East Orlando locations offer 21+ alternatives to bars, clubs
After turning 21, the first thing to do is grab a legal drink, but if rowdy bars or clubs aren't your thing, there are still spots in the Central Florida area to enjoy your newly legal status.
The Wine Room in Winter Park displays more than 156 hand-selected wines to be sampled in 1-ounce, 2.5-ounce or 5-ounce servings at your leisure. Its wines are also accompanied by artisan cheeses, salads and sandwiches, among other menu options.
"[Customers from] ages 21 to 27 come in on a Friday [or] Saturday night. That's pretty much our demographic," said Aly Keysler, a bartender at The Wine Room. "When I was in college I wish I had known of places to go, other than Knight Library."
The Wine Room offers select red and white wines at $4 for a 3-ounce glass and $7.50 for a 5-ounce glass. The Wine Room also offers $3 mimosas all day, every day, according to its website, as well as select beer, champagne and sparkling wine for a little variety.
If wine is your craving but a far distance isn't, look to the nearby Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurant, located in Waterford Lakes Town Center, to wet your wine-y whistle.
Cooper's Hawk is "upscale casual dining restaurant," according to its website, with a private barrel-aging room and gift shop that allows guests to purchase showcased wines, products and souvenirs.
The restaurant's specialty offers are what it calls a "Wine Flight," which features a sample of four different wines, with flight options such as sparkling, white, red, lux and dessert flights, said manager Tim Manler. Patrons also have the option of creating their own flight by selecting any four wines they would like.
"I just like how it's more than a restaurant. It's also a winery, which plays a part in not only your experience but also the food on the menu because the wine is used throughout the recipes," said Kaitlyn Davis, a junior event management and hospitality major. "Cooper's Hawk has their own brand so you can do various wine tasting, flights and samples and it's all based around their own wines. I just feel like the whole concept isn't something you can find [anywhere else] in Orlando."
For dining patrons, every entree has a specific wine associated with it that can be ordered along with the entree.
Also in Waterford Lakes is Firkin & Kegler, an eat-play-drink entertainment center with various specials and amenities for a fun night out.
Aside from the bowling, Firkin & Kegler offers an upstairs loft, pool tables, darts, large high-definition TVs, an arcade and mini-bowling.
On Thursday nights, Firkin & Kegler offers 2-4-1 select shots and a live DJ. On Friday and Saturday nights, featured music videos are played on a projector.
"We see a lot of college students here, mostly enjoying our loft," said Kaleigh Hard, event coordinator for Firkin & Kegler.
And for Knights who have gone, some recommend the entertainment center for those looking to have a wide variety of fun.
"The place itself was very appealing; it instantly made me curious as to what was inside," said Gilan Asuncion, a sophomore health sciences pre-clinical major. "I would highly recommend this place to UCF students who are looking for a good time."