Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Southern Nights Returns - RBARR Closed

I guess you could see this coming on RBARR's Grand Opening Night, the dress code fiasco, anti-gay statements by gay doormen, holding the line not because it was packed but just because they could and in the end the negative vibes from one night had a ripple effect even though I loved the love and feel of RBARR.

To be honest, I went back a week after the grand opening and never returned again. One of the things that irked me the most was that they stated this "dress to impress dress code policy" and it was randomly enforced based on how you looked (imho) rather than an actual dress code as I saw one patron with sandals, shorts and an arm-pit stained t-shirt there and wondered really... that is dress to impress? Like I said I never went back and apparently neither did a lot of people.

The result RBARR closed on August 4th.

But with a great interior, outdoor bar, improved sound system and excellent talent, one can not count out the former Southern Nights location and with skipping a beat the GRAND OPENING of the new SOUTHERN NIGHTS was announced on August 9th.

And the GRAND OPENING is Friday August 15th!
I am excited and have some reservations. Is this just RBARR with Re-branded or is it a new beginning.
Bobby Mils will be bartending on Opening Night so that is a positive and maybe it means things will run better and Southern Nights will return with a vengeance and be successful, but only time will tell.

What we can say is "Welcome Back Southern Nights"
Here are the opening night details.

Rus J

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

5 Must Attend Orlando Gay Days Events

If you add up all the pool parties, special events, concerts, drag shows, plays and visiting the theme parks there are well over 50 different events going on this weekend for Orlando's Gay Days.

While there is something for everyone and much of it depends on your own taste, we put together a list of what we think are the Top 5 Must Attend Gay Days Events.

This list is not in any specific order.

1. PI @ PHouse
Pleasure Island (PI) use to be the kick off for Gay Days and it was a homecoming type of event for former Disney employees who had moved on and a gathering place for everyone to kick off the Gay Days weekend. Mannequins was so popular that the line to get in often started forming around 3-4 in the afternoon and the dorrs didn't open until 9 pm! After PI closed, Parliament House created the PI @ PHouse event and it has become the Gay Days Kick Off for locals and visitors ever since.

2. RipTide @ Typhoon Lagoon
Water Park, Wave Pool, Dance Music and 5,000 guys in swimsuits. What's not to love - plus you can choose whether you want to get wet, enjoy the wave, people watch or just dance the night away. It is my favorite event of the weekend! This is a One Magical Weekend Event - Get Details Here.

3. Magical Journeys - After Hours @ Arabian Nights
The party doesn't end at midnight, in fact at the arena sized venue Magical Journeys is just getting started as other events are winding down. Magical Journeys is a high energy dance event that runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. It starts around midnight, picks up steam and then runs until five, six or seven in the morning. One Might Weekend has hosted events here for many years, but this is most likely the last time at this location since Arabian Nights dinner show recently closed. Get additional details on this One Mighty Weekend Event.

4. Attend a Pool Party
Sometimes the best way to meet people and get to know theme is at a pool party and you have lots to choose from including Gay Days Men's Pool Parties, Bear's Pool Parties, One Mighty Weekend - Reunion Pool Parties and Tidal Wave Weekend Pool Parties. All allow you to get a tan, cool off in the pool, socialize on a personal level and enjoy a variety of dance music from top djs. See the complete Pool Party Schedule.

5. Visit the Magic Kingdom on Saturday
If you've never been to the Magic Kingdom on the first Saturday of June, then you are missing something special. As a sea of men, women and families wearing red to show support of each other enjoy the park. If you came from a small town and always felt like an outsider like myself, then the moment you see everyone wearing red and get a sense that we are all supporting each other can be a little emotional for some. I have to admit, for me it was something I never will forget. In addition to seeing everyone in red you get to enjoy the Magic Kingdom which is a blast. I wouldn't miss it!

I hope you have your hotel booked, your sunscreen & swimsuit packed and are ready for a wonderful Gay Days weekend. We look forward to seeing & meeting you in Orlando!

To see all the activities for Orlando's Gay Weekend check out the Pool Parties, Dance Parties and Performers and more.

Russ J

Friday, May 16, 2014

RBARR - Orlando New Gay Nightclub Grand Opening Review

RBARR Discotek & Cocktail Boutique opened last night in the former Revolution location and while there were some bumps in the road, the crowd and energy lasted all night.

What I enjoyed about RBARR was the streamlined look and feel. White walls and ceiling makes it look modern and clean. The floor looks great but I am not sure it was finished. DJ Brian Dawe was excellent and one of the coolest things events was adding a live drummer to play along with the DJ. I am not sure that everyone at RBARR even noticed it, but it was something that really stood out. And last Danielle Hunter looked fabulous when I saw her in the club, however when I tried to get in to see the show at the Southern Nights Theater, I was told “Sorry reservations only.” – even for a single!

I know this is the Grand Opening Weekend RBARR and some areas are still under construction but here are my problem areas and areas for improvement for RBARR.

If there was one thing that was lacking and even pissed me off it was lack of communication, that runs from their Facebook page to the location. Here are some examples:
Cover – If you have one STATE IT
If You have FREE DRINKS – And Someone pays a cover, why not let them know there are Free Drinks!
Dress Code – Be Consistent and state what is and isn’t acceptable
For the Shows have Signs - SOLD OUT - Reservations Only or a Seating is Available Sign
Facebook – Learn to use it to share information & answer questions

Still Under Construction
The outside bar, flooring, ceiling and a few other areas are not finished yet, while I know there are delays and the original opening was pushed back but you’ve got to get those things completed. Your first impression was – you’re not ready yet.

Mixed review here, I notice one or two play favorites with people they knew and others work their area. I waited almost 15 minutes in the first line only to walk away and find someone else. You either need to add more bartenders or remind the others they are there to serve drinks.

Some online comment noted that they had rude bartenders, however I did not see that in person.

Private Area or Not Private Area?
One this that perplexed my all night was the illusion that the chic bar to the left of the dance floor was exclusive because there was a guy holding a red velvet rope and letting people in and out. Turns out he let everyone I watched go into this area and then place the rope back, I got into this area without a word. So my question, Why have a rope?, just leave it open so all can enjoy.

All in All I think that if RBARR can get it’s act together they can be a welcome addition to the Orlando Gay scene, however the Grand Opening’s first impression was one that says there is still work to be done.

Grand Opening Weekend Events include:
Friday 5/16/14 with DJ Zog - Miami's #1 DJ
Saturday 5/17/14 with DJ Justin James

For more information visit RBARR's Facebook page

We will follow up in a few weeks and update you on RBARR's Status.

Russ J

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Orlando Gay Days - What's New for 2013 and What's Gone, Gone, Gone

Every Year Orlando's Gay Days has new and retired events. Orlando Gay Days / Weekend 2013 is no exception as we keep getting emails about events that are gone, have been renamed or replaced by other events.

New Events for Orlando Gay Weekend 2013

1. WE Party - Saturday Night WASH @ Disney's Epcot World Showcase - A huge dance party brought to you by One Magical Weekend Party, Brett Henrichsen and Masterbeat! New, different and now you can dance around the world.

2. DRIP - It isn't so much a show but a performance event on International Drive where you are likely to become part of the event. Think Blue Man Group, a Rock Concert and a party all at once and you might get the idea. There are different DRIP parties for men (Wed. & Friday) and women (Thursday & Saturday) throughout the week. So check there web site to see if it's for you.

3. International Latin Explosion Party
Latin themed party for gay men and women to enjoy merengue, salsa and latin house beats and special  performances. Doubletree by Hilton Orlando SeaWorld 9:30 pm - 3 am Friday

4. Orlando Red Dress Party
Gay Days and Orlando's Sister's of Perpetual Indulgence. Where a Red Dress or Outfit, a unique event with special guests and it benefits a good cause.

Events Returning to Orlando Gay Weekend for 2013
1. Reunion Pool Parties
One Mighty Weekend is back at the Buena Vista Palace and so are the hottest pool parties of the weekend. Bring your sunscreen, suit and a smile and enjoy. Friday, Saturday and Sunday starting at noon.

2. Magical Journeys After Hours Parties
Arabian Nights after hour parties return after a 2 year break. An impressive DJ list leads the charge for this years Gay Days or should we say Gay Nights event.

Gay Days Events that are Gone, Gone, Gone
1. Saturday Night Universal Party
The Universal Party never caught on like the other parties and now the Wonder World has exited Orlando's Gay Weekend, so has this event.

2. Sunday Night Fassination Party
The Hard Rock Party had good attendance for a Sunday night but is no more with Wonder World gone.

3. Other Wonder World Weekend Events
Liquid Pool Parties Gone, Reunion Pool Parties held at same location.
Tunnel After Hours at Buena Vista Palace, After Hours parties back at Arabian Nights.
To Get more Details on all the Orlando Gay Weekend Events check out our:
Orlando Men's Gay Weekend Party Calendar
Orlando Men's Pool Party Gay Weekend Calendar

See you at Orlando's Gay Events!
#orlandogaydays #wonderworld #onemightyweekend

Rus J

One Mighty Weekend Returns to Orlando Gays Days

One Mighty Weekend returns to Orlando's Gay Days scene after being absent since 2009.

During Johnny Chisholm's 2005 - 2008 run of One Mighty Weekend, he created some of Orlando's most memorable Gay Days events. As the economy took a turn for the worse during 2008 and 2009, One Mighty Weekend ran into financial issues and the run was over.

Mark Baker, One Magical Weekend - Typhoon Lagoon Riptide party, Gay Days and Parliament House, stepped in to replace events or create new events for the Gay Days weekend. Some like Riptide, Liquid Pool Parties and Parliament House have had great success, but the Universal and After Hours parties, while fun just never had the same feel and excitement as they did in prior years.

This year One Mighty Weekend and Johnny Chisholm returns to Orlando's Gay Weekend of events and many people are waiting to see if it is a return to glory or has Gay Days visitor changed and no longer wants after hours parties that run til 6 am.

Well with the Official Gay Days Kick Off party tonight, it sounds like One Mighty Weekend is setting itself up for success.

Right now there are less than 25 rooms left at the One Mighty Weekend host hotel and with warm weather and sunshine they expect to sell out. This bodes well for the Reunion Pool Parties.

The Magic Journeys After Hours parties are Hosted by Alan T and offer some great DJ's like Danny Tenaglia, Gustavo Scorpio, Joe Gauthreaux and Rosabel. Right now we don't have a read on whether 1,000, 3,000 or more people will attend these events. If you like these DJ's it should be an awesome time and I think the results of the after hours events will help determine if One Mighty Weekend expands its Orlando Gay Weekend lineup in 2014.

Right now, no one can predict whether the large theme park party with a variety of performers will return to Gay Days or if the WE party at Epcot will be the new standard, but I can say I had the most fun at 2007 MGM Party and wish there was event like that to go to this year.

We hope the One Mighty Weekend has a successful return so that they and all of us can have more great memories at Orlando's Big Gay Weekend.

Rus J

Friday, April 26, 2013

Savoy Orlando's Grand Re-Opening - Monday 29th!

On April 1st I noticed two Facebook postings that stated, we are the new owners of Savoy!

My first re-action was April Fools, as it would make a great joke to pull on friends. However it was no joke, Chris Hannay, Brandon Llewellyn and Patrick Razo did purchase Savoy.

Being behind the bar is nothing new for Chris Hanney and Brandon Llewellyn who have been serving drinks to patrons at gay establishments across Orlando for many years. Now they have a place to call their own along with co-owner Patrick Razo who is also a big fan of Savoy.

Now after a just a few weeks of ownership Savoy is ready for

SAVOY's Grand Re-Opening! Monday, April 29th!
Stop by Monday after 4 and Join in the Celebration.
- Tattoo has become the Locker Room at Savoy and have a sports bar feel.
- HAPPY HOUR ALL NIGHT LONG, $1 Well Vodka Martini's & $2 Smirnoff Marti
- Resident DJ Spinning Hits & More

We at are excited to see what Chris, Brandon and Patrick have in store for Savoy and are looking forward to seeing the changes at one of Orlando’s favorite gay clubs.

See you at Savoy!

Rus J

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Brink - Is this Orlando Gay Bar on the Way Out?

Well The Brink opened up less than six months ago and like many new Orlando gay bars finding it's niche has been a challenge but could be signs of The Brinks days as a gay bar be numbered?

Let's lay out the fact:

1. The Brink used to be open 7 Days a Week and now are open 5 Days a Week.
Does this mean the Brink is going under? No. Closing on nights that are dead is a smart business decision and Pulse is successful with it.

2. Happy Hour or No Happy Hour? Who Knows!
On the web site they note a Happy Hour on days that they are open, but on their Facebook page someone said the doors were locked for Happy Hour. Dear Brink, do two thing decide happy hour or not and keep your web site and Facebook pages up to date.

3. Club Leased "Saturday Nights" for 6 Weeks
Um... What? Yes, The Brink has leased out Saturday Nights and it is now a Latin Club on Saturdays known as Rehab. When a business states they couldn't pass up the offer, it means we need more revenue and this allows us to pay the bills. The Bottom line is a club has costs and if you aren't making it you have to find new revenue streams or close the doors.

IMHO: The Rehab Saturday test is to see if The Brink can be more successful as a Latin Club than a Gay Club. The best way to test the waters rather than invest huge amount of cash is to do this one night a week type club.

Last we have seen straight clubs do gay nights on "off nights" but they rarely ever do it on a money night like Friday or Saturday, so with a review of the fact it does appear that The Brink is shopping for a new more profitable concept and if this pans out it will be on to the next chapter as Rehab or something else.

Rus J -