The resurgence of the speakeasy has at last reached the Orlando metro's Winter Park. But Park Social breaks what could be called the “new mold” in its creation – or recreation – of a swinging, ‘70s-era pad.
Here, new takes on tried-and-true cocktail classics share menu space with bold, original elixirs, and the turntables spin everything from AM Gold to stone cold funk.
AM Gold: Park Social is chic, but cozy — Photo courtesy of Park Social
The fashionable upstairs venue is a nice addition to the Park Avenue scene, with a definite multigenerational appeal with a vibe collectively culled from the neighboring decades of the '50s, '60s and '70s. Newly legal drinkers may feel as though they’ve stepped into a That ‘70s Show soiree at Red and Kitty’s.
Charmed Gen-Xers might look for the “kid’s table” at first glance, doubtless reminded of the holiday gatherings of their childhoods, perhaps at their arty, swinger aunt’s house.
Older patrons may marvel at how the old décor they couldn’t wait to get rid of manages to create such a funky-fashionable soup in the intimate space. Fear not: any related regret will evaporate halfway through the first cocktail.
While its cool furnishings most often evoke a retro rumpus-room glow, Park Social’s art is eclectic: bold, modern murals and pieces add pops of bright color and energy amid the warm woods and colors like gold, orange and avocado so oft associated with the decade.
Multiple seating options make Park Social a nice option for date night, whether at the bar or at a small table. Meanwhile, larger seating arrangements make for festive group socials, girls’ nights out or even game night, if you fancy a bit of the Jenga.
Funk soup: your mom's old stuff never looked this good! — Photo courtesy of Park Social
Everyone will appreciate the menu (“I’ll have a Hot Lips Houlihan and an order of Farrah, please.”), and not just for the perpetual pop-culture homage. Cocktails here are decidedly in the Park Avenue price range, but they are well poured, well mixed and artfully presented and fetched by friendly staffers.
Traditionalists need not balk, however. This bar keeps a treasure trove of whiskeys, vodkas, bourbons, rums and other fine straight-up or OTR sips on hand, along with its ample menu of mixers and fresh accoutrements.
And if you’ve always wanted to try a classic – a brandy Alexander, a sidecar, a Harvey Wallbanger – then this retro lounge may be the ideal place to do it.
You may plan on Park Social as a jump-off point for your night out, but don’t be surprised if you feel like staying awhile. Either way, reservations are advisable. Call ahead for the password (It’s a must.); then use the vintage phone outside to gain admittance. Tres Get Smart.