! Call Orange County Animal Services at 407-836-3111 while you’re making

Central Florida at 946 N. Mills Ave. (and another soon to open in Kissimmee) offers free HIV testing seven days a week – call 407-228-8272. For other reproductive concerns – both male and female – Planned Parenthood has two offices in the area. Call 407-246-1788 for information.

I can’t afford to feed my kids. There are several food banks in town – some religious, some not – but Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is the most prominent. It’s at 411 Mercy Drive, 407295-1066.

I am without a home and I need a place to sleep. Contact intake at the Coalition for the Homeless, 407-4261250 or centralfloridahomeless.org. They can find a bed for you at the Center for Women and Children or the Men’s Service Center. They also offer meals, showers and laundry facilities. The access gate is located on Parramore Avenue, between Central Boulevard and Ossie Street.

I’m considering suicide. Please don’t. Help is out there. Pick up your phone and call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or the Lifeline of Central Florida, 407-425-2624. You matter.


I need to talk to a lawyer, but I know I can’t afford it. Check in with






elcome! If you’ve been in Orlando for more than five minutes, you’ve already discovered our fatal flaw – driving here is, um, not so much fun. Between the Q-tips going 15 miles an hour on our frustratingly single-laned major thoroughfares, the overseas tourists lost as hell trying to find their hotels, and the general aversion to merging politely or using turn signals, being behind the wheel can be nerve-racking – and that’s before you ever get onto the congested horror show we call I-4. It was always bad (and confusing to newcomers, with its East-

bound/Westbound designations for points north and south), but the massive improvement project known as the I-4 Ultimate, already underway for almost three years, is slated to make our driving lives hell until 2021. This “improvement” (and if it ever ends, it will be an improvement) is rebuilding 21 miles of I-4, adding two tolled express lanes in each direction, reconfiguring a handful of interchanges and replacing more than 140 bridges. You already know you can avoid all that with Uber or Lyft, but there are other alternatives for getting from point A to point B in Orlando that will keep your budget – and nerves – intact.

Bike sharing

15 minutes. The Grapefruit line travels east to west from the Amway Center to Lake Eola every 10 minutes, and the Lime line travels within Parramore, from the Creative Village to the federal courthouse every 10 minutes. Beat the morning congestion with this rapid-transit service and enjoy the free WiFi that’s on all Lynx buses.

Getting on one of those nifty orange bicycles is pretty straightforward – the Juice Bike Share program lets you reserve on its mobile app or online, then enter a four-digit PIN code on the keypad to unlock a bike. When you’re done, just lock it up at a Juice hub or leave it on a regular bike rack (though that will cost you $2). If it’s just for a day, you’ll pay $8 per hour, but locals can choose from three plans: For $15 a month, ride 60 minutes per day; for $20 a month, ride 90 minutes per day; and for students, there’s a discounted plan of $59 a year for 60 minutes per day. Watch out for those additional fees, though – if you go over your allotted time on the monthly or annual plan, it’ll cost you 10 cents per minute.

Car sharing The City of Orlando has a car-sharing partnership with Zipcar. Reserve a vehicle online or through a mobile app for any amount of time between one hour and seven days. You’ll receive a Zipcard to unlock the car, an address to pick it up, and then be on your merry way. Gas and insurance is included, and you’ll get up to 180 miles of travel a day. To become a member, pay $7 a month or $70 a year, plus a $25 application fee. If you’re not a daily driver, it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than a monthly car payment.

Free Lymmo buses The Lynx Lymmo bus lines moseying around downtown are your ticket to not walking in 100-degree weather. The Orange-Downtown line leaves the Lynx Central Station every five to seven minutes, while the Orange-North Quarter line goes in a loop from Livingston Street to Magnolia Avenue, Marks Street and Orange Avenue every

SunRail Central Florida’s commuter rail service connects riders through 16 stations in Orange, Seminole, Volusia and Osceola counties, with stops from the northernmost station in DeBary all the way down to Poinciana. A planned expansion toward the north will eventually add 12 more miles to the rail service to connect the DeBary station to DeLand. A four-county round trip for an adult costs $7.50, and shorter trips are accordingly lower-priced, depending on how many stations you pass through. There are also reloadable SunCards with weekly, monthly or yearly plans. SunRail is a good transportation alternative (especially when going downtown or to Winter Park, where parking is at a premium) but as yet it doesn’t operate on weekends or holidays.

Someday my train will come You’re going to have to wait a while for rail service all the way to Orlando International Airport. The Brightline express train service plans to connect cities on the southeast coast, all the way from Orlando through West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale to eventually reach Miami. The first phase of the project, connecting the South Florida cities, opened this year. But the Phase 2 extension to Orlando and to the (already completed) OIA Intermodal Terminal station has been delayed again and again, with no endpoint in sight.


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ored? Wanna explore a new neighborhood? Doing move-in research? Dating someone in a different part of town? Here’s our speed-round version of Orlando’s main neighborhoods, a one-two punch of old and new that will show you the true nature of every nabe.

’Hoodlando DOWNTOWN

Culture, “culture” and cocktails. Lots of cocktails. For all its foibles – snarled traffic, lack of retail, weird smells in the summer – downtown is still where the non-Disney magic happens, whether you’re feeling classy – taking in a ballet at the Dr. Phillips Center, for example – or trashy – gargling tequila until you paint the sidewalk with your lunch, say. They say it takes all kinds, and boy does downtown ever take ’em. Old favorite: Lake Eola Park, 512 E. Washington St. The heart of the city for more than a century, Lake Eola is where Orlandoans gather to celebrate, mourn, protest or just talk a nice walk.

New classic: Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, 445 S. Magnolia Ave. Since opening in 2014, the “Dr. Phil” has brought a steady stream of world-class concerts, Broadway plays and high culture to downtown – and the underconstruction Steinmetz Hall addition should only bring more.

MILLS 50 Don’t get us wrong: Cool stuff happens all over Orlando. But the neighborhood just northeast of downtown seems to pack it in a little tighter than some areas. You won’t find a more diverse neighborhood for cheap multicultural eats, and the walkability factor is super-handy if you’re out to sample the bohemian side of Orlando’s nightlife.

Mathers Social Gathering Photo by Jen Cray

Old favorite: Will’s Pub, 1042 N. Mills Ave. It’s a music venue. It’s a hangout. It’s a great place to get a cheap PBR or an adventurous $12 craft cocktail (at neighboring Lil Indies). It’s basically Orlando’s front porch. New classic: King Bao, 710 N. Mills Ave. There’s probably no better metaphor for Mills 50 than the Mr. Potato Head: a sweet-potato croquette topped with sour cream and roasted corn salsa, wrapped up in a soft, fluffy bao bun for $3.

THORNTON PARK A walkable-yet-wild district packed with bars and restaurants is home to gay, straight, young, old and generally


The Guesthouse Photo by Jen Cray

accepting, all living side by side in some of Orlando’s best-maintained historic bungalows. Old favorite: The Falcon, 819 E. Washington St. Divinely low-key yet not at all jocky or basic, this art bar provides a hip setting amid the burger joints and sports bars with art shows, DJ nights and craft beers. New classic: The Veranda at Thornton Park, 707 E. Washington St. OK, this building isn’t new – it’s been a bed-andbreakfast/wedding venue/etc. for more than a few years under different names. But they’ve recently started using its beautiful courtyard as a picture-perfect spot to host free evening concerts.

COLLEGE PARK College Park is one of those Orlando neighborhoods that almost feels like Pleasantville – for being so close to downtown, it has a remarkably oldfashioned, old-Florida appeal. It’s mostly a residential cluster of cozy bungalows, but along Edgewater Drive, the kind of small businesses you only expect in small towns – a clock repair shop, a vacuum store – are

interspersed with newer restaurants and boutiques. Old favorite: Christo’s Café (1815 Edgewater Drive) has been soothing hangovers for decades, dishing up fantastic omelets and waffles in a blessedly laid-back diner setting. New classic: Gratitude Coffee, 1307 Edgewater Drive. Jen Hackney, proprietress of a much-loved coffee truck, has finally set up shop in her own little brick-and-mortar. Now that she has a bit more space, along with her well-crafted lattes and mochas, she’s selling used books, tiny plants, candles and more.

MILK DISTRICT In a sequestered neighborhood just east of Thornton Park is the Milk District, a shortbut-sweet spot in town known mostly for its Tasty Tuesdays food truck gathering but named for its proximity to the cowtopped T.G. Lee Dairy. On this strip you’ll find clever theme bars, inventive snacks, vintage clothes and darts aplenty. Old favorite: Etoile Boutique 2424 E. Robinson St. The vintage-and-new

clothing boutique was one of the first settlers in the nascent Milk, and it’s shown remarkable staying power over the years. New classic: Iron Cow, 2438A E. Robinson St. One of Orlando’s spiffiest new music venues manages to be both modern and clean (well, it’s new yet) but scruffy enough to fit into the neighborhood. Plus, there’s above-average food!

SODO No other part of Orlando has changed so quickly as SoDo. South of the 408 and along Orange Avenue and Michigan Street, this area was struck hard by the mass shooting at the gay nightclub Pulse. Visitors from all around the world have flocked to SoDo’s quiet streets to pay homage to the victims at the site. Despite the grief, SoDo took this newfound attention in stride, reinforcing ties within the old-Orlando community and cementing it as a source of inspiration. Old favorite: Johnny’s Other Side, 1619 E. Michigan St. Come for the perfect hangover-killer burger. Stay because your server probably forgot about you. Doesn’t matter. Settle in.

New classic: Fast Eddie’s Vape Shop & Lounge, 227 E. Michigan St. Friendly, informative staff will assist you with whatever you need to help you quit smoking, and you can enjoy daily BOGO beer specials at the bar without worrying about some rando trying to make you feel bad about not wanting cancer.

PARRAMORE Our most historic neighborhood is also the site of some of our newest developments: the Amway Center, the Orlando City Soccer Stadium and the Creative Village are all part of a slow flowering of business and art that may transform what was once troubled ground. Old favorite: Well’s Built Museum, 511 W. South St. Once it was a Black-owned hotel that hosted the hottest performers on the so-called chitlin’ circuit, like Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. Now it preserves local African American history and culture. New classic: WestArt District, 1011 W Central Blvd. This joyous explosion of brand-new culture and history yet to come covers 50,000 square feet with everchanging murals.



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Lazy Moon Photo by Hannah Glogower

WINTER PARK Well-heeled but wide-ranging, our neighbor, Winter Park, can’t be called a neighborhood – it’s its own city, made up of neighborhoods just like Orlando is. There’s the swanky commercial strip of Park Avenue, the up-and-coming Hannibal Square, and various homey pockets long loved by locals. Park Avenue is the place to start, though: Packed with restaurants and boutiques, it’s anchored at its treelined north end by the renowned Morse Museum of American Art. Old favorite: Rollins College, 1000 Holt Ave, Winter Park. The college, founded in 1885, sits on gorgeous grounds dotted with Spanish Mediterranean architecture; of particular note is a walking tour dedicated to alum Fred “Mr.” Rogers. See the iconic cardigan and sneakers, a collection of his books and letters, and a marble plaque on one of the academic buildings engraved with the words that inspired his purpose in life (“Life is for service”). New classic: The Heavy WP, 1152 Harmon Ave., Winter Park. A multi-use space tucked inside a repurposed fish market (no, it doesn’t smell), the Heavy is not technically open yet, but there’ve been several soft-opening events that have us panting. The uber-flexible space will host pop-up events once all their permitting is sorted out – including maybe, just maybe, cocktails and food sometimes – and will sell coffee, plants and home decor items during the day. All we know for sure is it looks beautiful already.

AUDUBON PARK/BALDWIN PARK The bird streets are home to the hippest, most organically developed neighborhood in town – and they butt

right up against planned community Baldwin Park. Audubonnies appreciate Baldwin’s amenities (grocery, drug store, gorgeous multi-use trails around the lake) but Baldwin revels in Audubon Park’s entertainments – restaurants, bars, bakeries and cool shopping. Old favorite: Blue Jacket Park, 2501 General Rees Ave. Before Baldwin Park existed – back when it was a naval training base – this land hosted thousands of service personnel. In 2000, the city designated its 75 acres a public park, and its lush fields, fountain and stone structures now host nature-lovers. New classic: Domu, 3201 Corrine Drive. Unless you get there before they open, the ramen joint and cocktail bar attached to East End Market has a wait ranging from a half-hour to sometimes three – and mark of a true addiction, we’ll wait. The firstcome, first-served rule is so strict that staff recently told British crooner Sam Smith, in town for a concert at Amway Center, that he’d have to wait like everyone else. (He didn’t. His loss.)

IVANHOE VILLAGE Once an unassuming stretch of old Orlando lakefront loaded almost exclusively with old Orlando furnishingsstores, the recent rehab of Antique Row into something organically (yet cleverly) fashionable has been nothing short of revolutionary – an urban planner’s dream. Old favorite: Rock N’ Roll Heaven, 1814 N Orange Ave. Fred and Ray Ehmen have owned their epic record store for decades and they have the memorabilia to prove it – just go in and look (but don’t touch). With the resurgence of vinyl, they’re going even stronger these says.

New classic: Better Than Sex, 1905 N. Orange Ave. The term “food porn” is taken quite literally at this sister restaurant to a Key West staple – it’s all desserts and booze and red velvet drapes and adult indulgences like the “Tongue Bath Truffle,” the “Cookie Nookie” and the “Money Shot.”

CONWAY/CURRY FORD It’s close enough to downtown to feel alive; far enough away to have enough room for kids. The homey ’burb vibe is interrupted by scattered pockets of commerce – and what used to be aimed at bluer collars is swiftly pinking up in the Hourglass strip. But it doesn’t have to be fancy to be good, you know. Old favorite: Claddagh Cottage, 2421 Curry Ford Road. The homiest, coziest, slainte-est Irish pub in town recently reopened after a too-long absence and remarkably, it still feels just like your living room – if your living room has stellar shepherd’s pie and Irish musicians. New classic: Peaceful Peacock, 2500 Curry Ford Road. Yoga isn’t a sport or a competition; it’s a meditation. A lot of yoga studios pay lip service to that, but the “intentionally inclusive” Peacock, less than a year old, is truly a place to find peace within.

UCF The University of Central Florida serves 66,000 students, but it doesn’t really feel that way in this close-knit community. Despite being a diverse bunch with interests ranging from engineering to creating art, the one thing that unites Knights is extreme school spirit. And while local restaurants and coffee shops do cater to overworked and over-caffeinated

college students, they’re still very much worth the drive from Orlando’s downtown core. Old favorite: Lazy Moon, 11551 University Blvd. If you visit just one place near UCF, make it this one. You only need one mouthwatering slice of pizza perfection to get full, and then you can work it out on the bocce court. New classic: Vespr Coffeebar, 626 N. Alafaya Trail. This is not your average study hot spot. Vespr combines classic cold brews and cappuccinos with a bourbon maple latte and Patagonia wild guava tea. For the late-night hours, this business also boasts a wine and craft beer bar.

I-DRIVE It’s funny how Orlando’s biggest industry is also the bane of every resident’s existence. For many, International Drive is strictly a workplace – and there’s little room to hang out among the millions of tourists who clog the tourism district every year. But avoiding this area of Orlando means missing out on a whole lot of hidden gems, even if they are stuck between two different dinner theaters. Old favorite: Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, 8201 International Drive. Where else in Orlando can you find decorated Tibetan skulls, a real vampire killing kit and a spinning vortex tunnel? New classic: Mango’s, 8126 International Drive. If South Beach and Vegas had a baby, you would have Mango’s. You’ve got waitresses in feathery costumes and extravagant stage shows keeping the adrenaline pumping. Something wild and colorful is happening in every corner here.





2. Drunken Monkey Coffee Bar, 444 N. Bumby Ave., drunkenmonkeycoffee.com Drunken Monkey’s coffee and food is very good. And they have a drivethrough. Which is sick. But you know how the headquarters of like every billion-dollar company is in Connecticut? Drunken Monkey is like that, but for 30-something entrepreneurs in flip-flops. Again, I can say this because I’m part of it – I too have been guilty of using Drunken as my home base. But I do it while looking about 30 times better than the average computer capitalist.

3. Vespr Coffeebar, 626 N. Alafaya Trail, thevespr.com Vespr may very well be the bougie-est coffee spot in Orlando. But why oh why the fuck is it in East Orlando? Come downtown, Vespr. You’re too good for hungover frat boys in slides and socks. We’ll love you correctly here.

4. Stardust Video & Coffee, 1842 Winter Park Road, stardustie.com Have you ever gone anywhere and had to wait 45 minutes for tater tots? Do you usually order tater tots at a coffee shop? Weird. Also, they have empty VHS tape boxes all over the place – plus used books, cocktails, art, music and the aforementioned tots. Stardust is excellently weird.



5. Credo, multiple locations, downtowncredo.com Photo by Tyler Nix


et’s face it: Orlando is weird. In addition to being weird, Orlando also has a lot of coffee shops. And since knowing all the places where you can buy a good latte is as important as knowing where the hospitals are located (if not more so), we’re here to educate you on this city’s top coffee shops and how weird said shops

By Matthew Weller

are. (P.S. If you didn’t already get this, weird is not an insult in our book.) So without further ado, here are seven Orlando coffee shops ranked by weirdness: 1. Austin’s Coffee, 929 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, austinscoffee.com Any place open 24 hours is going to be weird sometimes. Have you ever been to CVS or Walmart at 4:15 a.m. and not

seen some wild shit happening? During the day, Austin’s is pretty normal, and even after dark, their open mic nights are straight-up Orlando as usual. But around midnight is when things start getting freaky – like people-in-pajamas-withtheir-shoes-off, couples-making-outin-booths, unfunny-comic-screamingat-the-audience freaky. And the reason I can state Austin’s oddities as fact is because I’m part of it. Once upon a time, I would pop up weekly at spoken-word Thursdays; once, I gave a 20-minute dissertation on how Young Thug’s rap

The only weird thing of note about Credo is that it functions on a seemingly socialist foundation – you pay what you want. And its success at three locations is an indication that we, in fact, need more socialism, and shouldn’t think of it as “weird.” Hmm. BRB, I’m reconsidering.

6. Lineage Coffee Roasting, 3201 Corrine Drive; also 1011 E. Colonial Drive, lineageroasting.com The coffee-shop setting that Instagram influencers dream of. Both locations are pretty (OK, I’m mostly talking about the Mills 50 location here), but neither is all that weird.

7. Foxtail Coffee Co., multiple locations, foxtailcoffee.com Since opening, Foxtail has made it their duty to cram their brand into any available building in a shockingly short period of time. So they’re basically Orlando’s own Starbucks. Not at all weird. Good nitro, though.


technique can be directly compared to the work of late-19th-century Impressionist painter Claude Monet. If I saw someone do that, I’d definitely think, “This place is fucking weird.”



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T-bone steak Linda’s La Cantina, 4721 E. Colonial Drive, 407-894-4491, lindaslacantina.com Since 1947, Orlandoans have been enjoying steaks at this checkeredtablecloth, old-school steakhouse – the walls of the lobby are like a history lesson. Might as well go for it and get the thick-as-a-brick 2-pound T-bone. While you’re there and in the vintage mode, enjoy an after-dinner crème de menthe Grasshoppper in the groovy Fire Fountain Lounge.

Parmesan truffle popcorn Luma on Park, 290 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-599-4111, lumaonpark.com It’s on the “secret menu,” but it’s a pretty open secret these days. Just ask your server, and you too can get your paws on this salty, buttery, truffly snack.

Tortas El Rey 6151 S. Orange Blossom Trail, 407-850-6980



Garlic knots, Pizza Bruno Photo by Lindsey Thompson


range County officials decided last year that we needed an official dish – like Philly cheesesteak, Nashville hot chicken or Chicago’s casserole-like deep-dish pizza – and in their infinite wisdom, they decided on … honey. (You’d think citrus would be the obvious choice in Orange County, but apparently that was too on-the-nose.) The 116 million tourists who visit the area every year to leave money at our theme parks and attractions probably think of Orlando’s official dish as either a turkey leg or a big cup of butterbeer. But we’re here to tell you, there are some dishes that are integral to Orlando, and you’re just not a local until you’ve tried

them at least once. Here’s a list of old faves and new classics:

we’re gonna punt here and recommend you try any of them – they’re all good. (OK, our favorites are Pho 88 for pho and Anh Hong for banh mi. But YMMV!)

Roast beef sandwich and “Beefy Spuds” Beefy King 424 N. Bumby Ave., 407-894-2241, beefyking.com

“Too much garlic” knots Pizza Bruno 3990 Curry Ford Road, pizzabrunofl.com

Family-owned and operated for 50 years, Beefy King’s classic kaiser-roll sammiches and “Beefy Spuds” (tater tots cooked extra crispy) are part of Orlando’s culinary DNA.

Pho and banh mi Mills 50, all over the neighborhood You can’t throw a rock around the intersection of Mills Avenue and Colonial Drive without hitting a Vietnamese restaurant, and they are pretty much all good. (But stop throwing rocks, please.) When it comes to the iconic Viet noodle soup and French/Viet fusion sandwich, everyone has a favorite and an argument to back up their choice, so

If you manage to get an order (they sell out fast), you are assured of two things: crispy, buttery, cheesy, fistfuls-ofchopped-garlic goodness; and absolute safety around vampires for at least 48 hours.

Cheese biscuits Red Lobster, redlobster.com; Ravenous Pig, 565 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, theravenouspig.com If you’re truly a newcomer, you might not know that Darden Restaurants, parent company of the Olive Garden and until recently, Red Lobster, is based in Orlando. It’s useless for anyone to deny their love of the chain’s Cheddar

Operating out of a remodeled Checkers drive-thru, Tortas El Rey is perhaps best known for their heavenly carnitas torta, but don’t sleep on their carne asada tacos either. Add salsa roja to the marinated steak taco with chopped cilantro and onion for an added kick in the throat.

Mama Ling Ling’s Thanksgiving Pom Pom’s Teahouse & Sandwicheria, 67 N. Bumby Ave., 407-894-0865, pompomsteahouse.com What can we say about this instant classic? It’s a whole Thanksgiving dinner pressed between two slices of bread: turkey, stuffing, cranberry chutney, mashed potatoes and a side of gravy.

Croissant Buttermilk Bakery, 1198 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park, 321-422-4015 Buttermilk has only been around for a couple of years, but they crashed into instant popularity shortly after opening their doors, and you can find a limited selection of their widely varied pastries at coffeehouses all over town. But take it from us, their croissants are the thing. They offer filled varieties from chocolate to almond to tomato confit to a turkeypickle-and-provolone stunner.

Chicken tender Pub sub Publix, pretty much everywhere, publix.com If you know one thing about eating in Orlando, it’s that Floridians are fiercely, almost weirdly devoted to Publix Deli subs, and of all the varieties, it’s the chicken tender sub they love best. Can’t beat them, might as well join them.


Bay Biscuits (developed in the ’90s to replace their underselling hushpuppies). However, if you’re too fancy to go to Red Lobster, the Winter Park gastropub Ravenous Pig developed their own savory Gruyère biscuits as a wink-and-anod to Darden.





Comics, games, trades and nostalgic collectibles have a home at this popculture retail shop. While you’re there, check out Vault 5421, the store’s postapocalyptic gaming bar.

Gypset 1620 N. Orange Ave., gypsetcollective.com Gypset sells handmade jewelry for all the wandering souls who look at the open road and sigh. Find their mobile boutique at pop-up shops around town or visit their retail store.

Park Ave CDs 2916 Corrine Drive, 407-447-7275, parkavecds.com This local record store is a haven for people who still appreciate the sonorous magic of a good LP. Browse through an eclectic mix of CDs and vinyl records, plus T-shirts, zines, books, posters, buttons and other cool gifts.

Rifle Paper Co. 558 W. New England Ave., Winter Park, 407-622-7679, riflepaperco.com This international stationery company keeps its outpost in Winter Park stocked with their own visually enthralling notebooks, agendas, greeting cards and calendars alongside a carefully curated selection of other tokens perfect for small gifts.



Photo courtesy of Gypset



ll right, we’ll admit it – every once in a while, we take the brave plunge down Interstate 4 to the Orlando International Premium Outlets, brawl with out-of-towners over parking spaces and push through the masses to get that sweet, sweet discount on Coach bags. Or we trudge through the Mall at Millenia, trying not to drool directly on the Jimmy Choo and Gucci storefronts, because it’s the

Riley Rose 451 E. Altamonte Drive, Altamonte Springs, 407-961-5936, rileyrose.com This cosmetic Technicolor dreamland at the Altamonte Mall is the brainchild of the daughters of Forever 21’s founders. Browse everything you need to live your best (looking) life, whether it’s a 10-step Korean skincare regimen or a color palette from a trendy Internet brand for the millennial in your circle who spends more on makeup than food.

By Monivette Cordeiro

only place to buy that Chanel gloss we gotta have.

Avalon Exchange 745 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park, 407-636-9304, avalonexchange.com

Having said that, you don’t have to run the tourist gauntlet to discover cool finds in metro Orlando. There are plenty of boutiques, emporiums, pop-up markets and shops around the city where you can get neat gifts for others or treat yourself. You just have to know where to look – we’ve curated this list to help you get started:

Fashionistas in town come here for vintage, designer and contemporary resale pieces to build iconic looks.

East End Market 3201 Corrine Drive, 321-236-3316, eastendmkt.com While you’re having a snack at this culinary hub, check out the artisans selling their merch nearby, like grooming and leather one-stop Freehand Goods, cheese goddess La Femme du Fromage and botanical necessities booth Porch Therapy.

Sam Flax 1800 E. Colonial Drive, 407-898-9785, samflaxorlando.com Find all the supplies for your artistic creations at this art store that’s been a proud member of Orlando’s community for decades, plus take one of their many classes and workshops.

Three Masks Inc. 1023 W. Colonial Drive, 321-278-5072, threemasks.com Discover the different cultures of Africa by browsing this store’s masks, jewelry, statues, pottery, paintings and trinkets; also check out the art gallery and regular community gatherings.


Gods & Monsters 5421 International Drive, 407-2706273, godmonsters.com




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Photo by Hannah Lim


here are plenty of dog-friendly places in Orlando that both you and your best friend will love. Here are a few of our favorite local dog hangouts … that are also great for humans.

GO FOR A RIDE! Wekiva Island has everything you need for the perfect day on (or just near) the water: cabanas, crystal-clear springs, cocktails and more. Even better, your dog is welcome to spend the day here with you exploring all the island has to offer. Head over on “Wekiva Wednesdays” to enjoy craft beer from local breweries (1014 Miami Springs Drive, Longwood). Or, if your pooch is even more adventurous, head to the Paddling Center at Shingle Creek for a day on the water paddleboarding, canoeing or kayaking. Cruise through the shady creek and enjoy the outdoors with your best friend. Your dog will appreciate getting to spend the day with you on the winding canals (4266 W. Vine St., Kissimmee).

PARKS FOR THE LITTLE PUPPERS Sometimes the big dogs at the dog

park play too rough for your little guy. Luckily, there are often separate small dog areas fenced off inside where just the smaller breeds can get together and pal around – both Lake Baldwin Park Dog Park (formerly Fleet Peeples Park) and Paw Park in Sanford have them. And Park of the Americas, near the Orlando Executive Airport, has an extra nice and very large small dog area (you get what we mean there) with a covered gazebo for shade in the summer. Let your mini-pins and Yorkies off the leash to romp around with some puppers their own size.

DO YOU EVEN DOG, BRO? If you’re just thinking about adopting a dog – and it goes without saying: Adopt, don’t shop – or if you’re ready to add to your pack, here’s a list of places to meet furry new friends.

Orange County Animal Services 2769 Conroy Road, 407-836-3111, ocnetpets.com Since this is the county-operated shelter, it’s not just a great place to meet a new doggo – it’s also the first place to check if your pet runs away or gets lost.

Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando 2727 Conroy Road, 407-351-7722,



Right across the way from OCAS, you can also check out the large Pet Alliance shelter.

Pup-friendly patios are aplenty in Orlando, but here are just a few of our faves for yappy hour or canine-and-dine. Remember, some people aren’t lucky enough to have a dog of their own; this is your chance to share your wellbehaved pet with those poor souls.

Florida Little Dog Rescue Group floridalittledogrescue.com Contact this foster-and-adopt group if you want a pocket-size pooch.

Greyhound Pets of America of Greater Orlando 1260 S. Ronald Reagan Blvd., Longwood, 407-332-4754, greyhoundpetsorlando.org Give a happy home to a retired racing greyhound.

Central Florida Pug Rescue centralfloridapugrescue.org If you can’t get enough of those little flat faces and short little legs, contact this rescue-and-foster group.

Orlando Bully Rescue orlandobullyrescue.com Orlando Bullies aims not only to help find homes for abandoned and surrendered pit bulls, but also to help educate on the loyal and loving nature of this misunderstood breed.

903 Mills Market, 903 S. Mills Ave., 407-898-4392 Burton’s Thornton Park, 801 E. Washington St., 407-412-5140 Dexter’s of Thornton Park, 808 E. Washington St., 407-648-2777 The Falcon Bar & Gallery, 819 E. Washington St., 407-423-3060 The Gnarly Barley, 7431 S. Orange Ave., 407-854-4999 The Greek Corner, 1600 N. Orange Ave., 407-228-0303 Jade New Asian Bistro, 2425 Edgewater Drive, 407-422-7968 The Lucky Lure, 1427 N. Orange Ave., 407-250-6949 Roque Pub, 3076 Curry Ford Road, 407-985-3778 The Wine Room, 270 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-696-9463 Wop’s Hops Brewing, 419 S. Sanford Ave., Sanford, 407-878-7819








ere’s a lits of some Florida brewers to try out, many of whom have made appearances and poured samples at Orlando Beer Festival. And keep a close eye on Tip Jar, our food and drink blog at orlandoweekly.com, for news of new brewery openings.



Accomplice Brewing & Ciderworks, West Palm Beach American Craft Aleworks, West Palm Beach Bear and Peacock Brewery, Winter Park Big Storm Brewing Co., Clearwater Big Top Brewing Co., Sarasota Black Cauldron, Orlando Bold City, Jacksonville Bombardment Brewing Co., Orlando Bowigens, Casselberry

GB’s Bottle Shop & Tasting Bar



Photo by Rob Bartlett


n the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love – but in the fall, our thoughts turn heavily toward beer. It’s the best time of year to enjoy Orlando’s beer gardens and taprooms – not only does the weather ease off a bit, Orlando Weekly’s world-renowned Orlando Beer Festival takes over the Milk District’s Festival Park. Check it out this year on Saturday, Nov. 10, and in the meantime, spend some time with suds here: Broken Cauldron 1012 W. Church St., 407-986-1012, brokencauldrontaproom.com A visit to Broken Cauldron in Parramore is the closest you’ll find to a BOGO offer in the world of brewpubs. That’s because it’s the home to two unique breweries – Broken Strings and Black Cauldron – that happen to share the same space. A big fan of Orlando City Soccer Club, Broken Strings co-owner Adam Peyrouse says the decision to open in Parramore was made less on cheap rent and more on the location’s proximity to the Orlando City Soccer stadium. Even in the off-season, you can still catch comedy shows, special beer release parties and the occasional cookout.

Deadly Sins Brewing 750 Jackson Ave., Winter Park, 407-900-8726, deadlysinsbrewing.com There are plenty of people betting that the so-called SoFa District (“South of Fairbanks”) is primed to explode over the next few years, and recent growth supports the theory. Hip eateries like Hunger Street Tacos, the ever-popular 4 Rivers Smokehouse and Lombardi’s Seafood are joined by Deadly Sins Brewing, just south of the massive 4 Rivers parking lot on Jackson Avenue. Nestled into a former industrial space, the taproom retains a bit of that workmanlike atmosphere, with large roll-up doors open to the air during business hours. The bar is long enough to seat several patrons comfortably, which comes in handy on their popular trivia and spoken word nights. Careful, though: They brew them heavy here. Many beers on tap clock in above 8 percent ABV; keep your ride-hailing app front and center.

Ocean Sun Brewing 3030 Curry Ford Road, 407-745-5551, oceansunbrewing.com Ocean Sun Brewing is a for-real, working brewery that happens to feel a lot like a locals-only pub. Owned by Bob DeWeese and brothers Mark and Steve Wilkerson, with DeWeese and Noah Cowles acting as on-site brewmasters, Ocean Sun offers 10

taps, all of which are brewed in the back of the facility. With a mission statement that says they “brew for pint holders, not stakeholders,” the vibe at Ocean Sun is friendly and accessible, balancing serious beer-making chops (try their Bumby Blonde and their Mur De Huy Belgian dark ale) with a casual, come-as-you-are atmosphere.

GB’s Bottle Shop & Tasting Bar 531 Virginia Drive, 407-634-0110, gbbottleshop.com GB’s is not a brewery, but it more than makes up for any perceived lack by offering an incredibly comprehensive list of choices: 20 rotating taps in the taproom, plus a retail area with a refrigerated case and shelves filled with scores of bottles and cans. In this clean, well-lighted, totally comfortable space, each tap has a name and five numbers scrawled on the white subway tile in which it’s embedded: the name of the beer, and the price for 5-ounce, 9-ounce or 1-pint pours, plus 16or 32-ounce growlers. Staffers are eager to give tastes before they pour, and the range of sizes means customers can either settle in for a pint or two of a known quantity, or build their own flight from various 5-ouncers.

Broken Strings, Orlando Cask & Larder, Winter Park Castle Church Brewing, Kissimmee Central 28 Beer Co., DeBary Crooked Can Brewing Co., Winter Garden Dead Lizard Brewing Co., Orlando Dees Brothers Brewery, Winter Springs Deviant Wolfe Brewing, Sanford Ellipsis Brewing, Orlando Fat Point Brewing, Punta Gorda First Magnitude Brewing Co., Gainesville Florida Beer Co., Cape Canaveral Hops Boss Brewery, Winter Park Hourglass Brewing, Longwood Infinite Ale Works, Ocala Ivanhoe Park Brewing, Orlando Ocean Sun Brewing, Orlando Orange County Brewers, Orlando Orlando Brewing, Orlando Persimmon Hollow, DeLand Red Cypress Brewery, Winter Springs Reprise Brewing, St. Cloud Rock Brothers Brewing, Tampa Roque Pub, Orlando Tuffy’s Bottle Shop, Sanford Wolf Branch Brewing, Eustis Sanford Brewing Co., Sanford Slim Pickens Cider & Mead, Tampa SunCreek Brewery, Clermont Tactical Brewing Co., Orlando Ten10 Brewing Co., Orlando Tomoka Brewing Co., Port Orange Toll Road Brewing Co., Orlando Wops Hops Brewing Co., Sanford Wynwood Brewing Co., Miami






West Art District Artwork by Smite | Photo by Melissa McHenry


hether you want to marvel at the artistry or you just seek a backdrop for the perfect selfie, there’s no shortage of eye-catching murals in the City Beautiful. Thanks to constant construction and sometimes unsympathetic property owners, though, it’s an ever-changing landscape. Here’s our current list of favorites, but we strongly encourage you to go prowling to find your own. Murals are especially prevalent in Mills 50 and the Milk District, whereas older neighborhoods like Silver Star and Orange Blossom Trail yield all kinds of cool, weathered textures and colors. Don’t wanna prowl? Follow Lindsey “Lemonhearted” Thompson’s Orlando Photo Spots series on her blog (lemonhearted.com), and heed her philosophy: Sharing is caring. If you find a cool wall, don’t be selfish – show (and tell) the world.

“Peace Out” Lamp Shade Fair, 1336 N. Mills Ave.

Downtown Credo NORA Building, 885 N. Orange Ave.

Day-glo hues and trompe-l’oeil transparency add to the weird whimsy of Sebastian Coolidge’s cut-up tall-bike rider. It’s just one of Mills 50’s many art walls; for a comprehensive list, check out mills50.org/ art-projects/murals.

Finally, one that’s indoors! The abstract mural by Shannon Staunton that covers one corner of the North Quarter Credo coffee shop was inspired by an aerial view of Orlando, with all its little lakes and ponds.

“Greetings From Orlando” Uncle Tony’s Donut Shoppe, 703 N. Orange Ave. Near the intersection of Orange and Colonial, on the side of record store Uncle Tony’s Donut Shoppe, find a giant vintagepostcard mural created by artist Victor Ving featuring icons of Orlando – some gone now, some still kickin’.

“Planting Dreams, Harvesting Hopes” Hunger Street Tacos, 2103 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park


This work by Mexican art collective Lapiztola honors human rights activist Bety Cariño, who was murdered in the mountains of Oaxaca. The original mural was removed by authorities, before being re-created here.

West Art District 1011 W. Central Blvd., westartdistrict.com

The Monarch Initiative various locations, themonarchinitiative.org

Thousands of square feet of wall space is curated with constantly rotating murals at this Parramore establishment. No two selfies will ever be alike in this vibrant emerging art wonderland.

As part of their program to increase awareness of declining pollinator species the Monarch Initiative has painted butterfly wings perfect for posing all around Orlando and Winter Park.

COOL WALLS Lake Eola Bandshell After Pulse, the ziggurat-stepped backside of the amphitheater was painted in rainbow-striped bands, making for a colorful and LGBT-friendly backdrop.

Yellow door 1222 Woodward St. There are plenty of ’60s, ’70s and ’80s-era office buildings to be found in Orlando, often with pleasingly geometric doorways and staircases. The mitered “stripes” of this chrome-yellow doorway near Ming’s Bistro make for one of our favorites; it’s tucked away on a quiet street so you can pose without self-consciousness.

Pink palm walls Marge’s Specialties, 4809 N. Orange Blossom Trail This home decor store is painted peachypink and festooned with green palm fronds. It’s a working business, so be considerate and don’t block customers.

Photo by Lindsey Thompson


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Orlando Museum of Art Photo by Michael Caibio


Art and History Museums – Maitland 231 W. Packwood Ave., Maitland, 407-539-2181, artandhistory.org

Nestled into Loch Haven Park, the OMA has

This cultural complex includes the Maitland Art Center, a gorgeous Mayan-style National Historic Landmark whose grounds and structures are utterly charming.

talent. Do not miss the annual Florida Prize in

Cornell Fine Arts Museum 1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park, 407-6462526, rollins.edu/cfam Tucked away on the campus of Rollins College, this museum recently received a major gift of contemporary art, the Alfond Collection. Don’t miss the art overflow in the lobby and public spaces of the nearby Alfond Inn.

Gallery Eola 818 E. Washington St., 407-793-6982, galleryeola.com This new Thornton Park white-box space makes up in adventurous curation for what it lacks in size. A great place to start collecting emerging local artists’ work.

Orlando Museum of Art 2416 N. Mills Ave., 407-896-4231, omart.org

undergone a renaissance in past years with

shows by major artists as well as homegrown Contemporary Art show.

Redefine Art Gallery 29 S. Orange Ave., 407-648-7060, redefineartgallery.com A tiny space within CityArts, Redefine is the area’s most reliable purveyor of cutting-edge graffiti and street art.

Snap Space and Snap Downtown 1013 E. Colonial Drive and 420 E. Church St., 407-286-2185, snaporlando.com Slick photography-centric galleries – one in Mills 50 in the historic Cameo Theatre and one east of downtown in the 420 East building – host the best art parties in town.

Wells’ Built Museum 511 W. South St., 407-245-7535, wellsbuilt.org Housed in a historic hotel, Wells’ Built is a trove of local African-American artifacts.

Maitland Art Center



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Orlando Fringe Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts 445 S. Magnolia Ave., 844-513-2014, drphillipscenter.org Downtown’s airy glass-and-steel cultural facility offers various multi-use spaces and theaters hosting touring Broadway productions, comics, dance and local theater.

Footlight Theatre at the Parliament House 410 N. Orange Blossom Trail, 407-425-7571, parliamenthouse.com



Johannah O’Donnell

Orlando artist Boy Kong first wowed us with his spectacular 3D painted-wood works in 2013 and in the interim, he’s gone from being a precocious local secret to a fully established master of his style (with an NYC dealer, no less), inspired by a mixture of Ukiyo-e, Surrealism, graffiti art and animal folklore. You can still see his work on walls around town (we love his wild Chinese astrology-themed mural at Quickly Boba), or you can catch him in a group show at the Mennello Museum called Our Orlando, Aug. 24 through Oct. 7, 2018.

This canny interpretrix of cultural (pop and otherwise) icons – from Patti Smith to Lil Bub, Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Frida Kahlo, Prince to Princess Leia – combines meticulous brushwork and a brilliant color sense with a killer eye for nowness. She rocks our eyeballs, and we couldn’t be prouder to claim her as our own.

Andrew Spear

Maressa Roberts, aka Em’s Revenge, is a young local artist with a wry style that nods at hip-hop, theme parks, ’90s nostalgia and other day-to-day ephemera with style. Catch her work at Henao or Gallery Eola, or pick up her new zine, Rappers, at Park Ave CDs.

Andrew Spear is arguably the best-known artist in Orlando – his distinctive perspective-distorted line-art style is ubiquitous on walls around town (check out his Prince tribute at the Hideaway Bar), businesses around the country, and at the top of Orlando Weekly’s Best of Orlando Readers Poll every year. With fame comes haterade, of course, but Spear stays busy and shrugs it off in his inimitable Boston accent, undulled by decades spent in Orlando. Love him or hate him – we love him – he’s a permanent Orlando ambassador.



Heavily tattooed young prodigy Halsi started his art career at age 12. Now 21, he’s a mover and shaker in the art presenting scene, curating multimedia gatherings that bring together visual artists of all types, bands, DJs, fashion designers and serious vibes. But his own work, when you get the chance to see it, is just as enigmatic and vibey as Halsi himself – clean-lined, symbol-heavy, haunting.

No grounding in acoustics or coding is necessary to marvel at Ginger Leigh (aka Synthestruct)’s installations – like “Conduit,” which creates audio and visual patterns triggered by viewers’ tactile interaction with water, or “react();,” an audio-reactive project in which viewers’ movements generate pulsing geometric visuals. (In other words: dance!) Catch Synthestruct at the annual IMMERSE and Otronicon festivals.

Em’s Revenge

The legendary gay resort is home to this small theater, which thrills audiences with drag delights and original comedies, musicals and guest productions.

Mad Cow Theatre 54 W. Church St., 407-297-8788, madcowtheatre.com The well-established Mad Cow Theatre features a stuffed season of regular stage productions with professional Equity actors every year, as well as classes and workshops.

Orlando Fringe Lowndes Shakespeare Center and Loch Haven Park, orlandofringe.org Every spring, hundreds of shows in a boundaryfree range of subjects and theatrical styles bloom in a dozen venues centered around the Shakespeare Center. Orlando Fringe is the longestrunning fringe theater festival in North America and a unique cultural treat.

Orlando Shakes Lowndes Shakespeare Center, 812 E. Rollins St., 407-447-1700, orlandoshakes.org One of the top Shakespeare companies in the country, the Orlando Shakes crew produces a regular season in addition to PlayFest, which showcases new works.

Theater on the Edge 5542 Hansel Ave., theaterontheedge.org Central Florida has a surfeit of stages where you can see singing princesses, but Theater on the Edge offers drama with a bit more bite.




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By Nicolette Shurba

ity the Orlando goth, forced to exist in the heat and sunlight? No way. Living in Central Florida means ready access to a dark local and state history (try looking up Aaron Jernigan, Edgar Watson or Ponce de Leon if you want some shock value). That noir-worthy underpinning makes the more tedious aspects (ahem, I-4 and I-Drive) of the tourist trade the state is known for a little less insufferable. Here are four phantasmal options for exploring the area:

Moonlight Walking Tours Greenwood Cemetery, cityoforlando.net/greenwood Greenwood Cemetery, 120 acres scattered with century-old oaks and hanging tillandsia at the center of downtown Orlando, was established in the late 19th century – not long after the incorporation of the City Beautiful. The first official resting ground for Orlando folk, home to settlers and the Civil War dead, offers free monthly Moonlight Walking Tours hosted by cemetery sexton Don Price. Approximately four miles in duration with stops at about 100 gravesites, the tour is delivered with a different script each time, full of opportunities to learn about Orlando’s eldritch past. The site is also where the controversial Confederate “Johnny Reb” statue was relocated and restored from Lake Eola in late 2017. The cemetery harbors 49 donated tabebuia trees planted in honor of the victims of the 2016 Pulse nightclub mass shooting. Registration begins the second week of every month at 9 a.m. and spots fill up fast; register early for a tour later in the month.

Cassadaga Photo by Moriah Russo

Mortem Manor Haunted Attraction 5770 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, Kissimmee, mortemmanor.com Located in the surreal Old Town attraction in Kissimmee, Mortem Manor claims to offer the only year-round haunted attraction in the area. The attraction centers around two grim prospects for visitors more disposed towards the macabre: a two-story haunted house with live actors and special effects, and the “Last Ride Burial Simulator,” a solitary simulation of death that’s advertised as an all-inclusive burial package including synthetic olfactory sensations of decomposing flora and fauna.

Skeletons: Museum of Osteology 8441 International Drive, skeletonmuseum.com Not far from Mortem Manor, the Museum of Osteology is located on I-Drive near the Icon Orlando observation wheel. The museum offers patrons a view of 500 real skeletons as well as programs like Skeletons After Dark, a series of adult-themed evening events like a night dedicated to the forensics of the human framework or one for artists and photographers to practice their crafts among the archived bones.

Cassadaga Explore your hidden divination skills by going on a trip to the mystical town of Cassadaga, also known as the “Psychic Capital of the World,” founded by spiritualist George P. Colby in 1894. Sit in the stone Devil’s Chair at Lake Helen Cemetery; buy crystals, herbs, smudges and charms at the Cassadaga Psychic Shop; consult mediums for aura readings, tarot reading or energy healing . After your reading, head to the haunted lodge-style Cassadaga Hotel for drinks, elegant decor and more mediums on call.

Skeletons: Museum of Osteology




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Photo by Chris Liverani


azmin Diaz’s Queens 4 Queens is making strides among Orlando’s young women. A group dedicated to strengthening female unity, Q4Q hosts monthly events focusing on “the real, unfiltered topics” of the moment. Q4Q discussions have covered everything from evading societal expectations of female cattiness to eliminating your own tendencies toward comparison and self-doubt, from feminist politics to real communication with men to authenticity in women’s work lives. “At the end of the day, women are so complex that we only have each other to lean on for empowerment. Our goal is to create an environment for women to have the conversations that allow them to inherently connect,” Diaz says.

Jazmin Diaz

When we noticed that Q4Q’s next event is called “Claim Your Crown: Get Your Freak On” (7-9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, location TBD, $15; queensforqueens.com), we realized Diaz is not just a great resource for questions about getting your grind on at work, she’s also got suggestions for, well, getting your grind on.



“If you appreciate art and want to meet other people who do too, check out Orlando Museum of Art’s 1st Thursday events! There’s always something to talk about in OMA’s galleries.

“Head to Southern Nights and get your freak on: The top-notch drag queens here will show you how to SLAY! Plus, who knows, it might be the night you choose to scratch that curiosity itch.

“Expand your professional networking circle: Find someone you admire, invite them out for coffee, and ask to pick their brain on their topic of expertise. (Pro tip: Get to know the baristas at your favorite local coffeehouse – I like Lineage, Craft & Common and Vespr – and they’ll always have your back.) “Sign up to be a member of a local organization or club and attend their events … like your local girl gang Q4Q!”

“Head to a local bar and flirt the night away. (You can never go wrong at my personal fave, the Guesthouse, where good lighting is ALWAYS achieved.) Don’t like what you see right off the bat? Tinder, OkCupid or Bumble will do the trick. “Oh, your inner introvert is kicking in but still want to get your rocks off? Fairvilla is the go-to to explore all things sexy: vibrators, dildos, etc.”



Will’s Pub Hardt says her favorite thing about the bathrooms here is that they’re different every time you walk in, for better or worse – new graffiti, stickers, etc.

Stardust Video & Coffee Similar to Will’s, the bathroom walls at Stardust are an ever-changing landscape. They were smart enough to put clipboards on the walls for people to write and draw on, which makes the graffiti appear more intentionally artistic, not just random property damage.

The Lucky Lure Decked out with quippy signs saying things like, “Save the Earth, it’s the only planet with beer!,” the bathroom fits the vibe of the bar flawlessly: divey, grungy, beachy. There’s also a very convenient shelf all around the perimeter on which to rest said beer.

Sportstown Specifically, the unisex bathroom hidden in the corner. Finding this one is an adventure in itself, but it usually smells better than others – so it’s worth the search. Once there, you’ll notice a cute yet terrifying cat portrait right above the toilet and a surprisingly fancy sink with a floral backsplash.

The Guesthouse



Lisa Hardt | Photo by Jen Cray



eorge Costanza, arguably the most neurotic character on the classic sitcom Seinfeld, had an encyclopedic knowledge of Manhattan’s public restroom scene – or, as he would have described it, its most “magnificent facilities.” But can you believe Orlando has its own washroom academic? For the last year, Lisa Hardt’s Instagram project, @theshittybeautiful, has chronicled the City Beautiful’s loos – from the disturbingly wrecked to the quaint and elegant – but it’s less a crappy hobby than it is a way of recording some of Orlando’s best and booziest nooks. “It was a thing that kept happening

By Xander Peters

The palm tree-patterned wallpaper is what really sells it, making it oh-soFlorida. It’s Hardt’s favorite bathroom for a good mirror selfie, she says.

Harriett’s Lounge at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts Named after one of Orlando’s coolest philanthropists, the legendary Harriett Lake, this is the classiest bathroom in Orlando. There are chandeliers, love seats, giant mirrors, perfect lighting and – Hardt’s favorite part – purse hooks by the sinks.

Tap & Grind when I was in bathrooms: I wanted to take photos of things, so I just started a weird folder on my phone that I always joked I would do something with,” Hardt says. “And after making this joke for, like, six months, my friends encouraged me to actually do it.” This bathroom bon vivant means “shitty” in a good-natured way, of course, because you can’t appreciate the shitty without the beautiful, at least not in the City Beautiful. Her semi-regular “toilet tours,” which sprang directly from the Instagram feed, take place every month or two. But she doesn’t drag fans around just to poke their heads inside random restrooms – which,

frankly, doesn’t sound all that appealing – she and her @theshittybeautiful fans are pretty much just out to drink and be merry. “Orlando’s great about having locally owned businesses and I think any time you can support that in your community, you’re making your community a better place,” Hardt says. “A lot of times when we do these tours, you might have been to one or two of the places, but there’s a lot of places you haven’t been to and you might find your new favorite bar, or you might just make some new friends – which is also good.” After all, is there no greater common denominator than nature’s call?

A hidden gem (and a 2016 Best of Orlando Writer’s Pick winner) where the walls are covered in a beautiful tile mosaic. But the coolest part is the black light paintings – when you turn off the lights, you get a whole different bathroom experience.

The Glass Knife The little details make this one incredible: live greenery, eye-catching wall designs and excellent lighting. Another selfie best bet.




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Lana Del Rey at Amway Photo by Matthew Weller


Amway Center 400 W. Church St., 407-440-7000, amwaycenter.com

Hard Rock Live 6050 Universal Blvd., 407-351-5483, hardrock.com/live

The place to see the biiiiig shows: Lana Del Rey, Sam Smith and the Dead & Company have all made the Amway a tour stop. This major-league arena also is home to the Magic and the Solar Bears, and only a few steps from downtown.

Venture deep into the heart of Universal’s CityWalk entertainment complex for entertainment that straddles mainstream (Kid Cudi), nostalgic (Alice Cooper) and outsidethe-lines (Ministry) all at once.

The Beacham 46 N. Orange Ave., 407-246-1419, thebeacham.com The downtown concert venue provides a much-needed home for larger-scale shows in the center of the city – think Kali Uchis, Adam Ant or Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. The open floor provides multiple pathways to edge your way up to the front, though good luck navigating tightly packed crowds.

CFE Arena 12777 N. Gemini Blvd., 407-8236006, cfearena.com The complex seats roughly 10,000 and hosts pop, rock and hip-hop, as well as comedy and other events. It’s a welcome connection between UCF and the broader show-going populace of the city.

Henao Contemporary Center 5601 Edgewater Drive, 407-2720317, henaocenter.com Sprawling arts center a short trip down Edgewater plays host to myriad arts events, sure, but also presents shows by cutting-edge music collectives like SR50, Chkn + Beer and Ugly Orange.

House of Blues 1490 E. Buena Vista Drive, 407-9342583, houseofblues.com Shows may start on the early side, but that’s really the only overt sign that this concert venue is nestled in the Disney Springs adult playground. Expect to see anything from Janelle Monáe to Echo & the Bunnymen. The sightlines and sound are stellar.

Iron Cow 2438 E. Robinson St., 407-317-4197, facebook.com/ironcowcafe

New Milk District space steered by the people behind Sandwich Bar is an expanded space for live music (To Live and Shave in L.A.) and club nights (Body//Talk), further enticing the curious with a full food and drinks menu.

The Plaza Live 425 N. Bumby Ave., 407-228-1220, plazaliveorlando.com This Milk District mainstay has found a new footing in partnership with the Orlando Philharmonic, hosting shows by the Phil plus a wide-ranging slate of ’80s icons, guitar legends and comics.

The Social 54 N. Orange Ave., 407-246-1419, thesocial.org Mainstay downtown venue is the very definition of “intimate”; most nights this small room is packed to the gills with the devoted, straining to get as close as possible to their favorite touring artist.

Soundbar 37 W. Pine St., soundbarorl.com Rebranded, retooled and under new management, Soundbar (formerly Backbooth) pulls off the deft balancing act of hosting late-night

themed dance nights alongside earlier, all-ages-friendly shows with everyone from Rich Homie Quan to Evergreen Terrace.

Stardust Video & Coffee 1842 E. Winter Park Road, 407-6233393, stardustie.com This Audubon Park eatery/bar also plays host to a wide array of leftfield music events – recently taking in everything from hardcore punk to techno-industrial to indie-pop.

Uncle Lou’s Entertainment Hall 1016 N. Mills Ave., 407-898-0009 For better or for whatever, there is nowhere else like Uncle Lou’s in the City Beautiful. A close-quarters, gritty staging area for DIY music both local and national, where (almost) anything goes.

Will’s Pub 1042 N. Mills Ave., willspub.org The Will’s/Lil Indies/Dirty Laundry compound is an essential component of both local scene-building and providing a stage to touring acts of all adventurous stripes. The event calendar reads like a genre collage, and that’s a very good thing.




Big Daddy’s 3001 Corrine Drive, bigdaddysorlando.com


Karaoke is no joke at Big Daddy’s. You can be off-tune and breathy, but as long as you’re committed, you’ll get some claps at this song shack.

Celine 22 S. Magnolia Ave., 407-766-3051, celineorlando.com One of downtown’s newest nightclubs, Celine combines elaborate cocktails with a party atmosphere that includes a mezzanine and rooftop lounge.

The Courtesy Bar 114 N. Orange Ave., thecourtesybar.com If you’re more about the finer sips in life, visit the Courtesy Bar for artful, handcrafted cocktails in a refined setting. Let these mixologists cater to you.

The Guesthouse 1321 N. Mills Ave., 407-630-6574 For a solid happy hour and refreshing ambience, do your drinking at the Guesthouse. They make a mean Moscow mule.

The Hideaway Bar 516 Virginia Drive, thehideawaybar.net

Mathers Social Gathering 30 S. Magnolia Ave., mathersorlando.com

The Hideaway on Virginia Drive is the quintessential casual sports bar – it’s not Miller’s Ale House-intense, but there is a rabid Miami Dolphins allegiance that you won’t miss. The Hideaway is also that rare sports bar where artists, hairdressers and theater folk feel right at home.

Mathers is decked out in early 20thcentury opulence, from comfortable leather armchairs to polished wooden bookcases to some great mood lighting. Just know that you’re going to have to pay a steep price for the privilege of drinking anything here. There’s also a dress code, so suit up, guys.

The Imperial 1800 N. Orange Ave., imperialwinebar.com Nestled among Washburn Imports’ stately tables and armoires, the Imperial reigns as one of Orlando’s truly singular watering holes. The Imperial offers a no-nonsense craft bottle and draft list, coupled with a stout card of white and red wines, and is one of the only spots to check out live music in Ivanhoe Village.

Savoy 1913 N. Orange Ave., savoyorlando.com

Sideshow Photo by Rob Bartlett

Wall Street Plaza Wall and Court streets, wallstplaza.net If you have no problem stumbling around with hundreds of other drunken people, block parties at Wall Street Plaza are the place you need to be: Weekends are madness. You can do a whole lot of drinking at eight different venues, but if you can only choose a couple, we favor Sideshow (above) and Hooch.

Wally’s Mills Avenue Liquors 1001 N. Mills Ave., wallysonmills.com

With cocktails at a stable $2, this Ivanhoe Village gay bar tends to be an everyone bar, especially earlier in the evening, and at those prices, it can be hard to tell when the drink specials end and the night returns to status quo.

Orlando’s premiere dive bar has strong booze and naked-lady wallpaper, which is all you really need to know. Come here long enough to be a regular and you might spot local attorney John Morgan buying a round for everyone.

Joysticks Arcade Lounge 69 E. Pine St., joysticksorlando.com

St. Matthew’s Tavern 1300 N. Mills Ave., stmatthewstavern.com

Whiskey Lou’s Lounge 121 N. Bumby Ave.

Gamers have a downtown spot that goes all in on the ‘80s arcade nostalgia trip; heavy on the neon and day-glo. Come for the vintage arcade games, stay for the cocktails and craft beers.

This European-style tavern has all the unwinding essentials – cheap alcohol, pinball machines, pool and weird music. What else could you ask from the perfect dive bar?

A true Orlando classic and one of the city’s best-known dive bars; the Milk District’s answer to Mills 50’s Wally’s, where the super-strong drinks flow fast and furious. Warning: cash only.




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Bacon Grease Andrea Knight has been booking and promoting underground shows in the city for years, but with Bacon Grease she takes center stage, crafting improvised experimental techno that is intricate, playful and undeniable.

Joy Lane New and hungry local duo evokes greats like Suicide and the Screamers with a lo-fi artdamaged assault. Plus they’re like a two-person Wu Tang Clan, spinning off into a host of side and solo projects.


Filthy skronk-rock supergroup are definitely ones to watch at the grittier venues on the local circuit. The sound of glorious chaos and confusion.

Acoqui Dream-pop and shoegaze all-stars enrapture and entrance with a lineup that includes members of Viernes, Moon Jelly and the Sh-Booms. Now our hearts are full.

Sean Shakespeare Of all the young new MCs in the Second Subject crew – the local collective overseen by Solillaquists of Sound’s Swamburger – Sean Shakespeare is the brightest and readiest. His time is now.

Sean Shakespeare


Bubble Boys Hard-working young local punks can really rock & roll, generously streaking their raucous sound with ’60s tear and ’70s flair. Equal parts romp and flash.

The Pauses Indie all-star trio gets their third wind with the release of new album Unbuilding, a mix of altpop nostalgia and forward thinking electronics. By the time you read this, they’ll be on a North American headlining tour.

Sales Local duo Sales are currently the most buzzing indie band to come out of Orlando, and are

making increasing waves nationally. If you see a rare local gig announced, buy your ticket immediately; they sell out quick.

TV Dinner TV Dinner impresses with a sinewy, energetic sound and an onstage presence that brings to mind rule-breakers like the Raincoats and LiLiPUT/Kleenex. Consistently dazzling.

Wet Nurse Veteran garage punk trio craft a joyously carefree collision of garage, punk and pop that has consistently gotten more chiseled from frequent tours on the national circuit. Crucial live experience.


Photo by Dylan Rives




Bill Frederick Park 3401 S. Hiawassee Road The biggest park in Metrowest covers 183 acres situated around Turkey Lake, one of the Sunshine State’s popular places to plop in a fishing line. The park offers canoeing, kayaking, nature trails, volleyball courts and other amenities, and is one of the only city parks where camping is allowed (with a permit, of course.)

Orlando Wetlands Park 25255 Wheeler Road, Christmas With more than 20 miles of roads and trails threading through mostly undeveloped marshes, Orlando Wetlands Park is the place to go if the mood strikes to get in touch with nature. Wildlife sightings, including alligators and bears (oh my), aren’t uncommon, to say nothing of the birdwatching.

Rock Springs, Kelly Park 400 E. Kelly Park Road, Apopka If staying submerged is your sunnyseason cup of tea, go tubing down Rock Springs. This place is popular, though – and for good reason. Make sure to come out early, because guests are turned away if the park’s too full.

Wekiwa Springs State Park 1800 Wekiwa Circle, Apopka

Juniper Springs


Photo by Tyler Nix



By Xander Peters

ot some sunshine on your mind?

If you said yes, then lather yourself up with some sunscreen, grab an umbrella just in case, and head out to bask in all the sun-drenched beauty that Orlando and the surrounding region have to offer.

Sure, the bugs might bite from time to time and the humidity is rarely forgiving. But don’t let that stop you from venturing outside the city limit – away from the dimly lit barrooms and streets lined with honking horns – for a day wandering through nature.

Lake Eola Park 512 E. Washington St. The center of downtown Orlando life, Lake Eola Park hosts farmers markets, cultural fairs, entertainment, footraces, concerts and much more, along with a .9-mile walkway that orbits the signature fountain in the middle of the lake.

Langford Park 1808 E. Central Blvd. Along with neighboring Dickson Azalea Park, Langford Park provides a shaded oasis just outside of downtown. Plenty

You can canoe or kayak here (rentals are available), but this park also has 13 miles of pristine, wooded hiking, biking and horseback-riding trails. It’s one of Central Florida’s most popular, too, particular in summer when visitors like to swim in the clear blue spring. An important note: When the parking lot fills, the park entrance closes.

Juniper Springs 26701 E. State Road 40, Silver Springs Swim, canoe, picnic or camp overnight at Juniper Springs in the pinewoods of Ocala National Forest. Explore the Florida Trail while you’re at it, since it’s accessible from the park entrance.

Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area 3365 Taylor Creek Road, Christmas It’s off the beaten path, but its many trails offer the kind of solitude typically encountered only in apocalyptic storybooks and doomsday movies. Once inside, enjoy hiking the rugged Florida landscapes – quaint ponds, open fields of wildflowers, canopies of hanging moss – populated in the early morning hours by wild turkeys, boar, deer and more birds than Audubon Park documents on its street signs.


of bridges, pavilions and walkways sprawl throughout the leafy park, crossing over the quintessential babbling brook.





Margaret Cho | Photo by Alnert Sanchez


Austin’s Open Mic 9 p.m. Sundays

Austin’s Coffee, 929 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park Orlando’s first open mic is still going strong every Sunday evening. Comics perform to a packed house, with overflow audience members often cramming into seats onstage. This scene staple is a great way to see up-and-comers hone their craft or chat with other jokers if you’re giving standup a try yourself.

to the two-drink minimum crowds of mainstream comedy clubs. Host Heather Shaw calls ’em like she sees ’em, keeping comics on their feet with zingers between sets. Saturday nights are open-mic, while Friday’s showcase offers a curated lineup of local talent.

Orlando Improv Pointe Orlando, 9101 International Drive, 407-480-5233, theimprovorlando.com

8:30 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays

This I-Drive location attracts polished local talent, traveling club comics and big names like Bobcat Goldthwait, Damon Wayans and Margaret Cho.

Drunken Monkey Coffee Bar, 444 N. Bumby Ave.

The Other Bar Open Mic

The coffee-shop atmosphere is a great litmus test to see if a joke works in front of a sober audience, as opposed

18 Wall St., 407-843-8595, the-otherbar.business.site

Drunken Monkey

8:30 p.m. Mondays

Headed by veteran comedian Ken Miller, the Monday open mic at the Other Bar is easily downtown’s most popular comedy night. Miller frequently gives other comics the chance to host, and cheap drinks and the lack of a cover charge ensure that the room is frequently filled with comics and fans alike.

SAK Comedy Lab 29 S. Orange Ave., 407-648-0001, sakcomedylab.com Located in the heart of downtown Orlando, SAK is a comedy school and club rolled into one that’s churned out the likes of Paula Pell and Wayne Brady. Local SNL hopefuls say “yes, and” to improv classes, and visitors enjoy long-running shows like Gorilla Theatre (professional improvisers in a family-

friendly show) and Punslingers (a battle for the best groan-inducing puns).

Shit Sandwich 9 p.m. first and third Saturdays

Bull & Bush Pub, 2408 E. Robinson St. The City Beautiful’s first indie showcase remains one of its best. Hosted by Tom and Dan news correspondent Ross McCoy and lovable beardo Doug McPherson, Shit Sandwich packs out the Bull & Bush well before the show starts. Lineups include promising new comics cutting their teeth and scene staples returning for more laughs. Each show also features a toast to the late Matt Gersting, who started Shit Sandwich and was integral in kickstarting Orlando’s indie scene.





Popcorn Flicks in the Park


SERIES More Q Than A Monthly, dates TBA

Rogers Kiene Building, 39 S. Magnolia Ave.; orlandoslice.com This film series – focused on rarer, critically acclaimed films, both classics and new releases – started out at the Gallery at Avalon Island, housed at the Rogers Kiene Building, the oldest in downtown Orlando. That building was recently donated to the city, so everything is in a state of flux, but the movies are expected to continue on a monthly basis.

Popcorn Flicks in the Park Central Park, Park Avenue and Morse Boulevard, Winter Park, 407-629-0054, enzian.org Those who miss picnicking on the Enzian’s lawn for their Wednesday Night Pitcher Shows should check out their free monthly offerings in downtown Winter Park every second Thursday. The cheap pitchers of beer, sadly, did not make the move.

Uncomfortable Brunch First Sunday of every month Will’s Pub, 1042 N. Mills Ave.; willspub.org; facebook.com/ uncomfortablebrunch Devoted to the juxtaposition of enjoying a fun social activity – brunch – while

watching notoriously tough-to-getthrough arthouse flicks, Uncomfortable Brunch’s premise was kind of a joke at first. But it’s grown into an institution for local film fans. Founder Joshua Martin and fresh blood Katy Whitacre curate a schedule with a sly eye for tongue-incheek scheduling, like Darren Aronofsky’s Mother! for Mother’s Day or Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Salò for Easter.

FESTIVALS Love Your Shorts Film Festival February 2019

The 48 Hour Film Project Aug. 10-12, 2018

Valencia College Theater, 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail; 48hourfilm.com An annual highlight for young, energetic film students, the 48 Hour Film Project invites teams to create a short film from scratch in – you guessed it – 48 hours. The films are then screened and judged in the first step of a worldwide competition that eventually leads to Cannes.

Central Florida Film Festival Sept. 7-9, 2018

Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center, 201 Magnolia Ave., Sanford, loveyourshorts.com

Epic Theatres at Mount Dora, 2300 Spring Harbor Blvd., Mount Dora; centralfloridafilmfestival.com

Short films from across the world get a lot of love at this annual Sanford film festival.

Devoted to independent, student and micro-budget filmmakers, this festival may not have the funding that some of the bigger local festivals have. But those festivals also don’t let you watch as many movies as you want for a flat daily rate, either.

Florida Film Festival April 2019

Enzian Theater, 1300 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland; Regal Cinemas Winter Park Village, 510 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-629-1088; floridafilmfestival.com The 28th annual Florida Film Festival screens more than 180 films, showcasing some of the best independent features, shorts and documentaries, both new and classic.

Global Peace Film Festival Sept. 17-23, 2018

peacefilmfest.org The annual Global Peace Film Festival takes place at several venues around town. The festival is focused on raising awareness of conflict – and solutions – across the globe, which means that the slate is documentary-heavy. Keep an

eye out for special pop-up screenings throughout the year as well.

Orlando Film Festival Oct. 18-25, 2018

Cobb Plaza Cinema Café, 155 S. Orange Ave.; orlandofilmfest.com The Orlando Film Festival has grown from humble beginnings at downtown’s CityArts Factory to the second-biggest festival in Central Florida. Hundreds of independent films are screened in the luxe Cobb Plaza Cinema Café, and veteran industry types give helpful seminars on every step of the filmmaking process.

Florida Surf Film Festival Nov. 9-10, 2018

Atlantic Center for the Arts, 1414 Art Center Ave., New Smyrna Beach; floridasurffilmfestival.com While the main event for Florida Surf Film Festival takes place in New Smyrna Beach in November, they also hold quarterly pop-up screenings of shorts and features focused on surfing throughout the year, often at venues closer to Orlando.

Brouhaha Film & Video Showcase November 17-18, 2018

Enzian Theater, 1300 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland, 407-629-1088, enzian.org This film festival highlights the efforts of student filmmakers from across Florida.

Orlando Magic October-April, Amway Center, 400 W. Church St., orlandomagic.com

Orlando City Soccer Club March-October, Orlando City Stadium, 655 W. Church St., orlandocitysc.com Arguably the city’s most exciting pro sports franchise, OCSC has seen its fair share of recent ups and downs. But don’t get it twisted – the City Beautiful has grown fiercely fond of its precious MLS club, and it has the crowd to prove it.

Orlando Pride March-September, Orlando City Stadium, 655 W. Church St., orlandocitysc.com/pride They’re not just Orlando City Soccer Club’s female counterparts. They’re the soccer team in Orlando that’s actually winning at the moment. Don’t sleep on ’em.

Orlando Solar Bears October-April, Amway Center, 400 W. Church St., orlandosolarbearshockey.com A professional ice hockey team in Central Florida – sure, why not? Rarely the most competitive team around town, but they’re great for a cool night out (and sometimes, a few fistfights).

Orlando Psycho City Derby Girls February-November, Barnett Park, 4801 W. Colonial Drive, orlandoderbygirls.com

Orlando City Soccer Stadium


Photo by Marc Thor



By Xander Peters

rofessional sports franchises in Orlando are a bit of a mixed bag. You have the fan favorites, which tend to be those who make a habit out of winning (we’re looking at you, University of Central Florida football), and then there are some that keep even their biggest fans doubled over and groaning (sorry, Orlando Magic folks.) But like parents who aren’t supposed to pick their favorite kid, we keep rooting – and you can too. Here’s a shortlist of Orlando’s pro and semi-pro athletics. Go check out a game or match and cheer for the home team.

Like a bunch of Sonic Drive-In waitresses from hell, these women have been shredding it as they shred each other since 2009. Worst case scenario: Maybe you see someone spit out a few teeth. Best case: a raucous good time.

UCF Knights Football August-January, Spectrum Stadium, 4465 Knights Victory Way, ucfathletics.com The Knights have yet to let go of their 2017 undefeated season – they’re the only college football team in the country to achieve one – and, by most local accounts, they damn well shouldn’t. But can UCF pull off another record-setting year with a new head coach?

Orlando Anarchy March-July, Trinity Preparatory School, 5700 Trinity Prep Lane, Winter Park; cfanarchy.com Sorry, no lingerie-clad players here, fellas – just women who are ready to lay your ass out. Let the team’s nearundefeated record last season speak for itself: These ladies are ready to rip it, run it and chunk it.


Over the past six years, as the team has consistently finished among the NBA’s basement dwellers, life has seldom been easy for your run-of-themill Magic fan. But things are looking up with the hiring of Steve Clifford as the new head coach and the selection of Mohamed Bamba in the first round of this year’s draft.







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ead Orlando Weekly to stay informed on news and happenings. If you enjoyed the Newcomers Guide you’re reading right now, be sure to pick up our print issue every week (available in more than 1,000 shops, restaurants, bars and newsstands around town). Check out our website (orlandoweekly.com) for new stuff every week, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Other useful special issues (like this one!) include:


JANUARY Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl Jan. 1, 2019; Camping World Stadium, 1 Citrus Bowl Place; buffalowildwingscitrusbowl.com The Citrus Bowl plays host to one of the BCS games every New Year’s Day.

Otronicon Jan. 18-21, 2019 Orlando Science Center, 777 E. Princeton St.; otronicon.org This weekend devoted to interactive technology highlights the cutting edge in games, drones, tech, VR and more.

Zora! Festival Jan. 26-Feb. 3, 2019, downtown Eatonville, Kennedy Boulevard, zorafestival.org Eatonville’s most famous writer, Zora Neale Hurston, gets a festival in her honor every year featuring live music, arts and educational activities.

FEBRUARY Lunar New Year Dragon Parade February 2019 (date TBA), Fashion Square Mall, 3201 E. Colonial Drive, centralfloridadragonparade.org After a brief stint at Fashion Square Mall, this parade and celebration of Orlando’s Asian communities has returned to its home on the streets of Mills 50.

Orlando Chili Cook-Off

Florida Music Festival

February 2019 (date TBA); Festival Park, 2911 E. Robinson St.; orlandochilicookoff.com This event brings the heat with more than 100 different types of chili to sample, the World Chili Eating Championship competition, live music and more.

April 2019 (dates TBA); downtown Orlando, multiple venues; floridamusicfestival.com A downtown music festival geared toward artists looking to break into the major-label industry.

MARCH Art31 March 2019, multiple locations, art31.org The Art & History Museums – Maitland sponsors this monthlong celebration featuring internationally acclaimed artists every year.

Whiskey Business April 2019 (date TBA); Cheyenne Saloon, 128 W. Church St.; whiskeybusinessorlando.com At this upscale and sophisticated event, guests can sample their way across continents to discover the best scotches, bourbons and whiskeys.

Orlando Fringe

March 7-10, 2019; Sunshine Grove, Okeechobee; okeechobeefest.com The annual Okeechobee Fest is the area’s biggest international music festival, drawing thousands to the swamp for four days of fun.

May 14-29, 2019; Loch Haven Park, 777 E. Princeton St.; orlandofringe.org Thespians from all over the world descend on the theater complex at Loch Haven for two weeks of performances.


Beer ’Merica

April 2019 (dates TBA); Enzian Theater, 1300 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland; floridafilmfestival.com Whether you’re a fan of dramas, comedies, documentaries or shorts, the Florida Film Festival has it all.

Our in-depth guide to the neighborhoods of Orlando comes out every April.


Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival

Florida Film Festival

City Guide

May 2019 (date TBA); Gaston Edwards Park, 1236 N. Orange Ave.; orlandoweeklytickets.com Celebrating American Craft Beer Week, this daylong beer festival on the shore of Lake Ivanhoe spotlights more than 100 varieties of American craft brews, along with live music, games and giveaways.

Fall Guide Our gigantic guide to autumn arts, music and more comes out in September.






May 16-19, 2019; Orange County Convention Center, 9800 International Drive; megaconorlando.com Central Florida’s largest comic and media convention brings in big names from the worlds of television, film, comics and more for a huge celebration of pop culture.

JUNE Bite30 June 1-30, 2019; multiple locations; bite30.com A monthlong celebration of the best food Central Florida has to offer, with special prix fixe menus at each participating restaurant.

Bite Night

in town promises live cooking demos, yoga classes, and, of course, plenty of delicious offerings, from vegan cannoli to vegan barbecue.

Aug. 22, 2018; The Beacham, 46 N. Orange Ave.; orlandoweekly.com Everyone’s favorite annual see-and-beseen party honors Orlando Weekly’s Best of Orlando winners – and anyone else lucky enough to snag a ticket through contests or connections. RSVP+1.

SEPTEMBER United We Brunch Sept. 8, 2018; Orchid Garden, 126 W. Church St.; unitedwebrunch.com Orlando’s top brunch destinations unite for one big day party featuring unlimited brunch tastings and an open bar.

One Magical Weekend/Girls in Wonderland

The Great Orlando Cocktail Party

Fireworks at the Fountain July 4, 2019; Lake Eola Park, North Eola Drive and East Robinson Street; cityoforlando.net Nothing says patriotism like the “oohs” and “ahhs” elicited by the choreographed firework and light show at Lake Eola each year.

Tacos & Tequila July 2019 (date TBA); Cheyenne Saloon, 128 W. Church St.; tacosandtequilaorlando.com Peak-taco deniers get to try dozens of takes on everyone’s favorite Tex-Mex one-handed treat – along with plenty of tequila and cerveza.

Oct. 26-28, 2018; Caribe Royale Orlando, 8101 World Center Drive; spookyempire.com This convention for horror fans descends on I-Drive every year, bringing actors, musicians, makeup specialists, tattoo artists and more for a ghoulishly fun weekend.

Central Florida Veg Fest

Halloween Horror Nights


whole weekend of live performing arts scattered throughout public spaces in the heart of downtown Orlando.

Spooky Empire Best of Orlando

June 2019 (date TBA); Orchid Garden, 126 W. Church St.; bitenightorlando.com Bite Night transforms the historic Orchid Garden Ballroom into a foodie wonderland featuring samples from more than 20 of Orlando’s best-loved chefs and restaurants.

May 30-June 1, 2019; multiple locations; onemagicalweekend.com; girlsinwonderland.com The first weekend of June is the traditional weekend for one of the biggest LGBTQ+ gatherings in the country, with several different production companies and venues putting on conventions, parties, concerts and more.


Sept. 14-Nov. 3, 2018; Universal Studios, 6000 Universal Blvd.; halloweenhorrornights.com This year’s Halloween Horror Nights features a Stranger Things house, and that’s probably all you need to know.

Sept. 28, 2018; Celine Orlando, 22 S. Magnolia Ave.; orlandoweeklytickets.com A celebration of Orlando’s craft cocktail scene, with samples from the city’s best bars and speakeasies and an immersive 1980s theme.

OCTOBER Come Out With Pride Oct. 13, 2018; Lake Eola Park, 512 E. Washington St.; comeoutwithpride.com Our favorite downtown parade party celebrates the LGBTQ community.

Big Gay Brunch Oct. 13, 2018; The Abbey, 100 S. Eola Drive; orlandoweekly.com Before the big gay parade, come eat and drink with Orlando Weekly and check out surprise performances at our brunch get-together.

October 27, 2018; Festival Park, 2911 E. Robinson St.; cfvegfest.org Chow down on some cruelty-free cooking at this event for vegetarians, vegans and open-minded omnivores. Learn about veg living and get an up-close look at some of the animals spared when you opt for a salad instead of a Baconator.

NOVEMBER Electric Daisy Carnival Nov. 9-10, 2018; Tinker Field, 1 Citrus Bowl Place; orlando. electricdaisycarnival.com One of the premier EDM festivals in the country, EDC Orlando takes over Tinker Field every fall with top-tier DJs, the best people-watching and bass you can hear for miles.


Oct. 18-25, 2018; Cobb Plaza Cinema Café, 155 S. Orange Ave.; orlandofilmfest.com The Orlando Film Festival has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, and now brings hundreds of independent films and filmmakers downtown for a week of screenings, panels and parties.

Orlando Vegan Fest

Creative City Project: Immerse

Aug. 18, 2018; Eagle Nest Park, 5165 Metrowest Blvd. The newest plant-based food festival

Oct. 19-20, 2018; Downtown Orlando; creativecityproject.com The Creative City Project offers up a

A detailed annual guide to Orlando’s dining scene is stuffed full of chef interviews, capsule reviews, and food news. It comes out in June.

Orlando Beer Festival Nov. 10, 2018; Festival Park, 2911 E. Robinson St.; orlandobeerfestival.com Orlando’s only large-scale legitimate craft beer festival that attracts brewers and guests from all over Florida.

Florida Blue Florida Classic Nov. 18, 2018; Camping World Stadium, 1 Citrus Bowl Place; floridaclassic.org While the annual football matchup between Bethune-Cookman and Florida A&M is the pretense, everyone knows that Classic Weekend is all about the parties and events surrounding the game.

DECEMBER Sweet and Savory

Orlando Film Festival


Dec. 1, 2018; Location TBA; orlandoweekly.com A night of desserts, drinks and delicious dishes, served up by top local and regional artisans.

Grandma Party Bazaar December 16, 2018; Stardust Video & Coffee, 1842 E. Winter Park Road; stardustie.com Handmade crafts from local artisans and live music from local bands make this our favorite stop for holiday shopping.

Best of Orlando Every August, this giant issue drops. Our annual Readers Poll will tell you who, what and where is most popular with Orlando residents in 178 different categories covering Sports + Recreation, Arts + Culture, Music + Nightlife, Food + Drink, Goods + Services and Local Color, while our Writers’ Picks unearth hidden gems you might not know about.




Profile for Euclid Media Group

Orlando Weekly Newcomers Guide 2018  

Orlando Weekly Newcomers Guide 2018