You’re So Vain

Vanity nightclub brings a new style code to downtown.

Roberto Gonzalez

Frequenters of downtown know that who you bump into and where you end up is often unpredictable, but there’s one constant—the nightclub scene is all about, well, being seen. With glittering mirrors galore, Vanity nightclub sure has that part down. Opened last October, Vanity took over the 5,000-square foot space above The Fifth on Orange Avenue with the intention of raising patrons’ sense of both where they are and what they wear.

“The inspiration was bringing a club to Orlando that had a style unlike Orlando. We’re going for a Las Vegas, Hollywood, New York, and even a Miami type of vibe,” says Joe Anthony, the general manager.

I’ve visited many a club in some of the aforementioned cities, and I know one thing for sure: Orlando has one of the most casual club atmospheres around. Dress codes are scarce and often broken in favor of helping an establishment make its numbers, which ultimately gives downtown a sense of comfort over class. It’s not a bad thing, but Vanity is determined to make some adjustments.

To start, the club was created almost exclusively with reflective materials. Glossy silver walls that vaguely reflect your likeness surround you on the way up the spiral staircase to the second floor. There, you’re looking at yourself more than anyone else because there essentially is no other choice—floor-length mirrors cover walls inset with retro bricks that give the club a hint of tradition, while two-way mirrors keep the eight TVs above out of sight during the day, but a part of the action at night. It’s indulgent and luxurious, and sends a clear message from Vanity: You’re so vain, and we welcome it.

The club has two distinctive halves: a dark, lounge-like area with two bars on opposing walls, and a dance floor lit by a stunning chandelier made of sparkling glass beads that covers the entire ceiling. The dance area hosts another bar with savvy, attentive bartenders, velvet VIP couches, and a full LED video wall behind the DJs, who rotate nightly. Expect pulsing, contemporary house and electronic dance music reminiscent of Vegas and, on Thursdays, Latin tech house and bachata that brings Miami nightlife to mind.

Despite the upscale vibe, Vanity has kept the drink prices reasonable and the staff friendly. While the back VIP room could be viewed as pretentious with a $2,500 minimum per group, this large, hidden space behind the DJ booth can hold up to 40 people and boasts a private bathroom and separate air
conditioning system.

However, one of the most fascinating things about Vanity is that it opted to become the first locale downtown for ages 21 and up that doesn’t allow smoking. This seems almost like a sacrifice considering that most crowds in such opulent places expect to have their cake and eat it, too. But I wouldn’t worry about that keeping people away—once they get a look at the club for themselves, the shimmer and shine will keep them coming back. 

Monday, Wednesday,
Thursday, Friday & Saturday
10 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Sunday & Tuesday closed
110 S. Orange Ave.
Orlando 32803
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