Even if you're a regular visitor to Ivanhoe Row, you'll get a whole new perspective of the surrounding neighborhood from M Lounge, a new bar that officially opened over the weekend.
That's because it's a rooftop bar, sitting atop a newly remodeled two-story building on North Orange Avenue.
It's all quite open, as you would expect a rooftop to be. And even though it's only three floors up, it offers a comparative towering vantage of Antique Row, the residential area and downtown Orlando in the not so distant distance.
It's especially lovely at sunset, as when I visited a couple of weeks ago.
A friend and I rode the glass-enclosed elevator to the top floor. The doors opened to a bar -- how convenient -- with a young man tending to it. That is, he was tending to the bar, not to the customers who were there. After a couple of minutes standing there, watching him stock a small refrigerator while he concentrated on not making any eye contact with anyone, I wandered away to discover a much larger bar, one with multiple bartenders who were willing to greet guests.
Maybe greet isn't the right word. An unsmiling young woman asked what we wanted. My friend asked for a specific premium vodka. "We don't have that," she replied. Another was requested. We don't have that either, she said. Perhaps, I offered, you could tell us which ones you have.
So, maybe there needs to be some training on customer relations. (Interesting that the bar's motto is "When the Experience Matters.")
But once we had our drinks, we enjoyed the view and the quiet music from a fellow playing guitar.
The downstairs crew, it should be mentioned, were quite friendly and welcoming. And there's complimentary valet parking, too, which will be a draw for anyone who has ever tried to find a parking place along this stretch of road.
The first floor of the building holds Majors Motors, a luxury and vintage car museum. Tim Majors is the Majors of Majors Motors, and he also lends his initial to the rooftop lounge. The car venue hadn't opened when I visited, but I understand it will be available for private functions, presumably with a large staff that will keep drinking customers out of the vehicles.
Despite the not-so-top-notch top-floor staff, I'm looking forward to visiting M Lounge again. It offers a little bit of upscale atmosphere for this part of town, though the real atmospherics are provided by the view.
M Lounge is at 2000 N. Orange Ave., Orlando. It is open Wednesday through Saturday from 4 p.m. The phone number is 321-430-1140.