A Weekend of Fun and Entertainment Awaits
Southern Nights (375 S. Bumby Ave., Orlando) has had a long history in the Orlando LGBT club scene. It was one of the first gay bars in Central Florida, and it welcomed an untold number of partiers for 35 years, before closing its doors more than a decade ago. The Southern Nights name and legacy triumphantly returned to Orlando a year ago, in the same building where all of those precious memories were made throughout the decades.
Customers embraced the new Southern Nights just as they had loved the old one. Now, the “new” Southern Nights is celebrating a year in business and they have a few fun surprises in store for customers. The anniversary celebrations begin on Thursday, August 13, with their weekly college night. There is no cover for people 21 and up before 11 p.m. There will be a “freshman lineup” show hosted by MrMs Adrien at 10:30 p.m., followed by the main show at 12:30 a.m. with Axel Andrews, Kai’ja Adonis and Roxxxy Andrews. Music by DJ Dlux.
Friday night, August 14, is expected to be the most exciting night of the weekend, mainly due to the “customer appreciation” theme for the evening. There will be miscellaneous gifts and raffles going on all weekend long, but tonight there will be a special giveaway in which two partygoers will have the chance to win tickets for a cruise getaway! In addition, there will be two drag shows in the Southern Nights Theater, featuring Roxxxy Andrews, Maya Andrews, Tasha Long and Chevelle Brooks. There will be music all night by DJ Ants and DJ Walter Winston. There’s no cover before 11 p.m. for people over 21. The anniversary weekend will wrap up with their “#GIRL” party on Saturday night, August 15, where people can expect more raffles, giveaways and prizes.
Southern Nights Orlando general manager Danny Vega has been going out to Southern Nights since its first incarnation, and has worked here since its Revolution days. I talked to him about the anniversary, the bar’s weekly theme nights, and what’s in store for this coming year in this exclusive Hotspots interview.
As someone who has established ties to this nightclub and this location, how did it feel to be able to welcome back the Southern Nights brand back to Orlando a year ago?
It was good! It was really awesome to be able to bring back the Southern Nights name, which has been trusted by the community in Orlando for so long. Even when the club was open as Revolution, people would refer to it as “the old Southern Nights.” No matter what the club was called, everyone would think back to Southern Nights. So yeah, it felt really good to bring it back.
What’s one thing that Southern Nights prides itself on most?
I feel like it’s always been a community-oriented bar. When people come into Southern Nights, it’s really important to them that we know who they are. We know all our regulars by name.
What are some of the compliments you’ve heard from customers in the year since Southern Nights reopened?
I hear a lot of compliments about the aesthetics…just how good the place looks and how polished everything is. I hear that it looks better than the original Southern Nights, which of course I remember from the times I went out as a baby in the scene. It was always the best place to party, but it wasn’t always the neatest, and I think that’s what people notice now, that they love how it looks and how immaculate it is in there.
Tell us about some of your new theme nights.
We’re starting up a new Latin night on Wednesdays, and it’s going to be called Sabrosura Wednesdays. Lisa Lane will be hosting that, and we’re also going to be bringing back Buns on Bumby on August 11 with Blade Matthews, who did Parliament House’s strip contests years ago. Blade and Kitana [Gemini] will be bringing back the strip contest to Southern Nights, so we’re excited about that.
What’s in store for Southern Nights in the next twelve months?
I can let you know that we’re looking at opening a third Southern Nights location by the end of the year! I can’t reveal where we’re going to do that, so I guess you’ll have to wait and see. [laughs]
Southern Nights Orlando is located at 375 S. Bumby Avenue in Orlando. Hours of operation are 4 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. from Tuesday through Saturday, with an opening time of 8 p.m. on Sundays and Mondays. For more information, visit their website, southernnightsorl.com, or call (407) 412-5039. “Like” them on Facebook for real-time updates by going to facebook.com/SouthernNightsOrlando.