I had visited the original Redlight Redlight when it was on Bennett Road in the compact building that became the original home of the Smiling Bison and currently houses Blue Jacket Grille. (Redlight's original location was in Winter Park's Hannibal Square – before it was known as Hanibal Square – above what is now Mynt Indian restaurant. Thanks to the readers who reminded me.)
But for some reason I hadn’t visited the popular beer seller since it moved to its current location on Corrine Drive more than half a dozen years ago. Driving by with a friend on a recent Friday night, I decided it was time I stopped in.
The first thing that impressed me was the size of the place. It’s immense, so much more expansive that any of its surrounding neighbors, including Sushi Lola’s, P is for Pie and Junior’s Diner. Redlight squared occupies a former Carrier Air Conditioning sales and service facility, with double volume ceilings. Large velvet curtains in the back space give it a theatrical look, though you feel more like you’re backstage than out front.
The second thing that impressed me was the friendliness and welcoming spirit of the bartenders. They were busy but took the time to greet us and say that someone would be right with us.
And when someone did come by he answered our many questions about the beers on tap, demonstrating not just an encyclopedic knowledge but an obvious delight in them.
I selected the Gates of the West IPA, which was cold and refreshing if just slightly hoppier than I prefer. I would have it again.
Redlight Redlight doesn’t do food but people at several tables were eating takeout from nearby restaurants. We had noticed the Sushi & Seoul on the Roll food truck parked directly in front of the bar – it probably saw a Redlight and stopped. We thought we’d grab something on the way out to eat at home and left the bar even though we still had some beer in our glasses.
However, when we got to the truck and placed our order, we were told it would take up to 15 minutes for it to be ready. So we hurried back into the bar to finish our beers. But the bartender had been so efficient that the glasses had been cleared. Our fault.
But the bartender who had served us saw us come back in and immediately drew a couple of short pours for us without charge. That was a very nice thing to do.
Also nice: When the order was ready, the nice woman from the food truck brought it into the bar and found us to deliver it.
My order from the food truck was the Avocado Tower, a stacked concoction on a base of sushi rice with krab with a k (surimi salad), avocado slices and spicy tuna tartare, with eel sauce, mayo and hot sauce. It was one of those hybrids that would appall a sushi purist. But it tasted so good. I loved it.
It turned out to be a really fun night, and I look forward to stopping at the Redlight Relight again.
Redlight Redlight is at 2810 Corrine Drive, Orlando. It is open daily. The phone number is 407- 893-9832. Sushi & Seoul on a Roll food truck is there on most Fridays beginning at 7 p.m.