[Spotlights] They Own the Night


Business partners run six downtown bars that cater to various demographics.

 



 

 Dirk Farrow and Doug Taylor don’t run bars for fun, as so many bar owners do. Bars are their business. The onetime Georgia Tech fraternity brothers have built an entertainment empire on downtown’s Church Street, operating five contiguous nightspots that cater to everyone from baby boomers to barely legals.
In September, the Church Street
Entertainment partners opened their sixth venue, a spacious, Mediterranean-style indoor/outdoor restaurant-bar two blocks north of their home base. Ember, which occupies the former Kate O’Brien’s Irish Pub site on Central Boulevard, is Farrow and Taylor’s foray into the business-lunch and after-work professional markets.  It’s also a nod to their maturing years—Farrow, 44, of Windermere, and Taylor, 42, a Dr. Phillips resident, wanted to run a bar that reflected their current tastes and lifestyles.
“The beauty of Ember is 7,600 square feet outdoors,” says Taylor. “It’s a patio bar, but bigger.”
Adds Farrow: “It’s upscale but not pretentious.”
Covering various demographics seems to be the key to their success. In 1992, they opened Chillers, a frozen daiquiri bar, in a cozy space on Church Street. The partners exported the concept to other cities, but eventually sold all but the Orlando location.  
On the same day in 1999, they opened Big Belly Brewery, a chug-a-lug saloon next to Chillers, and Latitudes, an open-air rooftop hangout outlined by tiki torches. Chillers and Big Belly get a twentysomething crowd, while Latitudes draws a 25 to 40 clientele, says Taylor. Two years later, the partners opened Antigua, a dance club drawing 18- to 30-year-olds.  Tucked behind their Church Street-front nightspots is their martini bar, Tryst, which opened last year and attracts a more affluent demographic. The bars employ 180 people among them, says Taylor.
The partners say they expect to open a seventh bar, next to Ember, within nine months. And more concepts will follow, possibly in the suburbs or other cities, says Farrow.

Edit Module
Want to read the whole issue? Download and read this issue and others on Magzter.

Add your comment:
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags

Guides & Resources

Choosing a Graduate School

Programs at UCF and Rollins College

Top Vets 2014

Check out our searchable 2014 list of some of the best vets in Orange and Seminole counties.
Check out our searchable 2014 list of some of the best vets in Orange and Seminole counties.

Premier Realtors

Let Orlando's best realtors help you find your dream home!

Wedding Resource Guide

Find the best wedding vendors in Orlando.

Summer Getaways 2015

Summer is finally on its way and now is the perfect time to plan your getaway. Check out some of these great deals and special destinations just a short drive from Orlando.

Shattering Myths of Better Business Bureau

2015 Best Lawyers

When you need an attorney, you want someone with a strong reputation and a proven track record. The annual Best Lawyers® list provides the names of Orlando-area attorneys most recommended by their colleagues in the field.

Orlando's Top Dentists of 2015

Our annual list featuring 216 of the area’s finest dental professionals.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

MoreRecent Blog Posts

Weekend Happenings in Orlando July 31 to August 2

Find the best events in and around Orlando for the weekend.

Weekend Happenings in Orlando July 24 to 26

Find the best events in and around town for the weekend.

7 Places We Love in Celebration

Where to eat, drink, shop and play in the town that Disney built.

Weekend Happenings in Orlando July 17 to 19

Find the best events in and around town for the weekend.

Geek Out at Orlando’s Newest Comic Megastore, Gods & Monsters

The nation’s second-largest comics, toys, collectibles and gaming venue is leveling up Orlando’s pop culture offerings.
Edit Module