Downtown Orlando on Saturday Night
We recently toured downtown Orlando with Brendan from Bungalower and Lisa from The S*%#$! Beautiful. For those who are unfamiliar, The S*%#$! Beautiful is an Instagram account that offers a view from the loo while exploring the City Beautiful. The account was started after its creator had a collection of drunkenly deemed artsy bathroom photos, with no solid purpose. In an effort to unite those who become an artist under the influence, the project was born. The page is open to content submission and follows the tag #DMWhileYouBM, but please do NOT DM your actual BM.
We toured a variety of locations from new clubs to old dive bars, to try and find something for everyone. And of course, this round-up includes a review of each spot’s restroom.
Mather’s - We had to hate from outside the club because we couldn’t even get in. Mather’s has a dress code and with one member of our group in a T-shirt, hat and sneakers it was a no-go for us. So dress the part if you plan to visit.
Celine - What is now Celine is what use to be Vain, but if it wasn’t for the rooftop lounge I wouldn’t have been able to tell. Neon lights, white couches and hanging greenery, this place has had a solid renovation with a modern feel. Until you get the bathrooms, which looks great all around with lots of mirrors, but is unfinished under the sinks. Celine had the best drinks of the night, served by a super sweet bartender. I ordered a Forget Me Not, which hides the taste of alcohol really well, but somehow is one of their strongest drinks and I could definitely feel it. (On your way in or out be sure not miss the hilarious Buddy Dyer picture they have hanging on the first floor.)
Shots Bar - This spot opened up a few months ago and is focused on – wait for it – SHOTS. I didn’t actually try anything here, but Brendan opted for a S’mores shot. They actually light the bar on fire. There is probably something new here for everyone. The bathroom was fully finished, nice and clean (which I am super appreciative of), but nothing special with average lighting and decent mirror offerings.
One unique feature of Shots are the wacky hats they have attached to cords and hanging from the walls. With the right group of people and sufficient alcohol I’m sure all hygiene concerns will cease to exist as you take advantage of this for a SnapStory or Boomerang. Then look for Rid lice shampoo at Walgreens or CVS.
Joysticks - As a kid who grew up without video game consoles, I am so surprised at how much I liked this place. Joysticks is basically video game and science fiction nerds’ dream evening outing with a Star Wars themed lounge, arcade games and a plethora of collectibles for decor. It was a very immersive experience that was consistently themed in every aspect.
The ladies’ room was the best of the night with Ms.Pac-Man themed, super pink glitter sink and the absolute best lighting with ring light mirrors! It had me glowing from every angle. However, as you walk past the men’s room you’ll find a male attendant and a tray of personal care items for them to freshen up. Um…. what’s up with that? Guys I’ve spoken to about this have pretty much told me it’s super unnecessary and they’re kinda weirded about about a dude just standing around in there. Sooo, maybe move this idea over to the ladies’ room instead because I feel like we’d make better use of and appreciate this service.
With all the great things Joysticks has to offer, there is one drawback – worst drink of the night. I tried the Nosferatus, which was recommended after I said I was a fan of whisky, but it tasted medicinal. Jenny tried a non-alcoholic beverage but she wasn’t a fan of the super-sweet offering.
Hanson’s - Hands down the most chill place we visited all night. Do not, I repeat, do not come here with a wild, loud group of your drunk friends. You'll disturb the ~vibe~. Fun fact, this speakeasy use to be a shoe repair shop and had the first electric sign in Orlando. You can hang at the bar or find a quiet seating area in the corner, but please do not miss out on the awesome patio they have.
The bathrooms carry on the rest of the spot’s old-timey feel, but with better lighting than I expected. One of the bathrooms (because there’s a few and I believe a secret one? Maybe too many drinks and flights of stairs at this point) has a gold-framed free-standing mirror that oddly hung. If you’re looking for a not-so-basic bathroom selfie, you can contort yourself to try this one. Would make for a fun S*%#$! Beautiful submission, juuust saying.
Tanqueray - I use to talk past this place four times a week and wonder what it was really like. I should have just kept wondering because the visit crushed everything I dreamed of. It sounds like a super cool, upscale jazz lounge, but as a member of the generation that supposedly is putting an end to smoking, the fact that this place smells like a straight ashtray was a huge turn-off. I was pretty much out after checking out their bathroom which for some reason reminds me of the kind you’d find in a subway tunnel.
(NOTE: This is where the group splits up and goes separate ways. Jenny, Lisa, Brendan, and Scottie headed to the Hen House on Wall Street and then stopped at The Courtesy. Bathrooms are pictured above in the photo gallery. We had talked earlier about how Jenny felt creeped out being downtown. There are sidewalks full of people in various states of inebriation and she was super uncomfortable. She rarely comes downtown to events after dark for just this reason.)
I met up with other friends and went to Swig , which had a pretty good DJ who did what Saturday night DJs are suppose to do – play hits everyone knows. I didn’t check out the bathroom here, but the bartenders were super friendly and generous with their pours.
As the night was ending we made our way over to Gito’s, but encountered one major interruption that is one of the biggest cons of spending time in our downtown environment.
Walking along and ignoring a guy shouting to get my attention, he decided to grab my arm and forced me to spin around to come face-to-face with him. I’m not sure how he thought that would be effective in getting my number or whatever he was after, but it is not how you shoot your shot in 2k18. Fellas, do better. There is nothing particularly unique about this experience – which is the problem. It happens all the time. Getting physical with women you don’t know is not attractive in any way whatsoever.
Show some respect with your greeting or introduction and it’ll go a long way. If your approach doesn’t work out, take that respect, apply it to the curve and just move on. There’s a lesson in every loss, and there are plenty of other fish in the sea.