Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Club Report: STK Orlando

Thankful to have been invited to last night's Grand Opening Party for STK Orlando on beautiful Pleasure Island.  It's the restaurant with DJ's that features sort of a club atmosphere. And it opens tonight!
Not sure how people got their invitations but the line stretched well-over the No. 5 Bridge into Disney Springs West Side and up to the Harley Davidson store!
I was fortunate enough to be able to check-in at the front desk and not have to wait in an hour line!
"Just stay right here KingBob; we're about to open."
And indeed, I was one of the first guests walking down the red carpet into STK at 7PM!
Not many upscale restaurants have a DJ booth but this one is right where you enter the restaurant section inside.  Resident DJ Freefall (USA) was on the decks as the crowd was ushered in!
I was expecting music akin to The Groove but it was nothing like that.  The music was a mix of current Top 40, EDM, 80's, 70's and more.  Really good vibe!
Let's take a look around beginning on Level 2 which is where you enter from West End Plaza.

 The upper carpeted section features many of these circular booths for dining.
There are normally more dining tables in this uncarpeted lower section overlooked by the lengthy bar however those tables were removed for last night's event.
I thought perhaps that later at night these tables would get removed to create a club-like atmosphere in this lounge area but I was told no. The tables will remain and if you want to dance, you can do so table side.  In other words, dancing is allowed, just no dance floor per se.
After 8PM, resident DJ Martial from STK New York took over and he would continue with mash ups of many different genres of music.  Good stuff.
On a normal night the music will start softer and quieter and get cranked up as it gets later. Martial tells me the music will run until midnight. I did not get a chance to ask if it would run later on weekends.
Moving upstairs to Level 3.
Much brighter up here with light wood floors and teak tables.  Most of the tables were removed for last night's event but normally this is a dining area too. The music plays up here too.
Finally standing on the outside patio the Blog has reported on so many times from afar!  This large patio faces south with glimpses of the springs and is thus shady on summer evenings.
There is a second far smaller patio facing west towards the No. 4 & No. 5 Bridges.
After dark, the already-iconic STK sign on the patio was lit brightly and was a popular photo op for nearly everyone up there!
The patio was packed last night but I expect this to be a popular hang-out in Disney Springs nearly all the time.
OK, let's go down to that mysterious Level 1 basement below the restaurant.
As viewed from the outside, we expected the Neverland Tunnels project to be behind those doors. No, that speakeasy will be directly below West End Plaza but not directly below STK.  What's behind those doors?
The STK kitchen!  Food is cooked down here and then brought up to diners!
Free drinks last night!  Free food last night!  You know a good time was had by all!


ClubMaster said...

Man I could of been your +1. I didn't know there was free drinks and food. Your so lucky Bob. Is the average place expensive for steaks.

Troy said...

This place excites me. If they could manage to stay open after midnight, it could be one of *the* places to be at Disney Springs, along with the Edison, whenever it opens next year.

Anonymous said...

NOW I thought DISNEY did not want the drinking going on? one of the reasons they closed PI?

Troy said...

Always about money with these folks. Judging the crowds down there lately - slammed from open to close - and pulling rent from tenants, they're banking. Much more than they ever did during the PI days.

KingBob said...

Clubmaster, I did not look at the menu but I will Thursday evening when I'm dining there. Friday's Blog article will discuss prices.

Troy, I'll get more clarification about operating hours next visit.

Anon, Disney has never said the PI closure was about drinking, except perhaps for some troublemakers. Disney loves drinking, especially at Disney prices.

Anonymous said...

BUT they did say they want to make it more FAMILY friendly! that means NO DRINKS!!

SGT623 said...

Anon, Even after they closed the clubs, there were still outside Disney run bars on the island for years, heck, there still are. It was never about the drinks

Ethan Allen said...

It wasn't about drinking, it was about MONEY...... what do you think pulls in more money?

20/30-somethings at a dance club?

Or 30/40/50/60-somthings at a high-end steakhouses, high-end shopping, and fancy atmosphere with rents through the roof?

Disney figured out where the MONEY was.

KingBob said...

This is true Ethan Allen and that factored greatly in the decision to build Disney Springs. But the concept of Disney Springs did not exist when the decision was made 8 years ago to close the PI clubs. At the time, the only plan was to outsource the buildings to others to operate. When the economy at the time tanked and there were no takers for the former club buildings, everything sat idle for a half decade. It was much later that the idea of Disney Springs as a shopping center was developed.

Anonymous said...

I guess the statement family friendly means beer and wine!? now I know better BUT still!!!!