Our tag-line pretty much says it all: “The Intersection of Creativity + Culture.”
Taking our namesake from to the intersection of Mills Ave (17-92) and State Road 50 (Colonial Dr.) –Mills50 Main Street is a centrally-located, unpretentious, urban district within the City of Orlando (Google-Map “Orlando”). Pulsating from this busy and compact crossroads is a vibrant, culturally diverse, progressively minded and eclectic mix of artists, restaurants, businesses, specialty shops, markets, neighborhoods and residents. To reflect this unique character, our “5 pillars” of the district are 1) Creativity 2) Health 3) Unity 4) Balance 5) Diversity.
Mills 50 is located approximately 1 mile NorthEast of Downtown Orlando, .5 miles South of the Orlando Art Museum and encompasses some of Orlando’s most established and historic neighborhoods, including ColonialTown, Lake Eola Heights, Park Lake Highland and Hillcrest. Schools located within our district include Lake Highland Prep, Hillcrest Elementary and Windows Preschool and Kindergarten. The area in immediate proximity to the Colonial / Mills intersection was originally a storefront retail shopping area in Orlando’s early years. Many of these historic buildings remain standing today, still retaining their facade’s original sidewalk canopies.
Up and down Mills Ave., Colonial Dr. and our smaller neighborhood cross-streets, you’ll discover a unique blend of independent businesses that include holistic living services, message therapy, vegetarian food, fine teas and fresh-roasted organic coffees, yoga, spiritual healing, acupuncture, martial arts, tattoo studios, palm readers, visual artists, printing, signs, design studios, photographers and hair salons. With this eclectic collection of businesses, we also boast large artistic, spiritually-minded, environmentally-aware and gay / lesbian communities.
The cultural cornerstone of our district however, is the active Asian community. We’re home to many Asian markets and restaurants offering Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Korean, as well as both North and South Vietnamese groceries and menu items. Their commitment to the area and consistent presence have helped to enrich and will continue to maintain our district’s locally-owned, culturally-diverese business community for many, many years.
You’ll also find hidden gems like the Funky Monkey Wine Co. serving sophisticated entrees, Anthony’s NY Style Pizza and Tony’s Deli offering consistent counter items. Many already know this, but the Mills 50 District is also home to many unofficial Orlando landmarks, including Colonial Photo & Hobby Shop, Wally’s Packages Liquors, The Historical Cameo Theater, Track Shack and the former Cruises Only building.
This area has evolved organically over many years, into a diverse, unpolished urban destination that is popular for its affordable and eclectic concentration of alternative dining, drinking and retail options –virtually impossible to find anywhere else in Orlando.
Mills 50 Main Street Co. is a non-profit entity made possible through the support and interests of The National Trust Main Street Center, The City of Orlando and the district’s members and volunteers. The goal of Mills 50 Main Street and area business owners is to increase the area’s visibility as a destination as well as to improve its overall appeal and financial/environmental sustainability by making the district safer to commuter traffic/pedestrians as well as encouraging responsible and environmentally friendly growth and redevelopment –while ensuring and preserving the district’s unique urban character, charm and appeal.