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BOO 2012

Music & Nightlife - Staff Picks

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180 Grey Goose Lounge

Best skyline drinking

180 Grey Goose Lounge
400 W. Church St., 407-440-7180, 180downtown.com

If you're afraid of heights, stay away: Aptly named after its striking 180-degree view of downtown Orlando, this chic sanctuary sits at the top of Amway Center's spire. It's open year-round – not just for concerts and sporting games – which makes it a fantastic spot to start your evening out on the town. The elevator shoots you up into an attractive Manhattan-inspired indoor space, complete with a clean, under-lit bar top, and local DJs spin tunes to create the vibe. Step outside onto the terrace and you can not only grab a flavored martini, but also a sparkling snapshot of the downtown skyline. It's hard to beat a view like that, and with weekly cocktail specials and no cover charge, 180 is at the top of our list when we want a venue that'll give us that big-city feel while barely leaving our own backyard.


Best honorary local band

Mr. Gnome

The Cleveland Scene calls them "the best band in Cleveland," but we know the truth about Mr. Gnome: They're an Orlando band at heart. That's why the duo of singer-guitarist Nicole Barille and drummer Sam Meister have played the City Beautiful five times since 2009, electrifying Backbooth or Will's Pub each time – and causing OW music critic Bao Le-Huu to shit himself with pleasure. Of course, they play a lot of cities, so is Orlando even special to them anymore?
"We really do enjoy the music scene and people in Orlando," Barille says. "And there are an unusual amount of ultra right-wing conservative billboards on the highway when you're driving into the city."
The pair will perform next at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in their nominal hometown on Aug. 1, but they've remained star-struck with O-town ever since day one.
"We were leaving Backbooth after our first show there and saw Lil' Wayne chillin' outside of a bar in downtown Orlando," Barille says. "Sam screeched on the brakes and shouted, 'Lil' Wayne!?' It was awesome."

Best music festival

Orange You GladMusic Festival

The long-awaited, full-scale return of Orlando's most significant indie-rock festival still standing turned out to be well worth the wait with an eye-poppingly ambitious comeback. Thanks to a partnership with indie booking force Parafora Presents, Orange You Glad re-emerged on the next level with the best national lineup seen here this year (Cults, Tennis, Grimes, Zambri, Caveman, the Big Sleep, Mr. Gnome, et al.) as its anchor. It all culminated to make OYG the city's smartest parade of cool currently active.

Best of Orlando 2012
  • Local Color - Reader' Picks This year's Best of Orlando issue was written, edited, tallied, combined and compiled with the blood, sweat and tears of Marcus Griggs, Holly V. Kapherr, Faiyaz Kara... | 7/18/2012
  • Local Color - Staff Picks Gracing the cover of Orlando Weekly's 2012 Best of Orlando issue is no sweat, when you're Jose Melendez. Better known as Orlando's Mr. Gold, Melendez is the... | 7/18/2012
  • Goods & Services - Reader' Picks Best adult entertainment store 1st Fairvilla Megastore, 1740 N. Orange Blossom Trail, 407-425-6005; 7631 | 7/18/2012
  • Goods & Services - Staff Picks Nameplates! Doorknockers! Gucci bamboo hoops! Cuban links, herringbones, dookie ropes! Medallions! Dog tags! Caps and grills! On strictly utilitarian... | 7/18/2012
  • Food & Drink - Reader' Picks Best Caribbean 1st Bahama Breeze, multiple locations, bahamabreeze.com 2nd Mama Millie's, 12273 University Blvd., 407-382-3570, mamamillies.com | 7/18/2012
  • Food & Drink - Staff Picks Best attention-grabber beverage Beet & green apple juice from Café 118 | 7/18/2012
  • Music & Nightlife - Staff Picks If you're afraid of heights, stay away: Aptly named after its striking 180-degree view of downtown Orlando, this chic sanctuary sits at the top of Amway Center's... | 7/18/2012
  • Music & Nightlife - Reader' Picks Best Club DJ 1ST Baby Lac, @djbabylac 2ND Lemy Currey, facebook.com/lemycurrey 3rd Jimmy Joslin, facebook.com/JimmyJoslin | 7/18/2012
  • Arts & Culture - Reader' Picks Best Arts Event/Festival 1st The Orlando International Fringe Theater Festival, orlandofringe.org 2nd Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, wpsaf.org 3rd Nude Nite Art Exposé, nudenite.com | 7/18/2012
  • Arts & Culture - Staff Picks Best public art that doubles as a weapon "Symphony," 1989, by Paul Marco Mennello Museum of American Art 900 East Princeton Street 407-246-4278 mennellomuseum.com If you've ever thought of an "ice knife" as the perfect murder weapon (it melts! No finger | 7/18/2012
  • Sports & Recreation - Reader' Picks Best billiards hall 1st Sportstown Billiards, 2414 E. Robinson St., 407-894-6258, sportstownbilliards.com 2nd Cue-Phoria Billiards and Café, 2050 Semoran Blvd., Winter Park, 321-972-1867, cuephoria.com 3rd Trick Shots Billiards, multiple locations | 7/18/2012
  • Sports & Recreation - Staff Picks First word we received about this Gaelic jumble of a sport was when Orlando Hurling Club hosted their Clash of the Ash tournament last September. | 7/18/2012
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