Sunday, February 7, 2016

Club Reports: Independent Bar, Treehouse, Gilt Nightclub

After recent weekends in Canada and Argentina, it was great to be home on a Saturday night so I could visit my favorites.  Like Independent Bar!
Saturday nights at I-Bar mean DJ Indie John is in the booth.....
.....the floor is packed.....
.....and everyone is dancing to early to mid-80's New Wave!
Spotted in the booth with John: Blog favorites CJ & Ah-Sandra.
Later joined by Leah & DeAnn!
It's the music where everybody knows the words!
Locate the stairs and climb-up into the Treehouse!
Very small room but always crowded!  No DJ, just background music.
Of course the main attraction at Treehouse is grabbing a drink and chilling picnic-style down on the grass floor!
Although you can stand if you prefer.
Next stop Gilt Nightclub over near airport ORL.
DJ Alex Wood was in the booth when I arrived.
Cold night, rainy night, Candyland playing at Venue 578.  I thought I would be here with 5 other people but omg, the place was packed!
And at 12:40AM, there he was!  DJ Claptone (D).
And for the next two hours he would put on an amazing all-House set of music!
Just about all non-vocal House, people were bouncing all over the place!
Yes they were!
Packed to the rafters!  Who knew?
Claptone is from Berlin, a city I used to live in as a child when my father was in the U.S. Army stationed there.
True fans brought their Claptone masks!
The peeps want House music.
You can never go wrong with Go Go girls!
Like I said!
Playing hit "Cream".
A good time was had by all!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Club Report: Peek Downtown

Two weeks on a ship in South America last month and I didn't hear any Breaks!  Two nights in Canada last weekend and I didn't hear any Breaks!  So I knew where I needed to be last night!  "Breaks Yo" at Peek Downtown!
Arrived to find DJ duo Rogue Planet in the booth delivering what I needed!
And the club was pretty crowded from the very beginning!
DJ Rich Doss taking over shortly after my arrival!
Dance floor stayed pretty active!
Just what the doctor ordered!
Spotted in VIP: DJ Supagroover, Bridget, world famous Shawn Fenn, Shelley & DJ Kevin Timebomb.
Spotted on the dance floor: Trish
Sadly, every couple months my job requires me to work on a Saturday so I had to keep my Friday night pretty short last night.
But during my visit, a good time was being had by all!

Friday, February 5, 2016

DS Update: News You Can Use

Here are various nuggets of information from Disney Springs that don't deserve their own article.  Over at The Boathouse off Pleasure Island, awnings have been added to cover the antique boats they have docked there.  The Florida sun can be very damaging and these are valuable antiques.
The Changing Attitudes / Orlando Harley / Apricot Lane building that used to stand at the Hub was physically connected to Mannequins and considered part of the same building.  When it was torn down to make new shops facing Hill Street, the replacement building was built separate from the Mannequins building.  The space in between is open-air but has doors at both ends and is used for deliveries.
The new Coca Cola building adjacent Planet Hollywood is still awaiting installation of its exterior all-glass skin but curiously the rooftop is looking more and more like some kind of outdoor patio.
Another look up at it.
We like to say that nothing is going on at the future site of Walt's Place, located where BET Soundstage used to stand.  But this is not true.  There actually have been some footers of sort installed down there in the dirt.
Finally, for those that bemoan the loss of the revolving dance floor at Mannequins, you can relive the experience every night at Morimoto by using the lazy Susan devices installed on all round tables. Also, Island sources inform us that Morimoto may be testing late-night music soon!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

DS Update: More Retail Coming To Disney Springs

Blog reader and Island source Shawn shares with us the following names that will be opening retail stores in Disney Springs in May.  We don't recall if these names were ever mentioned previously.
Clothing retailers Urban Outfitters, Free People and Francesca's Collections are all opening stores, joining other trendy clothing retailers such as Zara, Uniqlo, Ugg and Shore.
Athletic clothing retailer Under Armor is opening a store.
Jewelry retailer Alex and Ani is coming, joining already-announced Pandora and already-open Erwin Pearl Jewelry.
All these names have something in common; they're not your Mom's kind of stores.  These stores all offer trendy clothing or jewelry items for the young who don't mind shelling-out money for the latest looks.  Stores such as the Spain-based Zara, Japan-based Uniqlo and USA-based Francesca's offer very moderate price points.  They're not H&M cheap, but not much higher.  They're sure to be hits!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

This Weekend In Techno Town

Tier Nightclub has DJ Amtrac (USA) tomorrow night, not to be confused with Atrak who plays Tier on Feb 26.  With Hotel Garuda (RI).  EDM. 
Meanwhile Attic Nightclub's Thursday night series has DJ duo Vinai (I) playing at the same time! EDM.
It's been a month without Breaks for me so this one is a  must!  Peek Downtown for Bebe (USA) plus Rogue Planet, Supagroover and more!  Breaks.
The best event on Saturday night is at Venue 578 for Candyland (USA) with Fightclvb (USA) opening. EDM.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

DS Update: More Store Names

Our Pleasure Island sources have given the Blog the names of 5 more retail stores coming to Disney Springs!  Tune-in Thursday morning for the list.

PI Update: Hill Street Blues

Hill Street on Pleasure Island begins here at "the Hub", the intersection of the pathway that runs in front of Mannequins / Morimoto Asia with the main pathway that runs by The Boathouse where club Motion used to stand.
Hill Street is named for the uphill climb the pathway makes as it heads towards the West Side.  The hill allowed for the construction of offices and castmember cafeteria on the lower level below it.  Renovations to the Island kept this feature.  So let's climb the hill!
PI Live Bar used to sit directly at the Hub.  It closed with all the club-closures in September, 2008 but reopened a few months later when Downtown Disney execs realized this important passageway between Marketplace and West Side had become a dead zone, especially at night.
Behind PI Live Bar was a trendy clothing store called Changing Attitudes which prior to the clubs closing had become Orlando Harley-Davidson.
Harley moved to the West Side in 2011 and was replaced with "pop-up" clothing store Apricot Lane in August of that year.
The Apricot Lane building was considered part of the Mannequins structure and in 2014 it was razed to make way for this narrow strip of stores to be built facing Hill Street.
With heavy construction taking place, Hill Street was closed with pedestrians needing to use the bypass causeway over the lake that went around this area.
On the right side of Hill Street, a large building was home to numerous stores over the years such as Avigator's Supply, DTV and pictured above, fast food restaurant Missing Link Sausage Company.
It was gutted and rebuilt twice prior to the clubs closing and eventually became Paradiso 37.
Back on the left side of Hill Street, the classic 70's/80's club 8TRAX!  There was no generation gap here; all ages knew the words to all the songs!
When demolition began, everyone thought it was coming down entirely!
But curiously, only the front section facing Hill Street was demolished.
To make room for a few more shops facing the hill.
Today the 8TRAX building is still there.  We know much of it houses kitchen and storage space for Morimoto but Island sources say that part of the former club remains unused directly behind the new shops!
Attached to 8TRAX was the building that housed Superstar Studios, where you could record a music video starring you.  It later became Curl by Sammy Duval.  It sat idle for years and was torn down in 2014. 
The Lombard Promenade came next and featured a switchback pathway down the hill. It was built by Meriweather Adam Pleasure for his wife's amusement following a trip to San Francisco where they discovered the equally curvy Lombard Street.
Across from the promenade, Adventurers Club!
Today AC is just a memory and a shell of its former self.  It is being used as the framework for The Edison Orlando which is coming here.
Back on the other side, Laffers Cantina also closed with all the clubs but reopened in 2009 to provide drinks for the West End Ultralounge concept that was opening here, something that became the Celebrate Tonight nightly party.  Upstairs used to house the tech booth for the West End Stage and later for Celebrate Tonight.
At the top of Hill Street, West End Plaza became Celebration Plaza for Celebrate Tonight and most recently became a roundhouse turntable for trains to turn around!  With continued construction on both sides of the plaza, we've not yet seen what this theming is going to do if anything.
This of course was home to Comedy Warehouse on the south side of the plaza!
What it looked like for Celebrate Tonight in 2009.
The north side of the plaza was home to BET Soundstage Club.  During the Hip Hop craze of the late 90's/early 00's, the club was packed and there were long lines to get in!
With BET finally demolished, it currently is a pile of dirt adjacent Adventurers Club.  Nothing will open here until 2017 at the earliest, nine years after BET closed!