Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Goodbye, Mills Brewpub; hello, Divas Dinner Theatre

Posted By on Tue, Dec 9, 2014 at 2:18 PM

click to enlarge Roxy Brooks (photo via Divas Dinner Theatre)
  • Roxy Brooks (photo via Divas Dinner Theatre)
It's out with the frites and in with the divas as FMI Restaurant Group ditches their most recent concept to revisit an earlier one.

When Bananas Diner abruptly closed, to be replaced by an announced Belgian-style frites and beer bar, few serious diners shed a tear. The Belgian frites bar concept is well-established in other cities, but Orlando had yet to gain its own place for cones of perfectly seasoned fries served fresh and piping right out of the fat, sided with various flavored house-made mayos and mugs of farmhouse ale, so that was something to look forward to. And Bananas, while always a fun place to drink and watch a show, could break your heart with what they considered a passable plate (grilled cheese? Think Kraft singles and white bread). No, the great part of Bananas was the drag show. (Well, and the sake bombs.)

When Mills Brewpub failed to become the hoped-for Belgian frites bar of our dreams, instead turning out to be a somewhat generic "brewpub" (no beer was brewed on premises), the pub failed to gain traction in Mills 50. One can only assume the FMI Restaurant Group (owner-operators of Funky Monkey Bistro, Nick's Italian Kitchen, Funky Monkey Wine Vault, and the aforementioned Bananas and Mills Brewpub) decided to go back to a successful formula. Thus this week's announcement of Divas Dinner Theatre, "a new drag entertainment concept in Mills 50."

To which we say: hallelujah. 

Mills Brewpub wasn't working and Bananas was never about the food ... so they've taken the part that really worked and placed it center stage. When you go to a restaurant, it's the meal that's your primary concern; if it's terrible, it doesn't matter how great the show is. On the other hand, if you go for the show, it matters less what's on your plate; your primary concern is what's on the stage.

So, a brilliant move, bravo, we can't wait to visit. Here's the menu; more to the point, here's all the info about the new shows: 

Divas Dinner Theatre opens Friday, Dec. 12, with seatings at 7 and 7:30 p.m. and the premiere of the Friday Divas Showcase at 8 p.m. Saturday Divas Las Vegas opens Dec. 13 and the World Famous Divas Gospel Brunch starring Danielle Hunter, Roxy Brooks, Susan B. Whitney and Chantel Reshae returns Dec. 14, with Open Mic Wednesdays and Thursday Divas Off-Off Broadway Showcase coming soon. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates.

click to enlarge divaspostcard.jpg

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