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This Little Underground

Bao Le-Huu takes on Zola Jesus, Paleface, Los Bastardos Magnificos and reports back on the reopening of Café Davinci

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Here’s the thing: When you inherit a built-in asset as intrinsically special as this place, the best idea is to not fuck it up. So when I stepped back into the place and discovered that the only change to this gem is that it’s a little more orderly, well, amen. Between the character-rich interior to the perfect, now more pristine Southern courtyard (that sported a new, temporary, but impressively large outdoor stage that they may employ for big events from time to time), all of DaVinci’s extraordinary charm is not just intact, it’s buffed to a fresh shine. And since it’s one of Central Florida’s very best hangs, that means everything in the world. So maximum ups to the new owners for resurrecting the place with love and respect. And it was great to see some familiar and friendly DeLand faces again.

In terms of music, the new management has so far started their live offerings with a lot of free shows. Hopefully this, and the new full liquor bar (!), will keep DaVinci permanent this time. With some booking help and momentum, it can once again be a live music destination. DeLand is one of Orlando’s most lovely satellite towns and, judging on this night at least, that active neighborly vibe is once again alive and well at DaVinci. As far as I’m concerned, DeLand’s live music scene is back on the map.

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