Club Reports: Opa, Hampton Social, Blue Martini, Ice Bar, The Vanguard

The Pointe is located along International Drive and Universal Boulevard and was previously known as Pointe Orlando. It’s where we began our Friday night.
The Pointe is a tale of two cities; upstairs and downstairs. The upstairs remains a sad place with virtually everything shuttered. Adobe Gila’s…..closed.
Lafayette’s Music Room…..closed.
B.B. King’s Blues Club…..closed.
These two places are open upstairs. On the left is Earth Illuminated, a tourist attraction and on the right, Orlando Improv.
Back in the day, these two venues were known as Metropolis and Matrix. Metropolis was a velvety Top 40 club back when most of the Top 40 songs were Hip Hop. Matrix was the silver metallic & black House/EDM dance club where young Mickey Mouse Club members Britney & Justin were known to hang.
One other place still operational upstairs is Opa.
Here we found DJ Owso (YV/USA) in the booth playing Greek.
At Opa you’ll find belly dancers.
You’ll find table dancing.
And you’ll find napkins strewn all over the floor. Opa!
The downstairs of The Pointe is another world. There are a few retail shops but mostly restaurants/bars and they were all jammed last night including Cuba Libre.
Kavas is a new Mexican place.
JoJo’s is also new. They had a great Classic Dance track playing but we didn’t see any DJ.
We did drop by Hampton Social.
DJ Alex Chang (USA) was in the booth which overlooks the venue’s main room.
While Hampton Social is primarily a restaurant, it also has a huge bar scene which was active last night.
It’s a great place to begin your evening on the town.
The music is light House and EDM hits.
Also located in The Pointe is Blue Martini.
They had a live Top 40 band which had ended around 10:30PM. And then at 11PM it was time for the DJ!
DJ Ray Love (USA)
The dance floor got packed!
You can never go wrong with Go Go girls.
The music was mostly EDM hits during my visit.
Hey guys, the crowd was about 80% female!
About one block north of The Pointe and thus just a 5 minute walk away is Ice Bar Orlando.
Yes, there is an actual frozen room in here where paid entry gets you a fur coat and an alcoholic drink served in a glass made of ice. But if you’re just going to the club, entry is free.
He we found DJ Rincon (USA) in the booth delivering the music.
It was still pretty early but there was already a crowd.
The music was a mix of Classic Hip Hop, Top 40 and EDM.
DJ Rincon was a resident DJ at The Groove at Universal CityWalk and at House of Blues in Disney Springs.
There are many other clubs along International Drive so it’s possible to spend an entire evening there. But we still needed to make it to DTO and The Vanguard.
It was crowded but not super crowded. Indeed, even though it was midnight we were still able to snag a usually scarce free street parking spot just a block away.
DJ duo Castor & Pollux (USA) was still playing.
The NYC-based twin brothers were playing a lively all-vocal EDM set.
Popular hits by Cher (USA) and Eminem (USA) mixed to a faster Electrohouse beat had the crowd singing in unison!
And then, at 1AM, the unfurling of their flag…..
DJ trio Cash Cash (USA).
They played a House/EDM set including some of their own hits.
The Vanguard is notorious for keeping the place so dark and hazy that it’s next to impossible to see who is playing. We did the best we could.
Although they are a DJ trio, we’ve never seen more than two of them at any one time!
Everywhere we went last night, a good time was had by all.