Mills 50 bar owner Will Walker supports Orlando Weekly because Orlando Weekly supports local business

click to enlarge Will Walker in front of his Mills 50 three-venue complex - Photo by Rob Bartlett
Photo by Rob Bartlett
Will Walker in front of his Mills 50 three-venue complex

On the history of Orlando Weekly and Will’s Pub …
Since our beginning, the Weekly has been very supportive of Will’s – the relationship has always been super positive. There have always been great people working there. We’ve always had a really great relationship, and personally and business-wise it’s been a great help to us. We’ve kind of grown up together in a way. The paper was very new when we first opened Will’s Pub.

On why Orlando Weekly is important to him …
As far as staying current and knowing what my peers are up to without having to wander around on websites and things like that, it’s a very useful tool. Getting information out for us is difficult – you know how the internet is – but having a place where somebody can see your events along with all the other happenings, alerting people to the events we’re doing, the Weekly has been very helpful.

‘We grew up together … I don’t know what would happen without it.’

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Being part of Best of Orlando every year has been very cool. You know, the Readers Polls really make you feel better. You could be having a bad summer and the Best Of kind of puts a kick back into what you had going on, and it’s nice to get that pat on the back from the people. Not even winning, just knowing that you’re on people’s minds makes it feel like what you’re doing is special.

On the importance of local journalism …
From my perspective, articles about local bands, for instance, people pay more attention to them after something is written in Orlando Weekly. It’s super important, because that’s not going to happen without them doing it. There’s not another source that I can think of locally doing that. When the Weekly writes about a band, it helps them. And that’s important. I tell people to come to our shows all the time, and it sort of goes in one ear and out the other – when the Weekly does, it actually works. It stands out.

Will Walker in our pages in 2005
Will Walker in our pages in 2005

The Weekly is an accessible way for people to find out about art events and music. A lot of my peers don’t pay attention to the Sentinel, for sure. The Weekly, since I’ve been doing this, has been there, and it’s been supporting what we do and other events, and all different styles of art and expression. It’s great that it’s here.

On a world without Orlando Weekly …
It would be very detrimental to a lot of people getting their art out there. I never really thought about the cultural landscape without the Weekly being a part of it. It’s always been here. I think I take it for granted, like a lot of people do. If we didn’t have it, I don’t really know what would happen. 

Will Walker owns and operates Lil Indies, Dirty Laundry and Will’s Pub, which recently celebrated 25 years in business.

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