Blue Star begins the search for The Venue’s new home as Ivanhoe shopping complex nears completion

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Central Florida entertainer and local business owner Blue Star announced Jan. 21 that she is looking to relocate The Venue, a theater space in Orlando’s Ivanhoe Village, after more than six years at its current location at 511 Virginia Drive.

The Venue’s location was part of a multi-acre purchase by Colliers International in 2015. The area is the future site for The Yard at Ivanhoe—a 31,000 square feet living, dining and retail space expected to open in fall 2019.

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The Hammered Lamb owners to open 24-hour diner in Ivanhoe Village

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Jason Lambert, one of the owners of the popular Ivanhoe Village pub The Hammered Lamb, announced to The Bungalower Nov. 13 that they will soon be opening a 24-hour diner next door.

The space, formerly a Tommy Bahama retail store and located at 1235 N. Orange Ave. (right next door to The Hammered Lamb), will be called Jack ‘n’ Honey’s Diner. The “big city, retro New York” diner will seat roughly 50 people and serve an array of diner comfort foods.

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Orlando’s Overheard: Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

By : Anonymous
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Terry’s new title

A press release was sent out by the GLBT Center of Central Florida July 3 announcing Terry DeCarlo, who was the executive director, is stepping down but will by remaining with the agency as their Chief Communications Officer, a position created for him.

The change in position, which was immediate, will now consist of DeCarlo handling the demands of media relations, communication and events. 

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Overheard in Orlando: Joe the Supermodel, odd art and a new Fringe

By : Anonymous
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Not your average Joe
Former Florida House representative Joe Saunders, now Southern Regional Field Director for the Human Rights Campaign, is flashing his pearly whites as a model. No, he’s not pulling a Marky Mark and posing in his CK’s (unfortch!). But, he’s modeling the latest in HRC “No hate in our state” wear, where the website says 100 percent of the proceeds go to LGBT rights. The website also offers a variety of clothing and tchotchkes which will allow you to tell the world you’re proud to support the HRC. No word if this will be another career move for Joe.

Keep Orlando Odd
If you happened to have strolled through the streets of downtown Orlando last week you may have seen some really eclectic art, with the Art in Odd Places – downtown Orlando was overrun with visual and performance art which featured the works of local artists like Brendan O’Connor (Street Urchins), Doug Rhodehamel (1001 Paper Bag Mushrooms) and Masami Kochikawa (self-portrait as a Butterfly Woman). According to event producer, Tim Turner, dates have yet to be set, but he assured Watermark there will be a next one for sure. With a few considering factors, they want the festival different part of the year, Winter/Spring versus this year’s Summer/Spring. Unaware Sunday funday revelers fell into three categories: those that got it, those that didn’t and those too blitzed to even notice the giant pipe man riding a bicycle.

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Overheard in Orlando: Remembering Tweeka and a mysterious anniversary

By : Anonymous
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O-Town dot com Shoutouts
Everyone who is anyone knows our local gem, Blue Star. From her DJ work, acting and singing talents to her incredible dancing skills and of course, the Venue.The Venue plays host to many local entertainment events, including her Peek-a-Boo burlesque. Recently, in an online feature on USAToday’s 10Best – the Venue and Blue were praised for bringing the burlesque scene into the spotlight of the artistic side of the Ivanhoe Village. Thanks to Blue and many others, the #OneLove campaign has been making its rounds these last few years,named for the passing of John “Tweeka Weed” Barber – truly a talent whose light was taken too soon due to complications with an aggressive form of cancer.

Tweeka/Barber was recently the subject of an article of Georgia Voice in an article by old friend Bill Kaelin titled “The Drag Queen who changed my life.” Kaelin mentions when he was hanging out with Tweeka/Barber, he knew he was hanging out with royalty, and through his street wise and larger than life personality, he learned a lot about the community and the Atlanta scene. Two local legends, both praised for being talented and real people.

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Issue 22.05: LGBT Youth Human Trafficking

By : Jake Stevens
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Breaking free: Florida ranks third for sex trafficking cases and transgender and gay male youth are especially at risk. Survivors turned advocates share their stories, Tampa Gala brings $350,000 to Equality Florida, Carver Middle’s GSA gets its day in court, local news, celebrity interviews, and much, much more!

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Development in Ivanhoe Village means changes for the neighborhood’s LGBT-owned businesses

By : Scottie Campbell
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Orlando – There was a time when the two gray towers looming over Alden Road had a practical use; a train would pull up alongside and fill the towers with small bits of plastic destined to become shower doors. Now dormant, the twin structure serves as a landmark to travelers using Alden’s brick roadway or the increasingly active thoroughfares of Orange Ave. or Virginia Dr., as well as SunRail passengers.

A mid-century touchstone, symbolic of the eclectic neighborhood that has grown around them, it seems fitting that these two stalwarts are the only recognizable features in the renderings of a new Ivanhoe Village development that will begin in November.

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Jason Lambert has used the success of The Hammered Lamb to help LGBT charities

By : Dylan Drobet
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Orlando – Growing up, Jason Lambert had his fair share of nicknames—Lamb Chops, Lambskin, J-Lamb, Lambo, Lambertini. The list goes on and Lambert knew when he opened his restaurant two-and-a-half years ago—The Hammered Lamb in Ivanhoe village—it had to have ‘Lamb’ in the name.

“I was out with some friends and we were discussing several names for the bar when my friend Jordan said, ‘What about The Hammered Lamb?’ and it stuck,” Lambert says. “Right after that I had another friend, Patrick Fatica, design the logo and the branding began.”

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Blue Starr’s commitment to John ‘Tweeka’ Barber motivates her to help those battling cancer

By : Christal Hayes
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Orlando – When Blue Starr was a child, she took dancing to help her combat a disability that caused her legs to turn in at the hips. It became her calling, and Blue has performed in front of crowds from New York to Atlanta to Orlando.

Today, her name is famous in Orlando’s LGBT community, living and being an active member of the community for well over 10 years. She has performed in, directed, produced and created countless shows in Central Florida, most notably VarieTEASE, Peek-a-Boo Lounge, Ladies of Eola Heights and Southern Nights.

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Overheard in Orlando: Helping out the little guys

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Burning suspicions
There are lots of rumors surrounding a fire that started behind Savoy over the Halloween weekend. But one thing is for certain, no one was hurt and Police are working on identifying a suspect. According to a post on the Savoy Facebook page, someone lit a fire on nearby train tracks and also doused the exterior ledges of windows near the entrance of the bar. But that accelerant was never set aflame. Many suggested that the fire was a hate crime, but Orlando Police are staying quiet on that for now. Video footage of the suspect has been turned over to OPD and eyewitnesses have shared their account of the fire. Savoy was quick to thank the OPD and Orlando Fire Department for their quick response. And to put fans of the club at ease, Savoy plans to add more security cameras and better lighting in the back of the property.

Eyeing Ivanhoe
Real Estate Inverlad Development LLC, a developer in town, has Ivanhoe Village, which is known as an arts district for many locals, in its sites for a new local project. The area is also home to the Orlando International Fringe Festival offices. LGBT-owned businesses, like the Venue and D Squared Productions and LGBT ally-owned bars like The Thirsty Topher are also located there. The project is called The Yard, and it will be a mixed-use space allowing for commercial use and residential living but the plan is to keep the aesthetic of the established artists in the neighborhood. According to the project’s conceptual artwork online, the new development will be between Virginia and Lake Formosa, enveloping Alden Road. Douglas White of D Squared said he welcomed progress but hopes the developers plan on working with the current businesses and will strive to keep the artists. As of right now, the current businesses haven’t been told how long they have to move or to renegotiate leases for the new spaces. We were told discussions are set to start as early as next week.

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Come Out With Pride 2014 Block Party at Ivanhoe Village

By : Rick Claggett
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This year COWP moved its annual block party from Church Street, where its been for the last two years, to the Ivanhoe Village District and still brought with it drinks, entertainment and good times.

Nestled next to The Hammered Lamb, the Pride Block Party made its debut in this new area this year with a special performance from Sunshine Matthews and Who Rescued Who. DJ Flent also was there keeping the party going well into the night.

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Watermark’s Complete Coverage: Come Out With Pride 2014

By : Patrick O'Connor
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Watermark is all over Come Out With Pride 2014!

We’ll be attending the whole week’s worth of events, then posting photos and updates up here. Check out the compete roundup of Orlando Pride coverage after the jump:

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