Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Also shuffling off this mortal coil: Red Fox Lounge, Patsio's Diner and Winn-Dixie

Posted By on Wed, Oct 15, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Hey, Orlando, maybe you could stop killing off landmarks long enough for us to catch up? We heard last week about Patsio's Diner losing their lease; then the long-rumored loss of Theatre Downtown's building (where they've been for 25 years) was confirmed; then the ax fell on the Colonial Drive Winn-Dixie; and now we hear that the Red Fox Lounge is closing Nov. 1.

Not to mention Bar-BQ-Bar, the Peacock Room, Tony's Deli (sob) and the iconic Round Building. (Popular brunch spot OLV Cafe might not rise to the level of "Orlando landmark," but its loss will still be felt among mimosa-and-Benedict connoisseurs.) (Oh and by the way, goodbye to most current Alden Road businesses in the next couple of years, including the Thirsty Topher.)

We knew the Red Fox's days were numbered when we reported the sale of the Mt. Vernon Inn, but that doesn't make accepting its loss any easier. Does it have to go so soon, really? The hotel's doors are officially closed Sunday, Nov. 2, which means Saturday night (Nov. 1) is your very last chance to take in that retro atmo. Red Fox Lounge goddess Lorna Lambey will be performing Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, as if you needed any more encouragement to be there.

Patsio's says they may seek a new home. After 30 years of slinging all-day breakfast, lunch, dinner and some stellar late-night meals, their customer base is loyal to the point of fanaticism, and their Facebook page in the last few days has been a testament to that.


The Winn-Dixie on Colonial Drive has long been a favored Instagram spot for its vintage neon sign reading "THE BEEF PEOPLE!" (Letters burnt out fairly often, leading to some unintended messaging.) This is just one of at least two Winn-Dixies closing in Central Florida by Nov. 13, and it leaves a pretty big grocery gap for car-free Milk Districters.

Frank Hilgenberg of Theatre Downtown says despite losing their building, the group will seek a new place to continue their mission. "We have been, are, and will continue to be an invaluable cultural resource for the Central Florida community." Their 2014 season – a production of Tracy Letts' Killer Joe running Oct. 17-Nov. 1 and their annual Christmas Carol Nov. 28-Dec. 22 – will be presented in their current space. Keep an eye on their website for updates.

We know, we know: All this tearing down means new things to love might be coming up in their places. But still, damn, I'm not sure a handful of Trader Joe's and some new downtown bars makes up for it? Anyway, if we missed it, feel free to post memories of your favorite Orlando classic that bit the dust this year.

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