A new restaurant opens downtown, named after the Orlando civil rights activist
ORLANDO, Fla. – Named for an Orlando civil rights leader, the Monroe restaurant opened in the Creative Village in downtown Orlando on Tuesday.
The restaurant opened in the Julian Apartments complex on North Terry Avenue north of the Parramore neighborhood.
The Monroe is the fourth restaurant of the Good Salt Group, which also operates the Osprey Tavern, Seito Sushi and Reyes Mezcaleria.
Jason Chin, the co-owner of the Good Salt Group, said he wanted the Monroe to showcase part of Orlando’s history.
“We wanted to make sure we were definitely honoring that,” said Chin. It’s kind of a tribute to Orlando and the history we have here and especially in this neighborhood. We wanted to keep that in the Parramore district, which is why we named the restaurant Monroe.
The name is inspired by Dr. William “Monroe” Wells, whose name can also be found in the Wells’ Built Museum at 511 W. South St..
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During World War II, Wells was the only black doctor in Orlando. He also built the Wells Built Hotel and South Street Casino, which house African Americans during a time of segregation when other areas of central Florida were unavailable, according to the Wells’ Built Museum website.
Chin has lived in Orlando for 31 years and said he saw Orlando change a lot during that time, especially in the hospitality industry.
“Our food culture and culinary scene just exploded here,” he said.
The restaurant’s chef is Josh Oakley, who has worked in other well-known Central Florida restaurants such as the Ravenous Pig, Cask and Larder, Rusty Spoon (1921) and was the chef / owner of the Smiling Bison, according to Monroe’s website.
The restaurant has a full coffee bar and pastries from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. From 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. it offers a full evening and cocktail menu with Mediterranean staple foods such as fried chicken and blackened catfish.
The Monroe is just the latest addition to the Creative Village in downtown Orlando, which already houses the UCF Downtown and Valencia College Downtown campuses. The new Electronic Arts, EA, Orlando Studio will also open there later this year.
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