Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Downtown Update

Here's a short update about what's happening in downtown Orlando.  First of all it's with great sadness to announce that the very new Syn Nightclub has already closed its doors.  The place opened with such promise from two owners who were supposed to be dedicated to bringing a pure House music format to downtown.  But within a few weeks of opening they had already let promoters take over their main nights and with few exceptions, the promoters did not deliver the crowds necessary to sustain the place.  And they quickly went off into obscure genres of EDM that held appeal to few.  So Syn is now gone.  Will always remember DJ Heavygrinder's visit though as one of the few bright spots.
Chi Phi sounds like a frat house but it's really a bar dedicated to fans of Chicago and Philadelphia cuisine.  Big crowd in the house standing around having a few brews while music from next door's DJ at The Basement is pumped in.  But turn around.....
.....and check out that cuisine!  Chicago style hot dogs and Italian Beef Sandwiches for Chi-town fans, Philly Cheesesteaks and Roast Pork sandwiches for Philly ex-pats!  If you have that 2am craving, check this place out over on East Pine Street!
Check out some flavored vodka shots at Suite B Lounge if you're in the area.  The double chocolate was incredible, the peach very peachy and my favorite.....buttered popcorn vodka!
A string of several clubs were planned on Orange Avenue just above Washington Street but it's now been narrowed down to just one called Saddle Up.  Something tells me Country music will be featured here so if you're in to cowboy boots and cowboy hats, a big yee haw to you!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

PI Update: What's All This Then?

(CLICK ON IMAGE ABOVE TO ENLARGE) Lots of chatter out there now about the meaning of the 7/13 edition of the Downtown Disney Guidemap shown above, in part.  When it comes to Pleasure Island, it certainly presents huge changes compared to the 5/13 edition that it replaced.  Let's take a look at it:
1) The hill appears to be gone.  Is Pleasure Island going flat?  That appears to be the case.  The Lombard Promenade is gone from the map.  You'll recall that Merriweather Adam Pleasure had the winding pathways built after a trip he and wife Isabella took to San Francisco, as a memory of that city's Lombard Street, the crookedest street in the world.

2) Comedy Warehouse & Laffers Cantina are gone. Because there were "Notices of Commencement" on them, this was no surprise and as we know, demolition of CW has already started.

3) The building that housed Curl by Sammy Duval and before that Superstar Studios, is gone. In reality, the space was pretty small for retail of any kind.

4) 8TRAX is gone! We previously published interior pictures that showed that putting in some lights and speakers and one could get the place up and running again relatively cheaply.  So this finding on the map is very sad!  One can hear a lot of drilling coming out of there lately so they must be trying to sever its link to Mannequins so it can be demolished.

5) Yes, Mannequins remains on the map.  That's an indication that it will survive at least this round of demolitions.  It's still our position that since the Island's power grid is housed at the rear of the building, it would be too expensive to remove.  It's going to take a lot of work to demolish the Curl & 8TRAX sections of the building since they really are one building, so if they planned to take down Mannequins it would be logical to do the whole building complex at one time.  Yet Mannequins remains.  And as many of us have said numerous times, as long as it remains there is a chance it could reopen as a nightclub in some form!

6) Also part of the Mannequins building is the retail space just vacated by Apricot Lane.  We thought that would get demolished too but in the corner of the Mannequins building, at the Hub, one sees that retail spot still there. PI Live Bar is gone though.

7) Across the pathway Soundstage and Adventurers Club are still there.  Disney Springs concept art shows AC remaining and becoming a train-themed restaurant of some sort but Soundstage is likely coming down later.  It remains on the map for now.  They can't keep the Island open and demolish on both sides of the pathway at the same time.

Monday, July 29, 2013

PI Update: Construction & Demolition

Tomorrow on SPI Blog we will talk about the new Downtown Disney Guidemap and what it means.  But today we'll just give you an update on all the excitement taking place on the Island of Pleasure.
This is the site of the new supposedly temporary bridge from Downtown Disney West Side to BET Soundstage Club.  The bridge will allow pedestrians to bypass the current No. 4 Bridge when demolition or construction gets too close to the current pathway to be safe.
And construction of the bridge has begun, with pilings installed at the mouth of The Waterfront and a bridge deck being set on top of it.
To be named the Kevin Lansberry Memorial Bridge, pedestrians will pay a 25¢ toll to cross, 20¢ with SunPass.  (Just kidding folks!)
Demolition of Comedy Warehouse continues.
There has been some chatter about whether the entire building is coming down or just part of it but as far as we know, the whole structure is coming down.

Close-up view of what's been demolished so far.
Over in the "Seed & Mulch" area of the Island where RRBC used to stand, a shipment of demolition/construction walls are ready to use.  We know that Fuego by Sosa Cigars is supposed to be closing next so let's hope the walls are going there, not to Mannequins!
A few walls are in place along The Waterfront behind 8TRAX.
A covered fence has been installed around Parking Lot H.
The DTD side of the lot is being used for construction staging while the Buena Vista Drive part of the lot is being used for bus parking.

Lots I, J & K were supposed to close last Monday so they could begin construction of the first of two parking garages.  They were still in use yesterday.  Once closed, parking will be tight on the eastern end of DTD but there's plenty of parking next to and beyond Cirque.
When I asked a CM about this construction zone in the former grassy area next to Cirque du Soleil, he told me it was going to be a building for Imagineers.  We'll see.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Concert Report: DJ Dave Aude' (Firestone Live)

If there's one club in town that has always supported Electronic Dance Music, that would be Firestone Live!
DJ Max Javan (USA) playing House music when I arrived around midnight.
The New Jersean's first performance in Orlando!
Large crowd on hand.
Everyone was waiting for Dave Aude' though.
But there was nice scenery to pass the time.
DJ/Producer/Remixer Dave Aude' (USA) taking control at 1am!!
Associated with 100 or so #1 Billboard dance hits!
Mannequins fans would know so many of his remixes because during the decade that Hip Hop ruled the charts, he would remix some of them to faster bpm Dance songs!
My favorite remix of his is the radio edit he did of Lady Gaga's "Love Game" song (the disco stick song) which he totally turned it into something much better than the original.
The club got really full once he came on stage!
People were dancing all over the place!
Lots of spray-downs, Mannequins style!
You can never go wrong with Go Go girls!
His set was one House/Dance hit after another!  Other DJ's coming to Firestone in the coming month include Paul van Dyk, Tommie Sunshine, 12th Planet, Shogan & DJ Icey!
And a good time was had by all!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Flamingo Crossings Update

It's been awhile since we checked out Flamingo Crossings, the Disney-owned development for 3rd party hotels, restaurants and shops out on the western fringes of the property.  Walgreens was supposed to be the first tenant, as the Blog reported back in January, 2012.  But when we drove around a few nights ago it was difficult to find the store in the dark!
So we went back to Flamingo Crossings during daylight hours.

Flamingo Crossings is within the Reedy Creek Improvement District.

And there she was!  The new Walgreens, located at the corner of Flamingo Crossings Blvd and Western Way.  Not sure how I missed it that night.

Friday, July 26, 2013

CW Update: DJ Baby Anne To Headline CityWalk Techno Night!

CityWalk sources tell Save Pleasure Island Blog that DJ Baby Anne (USA) will be headlining this year's "Labor Day Celebration" taking place on Sunday, September 1st both inside and outside The Groove at CityWalk!!  I believe this will be Baby Anne's first performance at CityWalk since her Tuesday night residency at Red Coconut Club. One of the originators of the music genre called Florida Breaks, she often mixes her sets up with Old School dance hits.
In the past this Sunday night event has featured at least a dozen DJ's performing on the club's main stage and outside the club on the CityWalk "lily pad".  Always dedicated to Electronic Dance Music, the separately ticketed event draws huge crowds.  And since everyone there knows it's a "techno night", no one is disappointed by the lack of Hip Hop!  Mark you calendar now for this do-not-miss event.  We'll publish full details once they're released.  DJ Baby Anne at The Groove

Thursday, July 25, 2013

This Weekend In Techno Town

Bring your own vinyl to Spacebar tonight and beer is free!  80's Retro vs 70's Disco!
DJ Viceroy brings his "Summertime Tour" to Orlando tonight at Tier Nightclub downtown.  An evening of House & Top 40.
Over at Thee Grotto, they've moved their "Girls Just Want To Have Vodka" Wednesday 80's & Ladies Night to Thursdays.  And their Thursday night "Red Rum" Industrial/Goth night moves to Fridays.
(Ladies Enter & Drink FREE All-night)
(Men $10 Entry & Drink FREE All-night)

House Party Fridays continue at Vain Nightclub with DJ Tim Mason (GB) performing Friday night.
(All FREE until 11pm, Ladies FREE until Midnight)
The NLP DJ group is back in action at Suite B Lounge this Friday night and always draws a crowd looking for some Breaks!  With MC Marybeth!
(FREE until 11pm, then $5)
Associated with more than 100 Dance hits, DJ/Remixer Dave Aude' this Sat night at Firestone Live! ($10)
"Lost in Trancelation" is having their Trancefamily Reunion this Saturday night at Bikkuri Lounge. DJ's Agni, Robb Blak, Evo, Jon Martin.
This is the final-ever Saturday night at Latin Quarter in CityWalk.  Come check it out because we won't be creating a "Save Latin Quarter Blog".  DJ Leony on the boards.  Beginning August 1st LQ Thursdays and Saturdays will take place at Red Coconut Club.
Last but not least, great EDM is pouring out of The Groove, also at CityWalk, courtesy of Tampa's DJ Mondo.  It's as close to a Mannequins experience you can get in Orlando and the dance floor does spin if you drink enough!