Club Reports: What’s New At Universal CityWalk?

It’s been awhile since we dropped-in on Universal CityWalk so that’s what we did last night. Everything has reopened post-Covid but things are definitely not the same.
But one thing that is pretty much the same is Rising Star.
It’s still pretty much a Karaoke place but unlike other places in town…..
Those singing get a live band!
And backup singers!
The rumor going around though is that they’re going to add a DJ booth and a dance floor and turn it into a dance club. It makes sense to me. Paying one DJ or DJ company to entertain is much-cheaper than paying an MC, live band and backup dancers. Plus CityWalk used to be a “cash cow” pre-covid! Nonetheless, RS management denies any plans to turn it into a dance club. They are getting new floors because the original carpet is still in there from when this was CityJazz.
Still in business is Bob Marley’s, the Reggae-themed club featuring live band Chain Reaction (USA).
Pat O’Brien’s is still operational, known mostly for their dueling pianos bar.
Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville also remains, mostly as a restaurant. Not sure if they offer a live band anymore.
One huge change is CityWalk‘s main dance club The Groove is gone. Post-covid, it reopened as Universal’s Great Movie Escape with themed escape rooms from Universal Pictures. Not sure how well this is doing. Sources say they’ve been testing Trivia nights here with Team Members to see if it can draw any interest.
Of course Latin Quarter is long gone, replaced in 2014 by Mexican restaurant Antojitos.
And then there’s the peculiar case of Red Coconut Club. It too remained mostly closed post-Covid, apparently being offered as event/rental space. But last Fall they they reopened in conjunction with Halloween Horror Nights as the Halloween-themed Dead Coconut Club. During the Christmas season, they reopened as Red & Green Coconut Club and then around Mardi Gras time, they reopened as Cursed Coconut Club. All versions were cleverly themed. This summer they reopened as themselves with DJ’s and dance music on weekend nights.
So we came out last night because we heard Latin Quarter resident DJ Leony (USA) was playing!
Last night he was playing a mix of Top 40, EDM and Reggaeton. The first time we met him back in 2009 and learned he was DJ Leony, it took awhile to figure out where we knew that name from. Turns out he had a Dance mix show on WPYO aka 95.3Party as well as another Dance mix show called AirBPM on XM Satellite Radio!
DJ Leony was working from a booth directly overlooking the dance floor.
When we first began visiting Red Coconut Club more than a decade ago, the DJ booth was way up there.
Later, they moved the DJ’s to the main stage where they would play after the resident Herb Williams Band (USA) would play. DJ Chino (USA) has been playing up there every Friday night this summer.
Apparently RCC will close again soon, returning shortly thereafter for Halloween Horror Nights as Dead Coconut Club (or a similar clever name). Last night it didn’t get that crowded but for those there, a good time was had by all.