[Cool Bars] Trendy
For the well-mannered, a lounge rich in ambiance
Hannibal’s on the Square
An illuminated onyx bar counter sets the tone for this über-fashionable Winter Park restaurant-bar. Hannibal’s, named for the Carthaginian general who crossed the Pyrenees with elephants, is a nightclub for polite society. Zebra-striped rugs and elephant masks adorn the lounge, which is abuzz with quiet conversations and, Wednesday through Saturday, accented by live jazz or blues. If the evening calls for romance, there are cozy velvet, high-back chairs in the center of the room and semicircular booths along the outer wall. While the martini menu is impressive, it is the French cuisine from adjoining Chez Vincent (chef Vincent Gagliano owns both the restaurant and bar) that puts Hannibal’s over the top as a lounge for people with good taste. 511 West
New England Street, Winter Park.
I can’t be seen in just any ol’ place
If Narcissus had managed to draw himself away from his reflection in the water before falling in for good, he might have made his way over to a place like The Beacon to enjoy a cocktail with other beauty worshipers. The bar area is a magnet for those who draw pleasure from eyeing one another before turning back to their drinks, reassured that no one can touch their impeccable sense of style. This restaurant-bar, with its sleek, gold-tinged décor, is pricey after 7 p.m., which has the fortunate side effect of weeding out poseurs. Located at the Sanctuary building, 100 South Eola, Orlando. 407-841-5444. beaconorlando.com
For those who are above it all
Scenesters of all ages gravitate to Sky 60’s chic, tropical groove on the rooftop of the Bar-BQ-Bar on North Orange Avenue. Orlando may lack decadence, but this bar comes close to emulating the type of nightlife that makes South Beach famous. Late-night revelers decked out in designer stilettos and flashy cuff links lounge inside tented cabanas or groove to house music spun by a DJ. Not only does it serve as a refuge from the hoards of pub-crawlers on Orange Avenue below, Sky 60 offers a fabulous bird’s-eye view of the city. 64 North Orange Avenue, Orlando. 407-648-5441. sky60.com
I’m young, hip and I have tattoos
Note to ambitious entrepreneurs: If you are thinking about opening your own bar, please don’t bore us with the usual beer ads and dartboards, or the shelves displaying your prized collection of vintage steins. This is Orlando; we like concepts. Stardust Lounge, a new venue brought to you by the folks who own The Beacon, Graze and Fifi’s in the nearby Sanctuary condo building, transformed Lee’s Lakeside Underground Tavern into a glossy shrine to Rat Pack cool. The official mascot for this campy ’50s-’60s Vegas-style lounge (featuring gold leather couches and a faux-log fireplace) is Mr. Suave himself, Dean Martin. 431 East Central Boulevard, Orlando. 407-839-0080.