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