[Cool Bars] 35+




 

Classics in a classy lounge

Timpano Chophouse & Martini Bar

Modeled after big band-era nightclubs in Chicago and New York, Timpano Chophouse & Martini Bar provides an elegant venue for listening and dancing to classic songs. A dark wood bar separates the lounge from the restaurant’s dining room but not the sounds coming from each. Timpano’s Starlight Lounge often features pianist and crooner Michael Lamy (pictured with Tim Franklin on bass). A true lounge, it has comfy chairs and small tables for intimate liaisons. The bar serves more than 25 martinis, including the Millionaire Martini, garnished with 23-carat gold flakes and caviar-stuffed olives. 7488 West Sand Lake Road, Orlando. 407-248-0429. timpanochophouse.net

 

I’m too cool for Orlando

Beluga

Dress in your casual finery and you’ll fit right in at Beluga, a classy Winter Park Village restaurant that appeals to a well-heeled crowd. Two clamorous covered-sidewalk lounges practically pull in passersby. Inside, however, the scene is serene, with a bar area and dining room sharing space. On Friday and Saturday nights, live jazz played by Billy Hall and Don Black adds to the intimate atmosphere of the main dining room. If you go, try a “Smoking Martini,” a special house concoction bubbling and smoking with dry ice. 460 North Orlando Avenue, Winter Park. 407-644-2962. beluga-restaurant.com

 

I want to go where everybody knows your name

Seasons 52

It’s hard to explain why the bar in Seasons 52 on Sand Lake Road is the place to meet for drinks among the 35-plus crowd.  The piano player singing soft-rock classics is barely audible, so music isn’t the draw. But something sure is. This bar is a “meet” market for those who live in Southwest Orlando. It’s Cheers with an excellent wine list and damn fine American cuisine served at the bar—that is, for those who can find a seat. Arrive after 6 p.m. and it’s standing room only. Wednesday is the popular night, but not a late one. By 9 the crowd shows its age and begins to head home. (Except Norm.) 7700 Sand Lake Road, Orlando. 407-354-5212. seasons52.com

 

The home base for downtown execs

HUE

It youngs-up late at night, but HUE’s early evening hours belong to established professionals who work in downtown’s Lake Eola Park district.  Lawyers, investment bankers, advertising executives and Thornton Park entrepreneurs have made HUE their home base for happy hour schmoozing.  The bar is ultrasleek, with gleaming wood counters and tables and white columns rising to a high ceiling.  Outside, the patio affirms HUE as a place to be seen. Flanking the restaurant along Central Boulevard and Summerlin Avenue, the outdoor tables are usually the first to fill up on balmy evenings. Passersby can only look on with envy. 629 East Central Boulevard, Orlando. 407-849-1800. huerestaurant.com

 

 

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