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Orlando Bar Scene: Stardust Lounge

Burlesque, Downtown Orlando, Lake Eola

Stardust Lounge is located in Downtown Orlando on the “other” side of Lake Eola from most of the downtown bars and attractions. Downstairs from a dry cleaner, Stardust Lounge is a low-key but classy joint… swank decor with a decidedly laid-back crowd. You might see some guys who have been underground drinking all day, a group of girls getting ready to hit the town or an impromptu class reunion. I’ve been to events here as varied as a Wii Bowling tournament, a burlesque peep show (gyrating, no nudity) and even my own wedding’s after-party.

Age, race, sex… nothing precludes you from enjoying Stardust Lounge. It’s an equally welcoming environment no matter who you are. It’s not a gay bar, but you’ll find plenty of gay people who love it. It’s not an old dude bar, but my dad really dug the music that one time I brought him here. It’s not a singles bar, but you’ll see plenty of new friends chatting each other up. And it’s not a go-go bar, but sometimes you’ll get to take in a burlesque show.

The drinks are nice and cheap ($3 beers, I’ve seen $2 call specials at happy hour). But the bar is weird. Once my father-in-law almost lost it when the bartender said they don’t have vermouth, however my very girlie friend was able to order cotton-candy-flavored vodka. Go figure. When I came for the wii bowling tournament my team wanted to order White Russians (ala The Big Lebowski) but they didn’t have milk behind the bar … so the bartender whipped up a caucasian with some straight liquor that was pretty much amazing. We didn’t even miss the dairy.

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The decor is very Rat Pack-era Vegas. Stardust lounge is decked out with plush red sofas, gilded accents, vinyl booths, mirrors, zebra prints, mod stools.

I mentioned above that after my wedding a ton of guests and my wedding party invaded Stardust Lounge… all ages from my 18 year old cousin (and his mom) to some nearly 60 year olds that will remain nameless… the DJ plays tons of throw-back hits and everyone had a blast.

We got the idea to go to Stardust Lounge post-wedding after spending New Year’s Eve there. We made table reservations ($75 for a bottle of vodka, $12 cover … that is a super cheap outing for NYE) and had a great time. The “burlesque” show was a little weak… Peek-A-Boo Lounge was entertaining, but I wouldn’t call it burlesque. When I think of a burlesque show I imagine a choreographed routine … this was more like go-go dancing wearing pasties. The girls were enthusiastic and it was naughty enough to be fun but definitely not inappropriate or prurient. I mean, my parents-in-law were there and I didn’t feel awkward. I would have, however, just preferred a dance floor instead of the big space taken up by the “dancer’s” runway.

They have Peek-A-Boo burlesque shows throughout the year as well as other events like Dirty Bingo Every Tuesday from 8-12 with hostess Baby Blue and prizes from Fairvilla.If naughty entertainment isn’t your thing, it’s easily avoided… they only do burlesque and dirty bingo on certain nights. Friday and Saturday nights it’s just a regular (but awesome) bar.

Stardust Lounge is one of the top bars of the Orlando scene and worth a look if you want to see where the locals hang in Downtown Orlando.

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Stardust Lounge:
431 East Central Boulevard
Orlando, FL 32801
(407) 839-0080

Parking for Stardust Lounge can be found on the streets around Central Blvd. near Summerlin Ave. There is a pay lot near the intersection of Central and Summerlin behind Starbucks and Hue.