Monday, January 15, 2018

Downtown Update: Demise Of The Speakeasy

With the recent closing of Herman's Loan Office, the hidden speakeasy trend seems to be drawing to a close in Orlando. Herman's had a sign above its entrance but it was located in an alley behind Church Street and thus the only business was from people actually looking for it.
Located on a side street in the Lake Eola district, the beautifully appointed Don't Tell Anyone had no sign whatsoever. And that's the inherent problem with the entire concept. If no one knows that it's there, how can it stay in business?
The Orlando Sentinel reported late last year that The Pharmacy filed for bankruptcy. We don't know the current status but as you can see in the comments, one of our readers reported that it reopened with new financial backing. Located in a shopping center along Sand Lake Road, this nondescript elevator door with the elevator call button is all there is to mark its secret location.
The Treehouse downtown briefly operated as a speakeasy but shortly after we took notice of it, they put a large sign outside rather than having the entrance remain hidden. As you've seen in our articles, there's always a good crowd here.
To our knowledge, Hanson's Shoe Repair has successfully operated as a true 1920's speakeasy with absolutely no signage outside.  There is a password requirement that they enforce and a hidden entrance inside another bar. To be successful in the long run a speakeasy has to gain patrons through word-of-mouth and this one seems to do that all quite well. Nearby is a new venue called Mather's that seems to also be doing well based on the line outside but we don't call it a true speakeasy because it has a sign.
At Disney Springs, the Mouse was reportedly going to offer a Peter Pan-themed underground speakeasy called the Neverland Tunnels (for lost boys) but instead it will open as Enzo's Hideway Tunnel Bar.  As you can see from the signage, it will most definitely not be hidden! And that's too bad because the amount of foot traffic here coupled with the Disney aura could have made something hidden here a great success.


Dr pinna said...

Pharmacy re-opened with new financial backing.

KingBob said...

Thanks, Dr. Pinna.

Anonymous said...

that is the issue with most clubs downtown they come and go . for many reasons! get in make money leave! mismanagement? people stealing from the club? too small?

KingBob said...

Yes, clubs come and go and people get bored which is why clubs have to keep things fresh. There are a few clubs in Orlando that have been in business a long time though such as Independent Bar downtown & The Groove at CityWalk.