The Fifth, in Thirds

New downtown concept blends lounge, restaurant and package store in one cool space.



Norma Lopez Molina

 

The V Group is at it again. The downtown nightclub operator’s recent opening of The Fifth, in a prime spot on South Orange Avenue, adds to the cluster of bars owned by the entrepreneurial duo of David Kaye and Jeff Gitto. The bar’s name spawns from the simple fact that The Fifth is the group’s fifth concept, joining NV Art Bar, Vintage Lounge, Vixen Bar and (coming soon) Vanity Nightclub. Conveniently, Vixen, Vintage and The Fifth interconnect, allowing guests to mingle among the three.
 
The Fifth encompasses so many elements that it’s easy to get confused about what its core function is. I’ll do my best to explain. The 2,100-square-foot space is part restaurant, part bar and part retail/liquor store. Yes, you heard that right—a store inside a bar. Formerly, the Plaza Market and Spirits occupied the site of The Fifth, and Kaye and Gitto liked the idea of incorporating a package store into The Fifth. Regulars can store their purchases in private lockers for an annual membership fee.
 
The restaurant portion of The Fifth—open for lunch, dinner and even late-night meals—serves comfort food with a twist. It’s rare for decent fare to be available downtown at such a late hour. The Fifth’s chicken and waffles really hit the spot at 1 a.m.
 
The Fifth’s stylish onyx bar is adorned with LED lighting that can showcase 16 million different colors. The lighting continues onto the intricately patterned ceiling, setting a chic mood. The walls are finished with striking white quartz, while contemporary couch-like seating and cocktail tables frame the outskirts of the bar and provide seating for up to 60. The Fifth’s design is sleek and modern, a nice contrast to its sister venues next door. The crowd is mostly young professionals, contributing to the upscale environment.
 
Kaye and Gitto seem to have found their niche in downtown’s nightlife scene, with themed, upscale but unique, modestly sized venues being their thing.
 
The Fifth, 112 South Orange Ave., Orlando; 407-826-1932, the-fifth.com

The Legend Continues

If you partied in the disco era around here, you may remember doing the Hustle at the Why Not Lounge. The name of the club embodied the 1970s zeitgeist: Why not drink? Why not dance? And why not go to bed with a stranger?
“My fraternity buddies from Winter Park said that if you couldn’t get picked up at the Why Not, then you were hopeless,” says a past nightclubber. That kind of reputation was good for business.
Unlike its disco/pick-up bar brethren back then—mainly Phineas Phogg’s and Nichols Alley in downtown Orlando—the Why Not (below) is still in business and in the same location in Altamonte Springs, now part of a Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel. It’s been around so long that it added “Legendary” to its name.
A dance floor is still there, and, from the looks of the clientele on one night, so are some of the same disco queens and kings who once did the Bump on it. The club also features comedy acts as well as DJs and live music. 
Judging by its staying power, the Why Not Lounge may be around when the leisure suit and big hair come back in style. 
The Legendary Why Not Lounge, 230 W. S.R. 436 Altamonte Springs, 407-862-4455, legendarywhynotlounge.com
Want to read the whole issue? Download and read this issue and others on Magzter.

Add your comment:

 

Guides & Resources

Fall Getaways

Fall 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.

Real Estate's Hot 100

Whether you’re trying to buy or sell real estate, getting the best deal means finding an agent who possesses savvy and know-how and gets results. This list showcases some Central Florida agents who have demonstrated those skills.

Spotlight on Plastic Surgeons 2014

This special advertising section highlights the accomplishments of plastic surgeons, who tell about their commitment to helping people look their best.

Orlando's Best Lawyers of 2014

Get informed with our annual list of more than 400 Orlando-area attorneys, compiled by Best Lawyers in America. The annual selection features lawyers in 78 areas of practice.

Spotlight on Lawyers 2014

Our special advertising section featuring profiles on local lawyers.

Premier Doctors

This special advertising section highlights the professionalism, backgrounds and achievements of dozens of doctors.

MoreRecent Blog Posts

New Orlando Restaurants Open This Fall

From a rustic restaurant at the Ritz and a cool wine bar on I-Drive to a rooftop steakhouse

Handmade Home: Rustic Fall Finds

These seasonal homespun items will get you ready to cozy up for fall.

Raise a Glass

Wine is no longer just for sommeliers at fancy restaurants or trips to Europe and Napa.

Art Flashback

A bit of whimsy and a whole lot of pop can be found at Boom-Art Gallery on Ivanhoe Row.