OK, then, let’s try this.
Mills Brewpub & Eatery, the FMI Restaurant Group concept that opened in July, is now Divas Dinner Theatre. All previous Internet and social media links for Mills Brewpub now go to divasorlando.com, although the Facebook page still says Mills Brewpub, albeit under a photo of the Divas logo and next to a picture of a drag queen, presumably one of the divas.
Drag shows will apparently be the new direction of the venue, which, according to that website, will operate Wednesdays through Sundays, when it will feature a gospel brunch. The gospel Sunday brunch, which would horrify and offend anyone who wandered in without knowing what to expect but which delighted those who enjoyed watching plus-size men dressed as women lip syncing gospel songs, was a popular feature of Bananas American Diner. That was the FMI restaurant that occupied the space before Mills Brewpub. When Bananas closed, FMI moved the Sunday gospel brunches to Funky Monkey Bistro & Bar at Pointe Orlando on International Drive.
The short life of Mills Brewpub was unexpected but certainly not a surprise. Although it had decent enough food — here’s my review from July — the oddest thing was that given the name it not only had a disappointing beer list but also did not brew any on the premises, as would be expected from a brewpub.
FMI Restaurant Group has had a tumultuous couple of years, beginning with the abrupt closings of two other brands, Prickly Pear and Nick’s Italian Kitchen, both located at the Sanctuary condominium building in downtown Orlando. (Prickly Pear was where the just-closed Mingos operated until recently.) That was followed by the closing of Bananas after a four-year stint.
Recently, the company has begun to refer to the Mills 50 Funky Monkey restaurant, the original, as Funky Monkey’s Nick’s Italian Kitchen. In some references they’ve dropped the monkey business altogether in an apparent move to rebrand that space.
It’s unclear what Divas Dinner Theatre will be in terms of a full-service restaurant (calls to the restaurant were not immediately answered). The website says it offers “light bites” on Wednesday open-mic nights (when you can apparently expose your inner diva) and has pre-fixed menus for other evenings and the Sunday brunch.