On one of our evenings while we were in Orlando, Florida we went to downtown Orlando, and discovered the Church Street Station. The actual structure was a train station at one time and the one street was blocked off for traffic and was only for pedestrian use. It was akin to walking in the French Quarter of New Orleans. There were crowds of people milling about and everyone was having a grand old time.
The complex was a series of buildings which at one time was a seedier part of the city, which was transformed into a three story complex of restaurants, taverns and stores. From talking to some of the locals and employees there, they claimed that Downtown Disney was formed after the Church Street Station blossomed as a tourist Mecca in Orlando. There was a per person charge for the entire area, and then you could discover all the nooks and crannies that were there.
Rosie O’Grady’s Goodtime Emporium was most memorable with a “Red Hot Mama” singer, Can-Can dancers, a Dixieland Jazz band and singing waiters and waitresses. There was the Orchid Club with Swing Dancers and the feel of the 1940’s. There was the Cheyenne Saloon and there was also Lili Marlene’s. It was a place to relax and enjoy the festivities.
It was a whirlwind of a night, and I cannot remember which establishment we stopped and ate and had a bottle of wine at. I do know that in the binder of memorabilia that I saved from this trip for the Church Street Station was a label of one of our favorite wines. Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva has always been one of my “go to “ wines, and when we saw this bottle of Vintage 1987, I guess I stopped looking at the wine list and went with a guaranteed pleaser of a wine. The most unique aspect of this particular wine is that I have never paid any attention to the vintage year, as I have yet, never encountered a bad bottle of this wine. I think this says a great deal for the wine maker and his craft.