Annual Manual 2013
Bars, nightclubs, live music and dancing hotspots in Orlando
Published: April 12, 2013
1205 N. Mills Ave.
Combine classic arcade games, campy ’80s movies and a cooler full of craft beer, and you’ll get Bart, the Mills 50 bar/art/arcade. They pack a lot of fun into the small space they have, with mostly-free gaming and a lounge area for those disinterested in the nostalgic allure of Frogger or Missile Command.
3001 Corrine Drive
It’s either your dream or your nightmare: a karaoke night with an attentive audience who will hang on your every squeaky note as you eke out your rendition of “I Touch Myself.” But that’s what you get at Big Daddy’s, which recently serves stiffer drinks with a new liquor license.
CityWalk at Universal
1000 Universal Studios Plaza
Whether you’ve been dragged there by visiting friends and family, know someone who works out at Universal or are just out on some tourist-inspired whim, CityWalk has its own merry lure for locals in Rising Star karaoke, Bob Marley: A Tribute to Freedom and Margaritaville. Although there’s no cover to get on the strip, you will have to pay to park.
114 N. Orange Ave.
Orlando is not trying to be Brooklyn, but the Courtesy Bar’s theming does transport you a little bit. However, their craft cocktails pay homage to local ingredients and include an inspired riff on a classic in the Florida Sour. Go for happy hour to enjoy the punch of the day!
819 E. Washington St.
In Thornton Park, this art bar provides a hip alternative setting amidst burger joints and sports bars with original concepts that form the basis of both art shows and DJ nights; it’s a fun escape on certain nights and otherwise divinely low-key.
The Hideaway Bar
516 Virginia Drive
In a loud building done in Miami Dolphins colors, you wouldn’t expect to find a dive bar that feels delightfully small-town, but that’s the Hideaway, where people are serious about pool, sports and strong drinks. Incidentally, it’s also a great greasy joint in the morning to cure your hangover.
70 N. Orange Ave.
If you’re looking for a great dance night, look no further than I-Bar, home to weekly throwback parties like Grits ’n’ Gravy soul night. Admittedly, I-Bar is hipster central, making it a target for teasing, but it also means that you always have a story to tell after a night there.
1036 N. Mills Ave.
This new spot has quickly become a favorite among locals looking to nestle into the wooden booths, rock free songs on the jukebox and escape from the smog at sister bar Will’s Pub. But it’s also where you’ll find a really energetic weekly ’90s R&B dance night.