Beloved Orlando bar Wally's Mills Avenue Liquors reopening June 17


  • Reid Pasternack
No smoking. No homophobes. No racists. No live music.

The new Wally's Mills Avenue Liquors will have rules when it opens to the public June 17 at 6 p.m., and these rules are not meant to be broken.

Well, maybe the live music rule, but that won't be anytime soon.

We got some looks at the refresh of the six-decades-old lair of crapulence and, I have to say, it's no longer a "dive bar," but it's got a divey swank to it.
  • David Lawrence
  • Looky: Loos
"If the Guesthouse and Will's Pub had a baby," says Wally's marketing director Jordan Eichenblatt, "it would be the new Wally's."

And that baby would be a raging alcoholic.

New owner Minesh Patel wanted to open up the space as part of the extensive renovations, and designer Reid Pasternack did just that.

Mirrors make the place look bigger and there's now easier access to the package store, which looks kinda slick.
Wally's Package store - DAVID LAWRENCE
  • David Lawrence
  • Wally's Package store
If you're thinking you can purchase liquor at the store and drink it at the bar, you best take those lushy thoughts elsewhere. And, no, Wally's will not open in the morning.

Yes, the ashes of original owner Walter "Wally" Updike sit in an urn on a shelf, and some of that infamous softcore wallpaper was salvaged and restored and now appears above the photo-filled wall of memorabilia.
Some of Wally's infamous wallpaper was salvaged and restored - DAVID LAWRENCE
  • David Lawrence
  • Some of Wally's infamous wallpaper was salvaged and restored
But my favorite piece in the joint has to be the matchbook condom dispensers, which were unhinged from the men's bathroom and placed in the lounge as (prophylactic-free) art.
Matchbook condom dispensers guised as art - DAVID LAWRENCE
  • David Lawrence
  • Matchbook condom dispensers guised as art
The jukebox is no more, but another important vestige from the old days will return: Cindy Melchor, a bartender at Wally's for more than 20 years, will return to pour stiff Jack and Cokes, PBR and Jameson and Wally's Doubles.

What's old is new again, I suppose.

So many restaurants, so little time. Find out the latest dining news every Friday morning with our weekly Food + Drink newsletter.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.