Thursday, September 22, 2011

Steel Nightclub Closes in less than 3 Months, What Went Wrong?

Steel Nightclub Opened just before Gay Days in June and Closed before Labor Day.

The owners of Steel invested a lot of money to create a great looking bar, sweet accents and had an attractive staff, but how did it go wrong so fast?

1. Location, Location, Location
Hidden away behind and beneath the Bank of America building, no Club has been able to make that location work. Plus it is off the beaten path and there are safety concerns and who knew where to park. Other downtown bars are at least 3 blocks away and Steel just didn't offer enough to get patrons to risk the walk.

2. Alternative vs Gay Bar
They wanted to be know as an Alternative Bar and not a Gay Bar, however if you ever went in the place you knew it was a Gay bar, however the Alternative Bar downtown is I-Bar and the crowd that might have embraced Steel as alternative stayed at their favorite watering hole and never ventured to the isolated Steel Orlando. And as for local gays, they just never embraced Steel, it might have been it was so hidden that it wasn't worth the effort to discover verse Orlando's other established locations.

3. Service
The one time I did venture to Steel, I must say I felt like I inconvenienced the bartender from doing nothing. Our group of five arrived and basically doubled the number of people in the bar on a Sunday night and I waited 2 - 3 minutes as the bartender completed a story (not a drink order), then turned around to move some bottles and then when he was ready take an order. My thought was I don't want to come back here.

4. Outdoor Area
While the inside of Steel was beautiful the outdoor area facing the train tracks reminded me more of a jail yard / trailer park with it's chain link fence and plastic outdoor furniture. It just didn't match and kind of screamed, we don't care about this area or we ran out of money. Basically, it was set up for smokers and not for relaxation.

Overall, I was excited when Steel opened up. Finally a gay bar downtown, however after my first visit I just never found a reason to go back; To Far, Didn't Feel Welcome and Didn't Like It Was Hidden. I wanted it to succeed, I wanted to walk to my local gay club, but all in all it was not meant to be.

While I think downtown Orlando is ready for a Gay Club, I don't believe it should be hidden away from the general public in a back alley behind a bank. I think it can survive in the downtown bar district and survive with a mix of gay and straight patrons walking through the door who just want a great time and music.

Steel Orlando had one of the shortest nightclub runs in all of Orlando and it is sad, but with so many missteps it is not hard to see why they did not succeed. To future bar owners, learn from their mistakes and good luck. Steel Orlando - RIP

Rus J
VisitGayOrlando.com

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Drag Queens Terrorize Orlando Fabric Stores

Oh Girl, "No they Didn't"
"Oh Yes They Did!"

In my "Only in Orlando" Segment I read in amazement at this breaking news story of; brace yourselves...

Drag Queens Gone Bad! Yes, gangs of Drag Queens have been terrorizing local fabric stores stealing boas, filmy fabric, sequins, bras and feather boas.

In an off the record interview, we also discovered that this Drag Queen Gang, was also known for using the phrases "HeyGirl!," HeyGirl, check this out" and "HeyGirl, I must have this!."

Several members of the store's staff who are unauthorized to speak to the media, told us they were often terrorized while the Drag Queen Gang roamed the stores, however many times they were helpful in pointing out tacky shoes, offering fashion advice and once they even gave out free skin care samples.

The Drag Queens often would order yards of fabric, that cost as much as $39.99 a yard, and then stuff it in their man purses and leave! One clerk was noted as saying, "Oh, gosh, they could wipe out a whole section of boas in seconds..."

Well let it be known that Truth, Justice and Better Dressed Inmates have come to Orlando since these purse wielding, wig wearing and heavy base makeup criminals have been removed from the streets of Orlando. Now hopefully Fabric Stores across our great city can relax knowing that this gang is behind bars.

Rus J
VisitGayOrlando.com