A new bar is opening in an under-renovation storefront at 2304 E. Robinson Street [GMap] that will join National Real Estate’s campus at the corner of Robinson and Bumby in the heart of the Milk District.

Otto’s High Dive (Instagram), named after one of National Real Estate owners Giovanni Fernandez and Elise Sabatino’s sons and inspired by Fernandez’s grandfather Dorindo, will be an “elevated cocktail bar” featuring an extensive beer and wine list and top tier cocktails, with the name “High Dive” referring to a dive bar comfort level with an elevated setting and drink programming.

Fernandez’s grandfather was a Cuban immigrant who owned and operated a bar on the island nation called Cafeteria Barra Polar in Manzanillo in the 1950s before moving with his family to Los Angeles, California in 1969.

“My grandfather was really driven by family and collaboration and community building and he really inspired me as a young man. He always talked about “abundancia” or abundance/plenty/fullness – about sharing your resources and time with the community and being welcoming and sharing with family and friends as well as with strangers.”


The project, while backed by Fernandez and Sabatino, is being helmed by Orlando locals Christopher Munro, Sean Pagan, and former Ravenous Pig mixologist, Justin Levaughn, who has also done stints at The Courtesy Bar and The Ravenous Pig.

“We knew we wanted to revitalize this older building into a bar use but we weren’t exactly sure what the concept was so we began by improving the façade to match the brick look of Hood’s up. Justin approached us with an old Florida bar concept and we thought this collaboration was a perfect


Levaughn told Bungalower that his new signature drinks will include a take on a guava pastelito as well as more old school items with a new more modern take, as well as a heavy lager menu and options to bring in beers from their neighbors at Sideward Brewing.

The new concept will also feature a scratch-made food menu featuring Cuban-inspired small plates like a Cuban medianoche, pork skins, plantain mojo pie, and local, seasonal Florida seafood showcased in fresh ceviche, baked oysters, lobster escabeche, and shrimp cocktails.

We’ve seen a lot of chef-driven venues open in Central Florida through the years but not a lot of mixologist or bartender-driven ones. If we want to keep people like Justin in town, then we need to invest in people like him. We would like to help grow Orlando’s bar scene with our own talent and give these young business owners a platform to do their thing. I’m really excited about the partnership.”


Otto’s High Dive is scheduled to open in late summer and will be open seven days a week though during a soft-open phase it will be closed on Mondays. They hope to be open late into the evening to better compliment the Milk District service hours.

Brendan O'Connor

Editor in Chief of

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