🍽️ Two "Top Chef" winners are opening new spots in Orlando
Plus, what's closing at Universal, where to Oktoberfest this weekend, the Okeechobee Fest lineup, and a new art exhibit at the Art & History Museums - Maitland.
By Katie Johnston
It’s Thursday, and today kicks off a new exhibit at the Art and History Museums - Maitland, one I think you’d really like. The exhibit, “A Bold and Colorful Journey”, is the work of celebrated Central Florida artist Victor Bokas, and is inspired by the Gulf Coast, his life in Florida, and his Greek heritage. I got somewhat of a sneak peek yesterday and the exhibit promises to be bold and colorful, just as the name suggests.
Into it? The opening reception starts at 6:30 p.m. tonight and tickets are free for A&H members and $10 for everyone else. And don’t fret if you already have plans with your couch tonight; you can catch “A Bold and Colorful Journey” anytime between now and Jan. 23.
Keep reading for five minutes and 36 seconds of purely Orlando headlines and a sweet Throwback Thursday feature just in time for Oktoberfest...
See! The exhibit really does deliver on the bold and colorful part. 📸: @ahmaitland | Wanna see your photo here? Tag either #pulptown or @pulptown on Instagram to be featured as our IG of the Day!
What Orlando is talking about
📉 Florida’s COVID-19 numbers are continuing to trend downward. Both positivity rates and hospitalizations across the state are lowering in the wake of August’s Delta variant-fueled surge. Per recent data, Orange County has seen a 27% drop in cases and a 54% drop in deaths. By the numbers, Florida is now 44th for states in COVID-19 cases per capita, 7th in deaths per capita, and currently, 57.8% of Floridians are fully vaccinated. (Orlando Sentinel)
- Related: In more COVID-19 news, the State Board of Education is meeting today to talk disciplinary action against the 11 school boards that currently have student mask mandates in place. Orange County is one of the districts awaiting potential penalties.
🎶 Tickets go on sale today for Okeechobee Fest. The popular four-day music and arts fest finally revealed its lineup this week and it includes headliners Megan Thee Stallion, Tame Impala, and Gary Clark Jr. General Admission tickets start at $299 and VIP at $699. (Orlando Weekly)
🎢 The Shrek 4-D attraction is closing at Universal in January and The Revenge of the Mummy ride will temporarily shut down for maintenance around the same time. Shrek 4-D has been around since 2003, and there are currently no details about its replacement. As for the Mummy, word on the street is that it’ll close from January through mid-summer 2022. (WESH)
🍽️ “Top Chef All-Stars” winner Richard Blais is opening a new restaurant in Orlando. The highly-acclaimed chef is planning a tropical-themed eatery in the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, moving into the space formerly occupied by Hemingway’s. (Orlando Weekly)
💰 The Veranda at Thornton Park could be yours for a cool $3.1 million. Right now, the space is home to an Airbnb, an outdoor event space, and the Sperry Deli & Creamery, among other buildings. The pool in the middle gives me serious "Melrose Place" vibes. I’ve spent many fun weddings there back in my prime and would love to see this property living its best life. (Bungalower)
🍻 TBT: A Pulptown spotlight on Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Café
Back in the early days of Pulptown, we had a very talented video producer named Kayla O’Brien who helped us capture the very best of Orlando and oftentimes, a Central Florida staple like today’s Throwback Thursday feature: Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Café in Sanford.
Considering this weekend is Oktoberfest at Hollerbach’s, we thought what better way to celebrate than with a look back at a place that stole our hearts — and our livers — so many moons ago.
Prost, Orlando! 📸: @kaylaobrienmedia for Pulptown
THE PLACE: Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Café began as a dream for Linda and Theo Hollerbach back in the '80s. In 2001, the couple opened the German restaurant in Historic Downtown Sanford and it's been growing ever since. They’ve even added a German deli and clothing store in recent years. Their daughter Christina is the Chief Operations Officer and has led the charge in expanding the restaurant to now include a rooftop Biergarten, lounge, and more restrooms.
FUN FACT: Hollerbach’s slogan is, “where Gemütlichkeit happens.” But what exactly does Gemütlichkeit mean? The answer is that it doesn’t actually translate into anything in English but the sentiment is Gemütlichkeit is a feeling you get when enjoying good food and drinks with friends and family.
CHECK IT OUT: Order das Boot which is a 2-3 liter glass boot of beer the next time you’re with your squad. (You must have at least 4 people to drink it). Everyone must remain standing until das Boot is finished and it should NOT touch the table while it has beer in it because it’s bad luck. Most importantly, always point the toe of das boot towards heaven, Christina advises.
COMING IN HOT: Hollerbach’s annual Oktoberfest celebration kicks off tomorrow and goes ‘til Sunday. It’s a three-day festival celebrating German food, beer, music, dance, folk costumes, and of course Gemütlichkeit! This year, the party is moving to Sanford Civic Center and surrounding streets, just a block away from the famous eatery. You can RSVP here.