Club Swank

Want a taste of ’40s glamour? Try Club Swank, the new retro-themed bar on Mills Avenue. I first heard about this place in “The Orlando Sentinel” a few weeks ago, and being a sucker for all things retro, I had to check the place out. So, I ventured out this evening for some swankiness.

The decor is tastefully done in blacks and reds, with a small space for performers. An improv comedy troupe from the Fringe Festival was there tonight, and I believe singers and lounge acts will perform there in the future. Vintage music plays at a respectable volume in the background. The staff, dressed to match the theme, seemed friendly enough. The thing I was most impressed with, however, was the seating. There are many places to sit and chat here: at the bar, in chairs near the entrance, at one of several tables, on the comfy couches and chairs, or outside at the tiki bar.

Yes, there’s a tiki bar. It’s out back and it’s pretty neat. At the back of the courtyard is a little sectioned-off area with comfortable beach chairs and sand on the ground. It’s the perfect spot to chat with a friend, which is what I wound up doing all night. My only complaint is that the Top 40 music they played in the courtyard, while kept at a reasonable volume, kind of took away from that cool retro-tiki feel.

The small crowd was pretty eclectic. I saw regular Joes and Janes off the street, some indie kids, a couple of Goths from Indie Bar, and middle-aged folks. The atmosphere was laid-back. Most people seemed to be there with a significant other or a group.

Overall, it was a relaxing experience. I’d like to see Club Swank become more popular. It’s a good place to bring a group of friends and hang out over drinks for awhile. It would be great if the club hosted some fun, high-profile events or held themed/costume nights.

Club Swank is located at 1300 N. Mills Avenue in Orlando. Just a side note: Club Swank doesn’t have its liquor license yet, so the bars are just serving beer and wine at the moment.

2 Comments so far

  1. David July (unregistered) on May 29th, 2005 @ 5:22 pm

    I went a few days after they opened (frequenting the Peacock Room across the street, I saw when then opened) and it was really kinda bad.

    I felt the lighting was way too harsh, both from a brightness and heat perspective. The bar was filled with only three people, who seemed to know the owners and bartender. The menu was riddled with typos and the staff did not yet even know about certain advertised menu items.

    Of course, I give any new place the benefit of the doubt for the first visit. Hopefully the next time I visit the situation will be more like yours, Vanessa.

  2. The Masked Blogger (unregistered) on May 30th, 2005 @ 9:37 am

    I’ve been meaning to go visit CLub Swank. They had a swing band there a couple of weeks ago that I wanted to hear, but I didn’t get a chance to go.
    Hopefully I will soon.

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