Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Side Show Bar and Restaurant (15 N Orange Ave, Orlando, FL) is a bright splash of color that moved into downtown after The Loaded Hog and One Eyed Jacks vacated. The last time I was here, I was sketching the fun chaos as the Packer Backers cheered on their favorite football team. The space has been opened up and filled with every imaginable form of Side Show kitch. Above the bar looms a huge poster of Alexander the fortune teller. Elaborately framed paintings showcase everything from the Fat Lady to the Swamp Gypsy. Exotic Turkish lamps illuminate the bar.
I stopped in shortly after 5pm and a table was filled with co-workers having an after hours drink. During The course of the sketch, one loner came in, placed his baseball cap on the bar and ordered a beer. e ordered a burger and a beer both of which were decent. A large lever on the back wall spins a gaming wheel above the from door which picks exotic drinks like the Bearded Lady.
On another occasion, Terry and I were meeting friends, Amanda and Matt Simantov from out of town along with Matt Rankin. They were in a bar across from SAK Comedy Club, but the place was packed and way too noisy for any form of shouted conversation. A Magic game had just let out of the Amway Arena which explained the crowd. I suggested we go up to Side Show but instead ever one agreed to go all the way to Thornton Park for a quieter spot. The women went off to get their car and the guys walked up Orange Avenue. We passed Side Show which was surprisingly empty. Just a block away the bars were crowded to overflowing and yet Side Show was vacant. Perhaps the large open space isn't conducive to draw in the crowds. It would have been a perfect place to stop, but we were already commit to the long hike to Thornton Park, where we ended up going to Graffiti Junction.