With Florida bars effectively closed for the foreseeable and depressing future, some Orlando watering holes have been desperately, valiantly hustling to try and remain in the present tense. One of the more scrappy bars in the city has been music scene pillar and Mills 50 cornerstone Will's Pub,
which has made an all-in pivot to a package store
(Total Will's) and merch shop
(shop online here
) in the COVID age.
Well, they're about to announce the next major phase of their survival Hail Mary: They're becoming a dining establishment.
Will's Pub is joining considerable forces with Swine & Sons
to turn the Will's Pub complex into an actual sit-down eatery complete with table service. Things are still fresh and developing, so details like even a new name remain fluid. But in the hands of premier sandwich maestros like Swine & Sons, the food's gonna be legit.
Before any hard-core (and hardcore) scene heads start bemoaning a Will's Cafe, though, just know that this new dining spot will still be armed with the famous alcohol arsenal
of Will's Pub, essentially opening it up again for on-site business.
Decent and responsible citizens should take heart as well. Owner Will Walker says safety
is shaping the transformation. Although very limited seating will be inside Will's Pub and Lil Indies, the majority of it will be outdoors.
Approximately 30 tables will be spaced throughout the bar complex's ample exterior areas, something they've thankfully already been developing in recent years with Dirty Laundry and the laundromat grounds for festivals, markets and special events.
Walker says their operation will be strictly abiding, and even exceeding, the state's required distancing and safety protocols.
Masks will be required of everyone while in motion or not seated. And no mingling.
He's clear about wanting people to come in with others that they're already quarantining with.
Again, things are still developing, but some of what Walker envisions initially in terms of entertainment and atmosphere are things like trivia and live acoustic music, all outside. But the gears are definitely in motion. They're currently building the kitchen and are aiming to open in two weeks.
As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. And this pandemic has been one serious mother. But with the new local marriage of Will's Pub and Swine & Sons, maybe a new Mills 50 diamond is about to come of these crushing circumstances.