The Church Street District has been around for a long, long time (we’re talking 1800s) – but if you haven’t been over there in a while, get ready for a few surprises. This historic downtown Orlando district is like Florida’s version of Time Square – but with palm trees fringing the neon, and a decidedly more laidback clientele. So gather up some friends for strolling, sipping and grazing your way through a classic O-Town evening at Church Street.
Mad Cows and Major Entertainment
Indulge in eclectic enlightenment at the Mad Cow Theatre on West Church Street, known for producing both classic and contemporary play and musicals, as well as comedy sketches on social understanding and the arts. Imagine a storyline beginning with “Einstein and Picasso Walk into a bar,” and that’s what to expect from Picasso at the Lapin Agile, an exploration of physics, creativity and one-night stands produced by comedian and playwright Steve Martin. It runs at Mad Cow through February 17, 2017. Snag some tickets as well for a March production of Three Sisters by famed Russian playwright Anton Chekhov, set in a provincial 19th-century rural Russian town.
It’s all about Spanish and Latin culture at Ceviche Tapas Bar, tucked into the historic Church Street Station just off I-4. The food is served tapas style (multiple small plates), so prep your taste buds for more than 100 authentic Latin specialties, including quite a few versions of ceviche. The lounge area is where it gets really fun, with Flamenco dance performances; sultry jazz and Latin pop music. Check the Ceviche calendar to see what’s onstage at any given time.
Other places to try in the Station are Kres Chophouse, a high-end steakhouse with classic hand-cut prime steaks and fresh seafood; and Hamburger Mary’s, an open-air bar and grill that welcomes canines as well as humans. Just down the street, get ready for an explosion of color inside Graffiti Junktion. It’s basically a burger bar with 50s-diner style barstools and wild, graffiti- and art-covered picnic tables.
Lounge and Chill
Just the names alone make you want to kick back at Church Street lounges and pubs. Cahoots (formerly Big Belly Brewery) has two separate bars areas; one that’s more of a classic pub with gleaming hardwood floors, and another literally lined with an arsenal of mounted sports screens. Drop in on Wednesdays for Orlando’s favorite bar tradition: nickel beers. Chillers draws the dance crowd with DJs, games, contests and a frozen daiquiri party bar. For a more upscale, “classy” night out, stroll over to Native Social Bar, or ride to the top of Amway Center for nightcaps and sweeping city views at One80 Grey Goose Lounge.
Alive at Five
Every third Friday, gather with locals under the stars at Church Street market for live music and a string of indie artists painting and selling their latest creations. The main stage is set up outdoors, right in front of 55 West, with people drifting in and out – shopping, dancing and grazing on street snacks. For updates on who’s playing onstage, sign up for email updates from ChurchStreetDistrict.com.
You’re never far from fun, food and entertainment when living in one of Pinnacle’s Orlando apartment communities; call today for availability info and to set up a tour!