If you know, you know: The One More Lounge now open in Winter Park
Over the 25 years the Winter Park Pub has been open, it’s built a reputation as a popular ski hole for locals and visitors alike.
But the past year was a tough one for the iconic pub due to the COVID-19 restrictions on bars and restaurants, which prompted owner Jeff Williams to rethink the space at the corner of US Highway 40 and Kings Crossing Road.
“Coming into the fall, I knew we had to start utilizing the space better,” he said while explaining how he decided to make his dream bar, The One More Lounge, which opened Dec. 30.
“It’s built by locals for locals,” he said. “That’s a big part of the vibe.”
In order to design the upstairs, Williams reached out to his friend Shannon Henn, who’s also owner of the local art and furniture store Uptripping. Williams didn’t know it at the time, but Henn had been dreaming of ways to renovate the upstairs of the pub into a local’s lounge since she first visited the space years ago.
Williams then gave Henn free rein to transform the upstairs, and he wound up with what he describes as the backstage speakeasy of a mid-70s rock and roll venue.
The walls are adorned with one-of-a-kind art depicting music legends with their drinks of choice, and velvet furniture in funky patterns provide cozy seating in addition to the bar.
“It’s an if you know, you know vibe,” lounge manager Chrissy Zubek said. “If you randomly go upstairs, or you know to go, that’s how you find it.”
When it came time to set the drink menu, Zubek had similar freedom to create cocktails from scratch. As a bartender with dive-bar roots, Zubeck wanted to nod to some of the favorites with updated, elevated versions, such as her twist on vodka soda, “the Rebecca.”
To complement the exclusive atmosphere of the lounge, the cocktails also include pre-prohibition favorites like Zubek’s spin on the Old Fashioned. In addition, all of the cocktails’ add-ins are housemade with local ingredients.
“(The cocktails) are very refined with layers of flavor, but the booze speaks for itself,” Zubek said.
In the future, Zubek would like to have a distinct food menu to pair with the specialty drinks at One More Lounge. For now, customers can still order dishes from the pub.
For the most part, Williams and Zubek have been letting customers find the new lounge organically, whether they wander upstairs looking for friends or have been told to check out the new space by someone in the know.
The hope is that through word of mouth, One More Lounge will gain a reputation as the place to be for aperitifs and digestifs.
“We’re hoping to provide a place so that if you’re out to dinner, there’s somewhere to go after Deno’s,” said Williams, name-dropping one of the town’s favorite dining establishments.
One More Lounge is open from 5-10 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays above the Winter Park Pub.
One More Lounge
Where: Kings Crossing Road and US Highway 40, Winter Park
Hours of business: 5-10 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday
More info: 970-726-4929
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