A Weekend-Long Celebration!
It’s been a very exciting year for SAVOY Orlando (1913 N. Orange Ave., Orlando). At the beginning of the year, a remodel began. The carpeting was replaced in much of the bar and was replaced by beautiful new tile. A new light system was installed for the dance floor and for the show area, and many areas of the bar got a new coat of paint.
As if to test out the new light system, SAVOY announced that there would be new drag shows. In the last couple of months, the bar debuted the SAVOY Stars, featuring Mocha Skye, Sorcha Mercy and MrMs Adrien. And of course the new companion store next door, Ivanhoe Wine & Spirits, is thriving.
Now, just four months after they debuted all of their changes in a grand re-opening party, SAVOY has another cause to celebrate: their 11th anniversary is here! It promises to be a weekend-long extravaganza, beginning on Friday, August 14 and going on through Sunday, August 16. There will be an anniversary drag show Friday night, beginning at 11:30, immediately followed by a champagne toast at midnight. There are a few surprises in store for the weekend as well!
I talked to owner Brandon Llewellyn about the upcoming anniversary in this exclusive Hotspots interview.
Happy 11th anniversary! In your mind, how much has changed in the time since you first stepped foot in SAVOY until now?
Everything but the chandeliers and some of the regulars. We try to keep it fresh and new, from new paint, different accent lighting, et cetera. Our community always seems to like new things so we try to deliver on that as much as possible.
Tell us a little bit about the anniversary weekend that’s coming up. Who will be performing?
We have a special anniversary show lined up for Friday, August 14 with the Savoy Stars: Mocha Skye, Sorcha Mercy and MrMs Adrien, with Nazhoni as our special host. We will also have our regular performances on Saturday and Sunday with amped-up anniversary numbers! All shows will start at 11:30 and there will be a special champagne toast Friday at midnight!
Last year, SAVOY’s package store, Ivanhoe Wine & Spirits, opened and quickly became popular in the neighborhood. How does it feel for this store to be so embraced by the local community?
It has been great. It’s been a lot more work, but it’s been worth it. We’ve been very fortunate to be able to serve our community and neighbors with some amazing products, many at prices at or below the big stores. We also have a lot of new products that will be coming in over the next couple months…things that are not typically seen in a package store. From greeting cards to novelty gifts, we’ll be your one-stop shop on the way to any party! I give many thanks to our newest employee, and Orlando’s favorite writer and director, Michael Wanzie.
Out of all the events that you hosted in the last year, which one was your favorite and why?
Celebrity Bartender Night, hands down. I have the most fun at that event every time! We bring in lots of local celebrities and just well-known people from the community to bartend, even though most never have, and all the tips raised that night go to The Center!
I noticed recently that SAVOY brought back a drag show on Saturday and Sunday nights. Tell me about the show.
Up until about a year ago we never had drag shows at SAVOY. A few of our bartenders suggested we try it out, so we brought in the fabulous Mocha Skye, and she’s done an awesome job getting the shows filled every Saturday and Sunday.
Do you have any big plans for the next year?
We have some renovations coming soon to the Patio Bar which I’m very excited about. Also, there are some great events in the works as well, including our very own not-so-typical pageant. [smile]
SAVOY Orlando is open seven days a week, from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday and from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Sundays. For more information on SAVOY Orlando, call (407) 270-4685 or visit savoyorlando.com.