Last Saturday night, I cruised to Orlando’s Ivanhoe Antique Row, named because of the area’s antique shops and its existence next to Lake Ivanhoe.
First spot I entered was The Imperial.
Mostly an over-thirty crowd was here. Plus most of the patrons were dudes. Yet, some women still were present.
As The Imperial also served wine, my mind focused on the menu’s beer. Don’t expect to see your typical beer here. The menu consisted of beers from all over the world. I don’t know if the appropriate words are “craft beer”. Yet, I’ll just take a wild guess and say it is. For five bucks, I drunk a German beer called EKU. Also, the server poured the beer in a glass for me, a nice touch. Most beers are priced five bucks and up. If the beer menu was designed to keep out cheap-drinking hipsters, it worked.
Noticing the dim lights, two impressions ran across my mind: Either, you bring a date here or you come here to hide. Since, I don’t date much, I’ll keep The Imperial in mind in case I need a hideout.
The second spot I entered was The Hammered Lamb.
I entered in through the patio area. Just like The Imperial, a mostly over-thirty crowd was here. Yet, it was almost an even mixture of men and women.
The DJ spun mostly 90’s hip-hop, something I enjoy. He really floored me when he played Outkast’s “Elevator (Me and You)”.
I’m still singing that song as I write.
“Me and you, your momma and your cousin too/ Rollin down the strip on vogues/ Comin up slammin Cadillac doez …”
I ordered a bottle of Bud Light. I didn’t know the price. After handing the bartender a five, he handed me a buck back. I thought four dollars to be high for a Bud Light. Yet, I brushed the thought away.
I walked inside. The bathrooms are unisexual. Plus people play darts and ping pong in the far back. A bar counter exists inside also.
I later learned the DJ’s name was Oam. Another DJ is there on Friday’s.
What Oam did next inspired me wanting to return on another Saturday night. First, he played Notorious B.I.G.’s “Big Poppa”. Then, he played Sneaker Pimps “6 Underground”. Then, he played The Beatles’ “Come Together”. And the mix worked!
As much as I enjoyed The Hammered Lamb, I did find one little thing annoying. I ordered a coke. I swore the guy said the drink was a dollar-fifty. I handed him five bucks. He handed me three bucks back minus the fifty cents he still owed me.
Sure, it was just fifty cents. Yet, it was my damned money, not his to keep. As they pay their tabs with cash, I can imagine other customers being done the same way. After awhile, stuff like that adds up moneywise. Now, if I wonder if my Bud Light was actually four dollars.
Overall, I enjoyed The Hammered Lamb. Still, the thing about my fifty cents annoyed me. Then, again, that might have been an honest mistake.
Last spot I entered was Lucky Lure, a patio style bar.
90s and early 2000’s rock played. The crowd contained a more eclectic mix than the previous two bars. Right along with casually dressed yuppies, I saw punkers, working class people and some dude who was definitely in touch with his feminine side. Also, I found people I knew from Orlando’s Mills 50 area.
I ordered Bud Light. For three bucks, I received a 12 ounce can.
After handing the bartender a twenty, he examined it to see if it was fake.
As someone who worked retail, I don’t blame people for doing that.
Out of all three bars, Lucky Lure is the more social one. Even if you didn’t know anyone, you are still likely to find conversation with someone. I found new friends that night.
I spent the rest of the evening at Lucky Lure.
There is another spot in this area. I just didn’t go to it. I’m referring to Savoy. I’m not homophobic. That’s just not my scene. Still, people on yelp.com have written positive things about the place.
Overall, I think Ivanhoe Antique Row as a good alternative to Downtown Orlando, especially for the over-thirty crowd.
Because it was Memorial Day Weekend, I think I might have been lucky to find parking. This because the door guy at Hammered Lamb told me the area is usually busier. Still, unlike Downtown Orlando, parking is free
I plan on returning in the future.