The Final Night of the Red Fox Lounge
There’s been a lot of frustration and sadness lately when it comes to new developments in Orlando scheduled to displaced beloved older spaces. Recently Theatre Downtown announced that its landlord, Florida Hospital, has plans for the building the theater has called home for 25 years. The theater has to vacate by the end of January. Shortly after that, we learned that a developer is buying multiple properties in Ivanhoe Village and will be transforming the neighborhood’s artsy warehouse district into multistory mixed-use spaces.
November 1st, lounge singer Lorna Lambey headlined the closing night of the iconic Red Fox Lounge, the timeless hotel bar that welcomed hipsters, travelers, local politicians and nostalgists to Winter Park’s Mount Vernon Inn. Once upon a time, the old Colonial-style hotel façade was considered a gateway to Winter Park, but soon it will be replaced with – you guessed it – a new mixed-use development.
Unicorp, the developer who built the retail complex that houses the Trader Joe’s and Shake Shack right across the street from the inn, has big plans for the location – and, as usual, despite community concerns and opposition, progress holds the trump card over history.
In this week’s issue of Orlando Weekly, we take a look back at the final night of the Red Fox Lounge, with a photo tribute to Lambey, who has spent the past 20-plus years performing as the bar’s resident act – during most of that time, she had her husband, Mark Wayne, by her side. Mark and Lorna, as the duo were called, performed kitschy pop songs for crowds who loved the dark, dated almost Twin Peaks atmosphere of the Red Fox. Wayne died in 2012 at the age of 82 – Now, just two years later, the Red Fox and Mount Vernon Inn will join him in our memories.