History and prohibition-era cocktails unite at the hidden speakeasy called Hanson’s Shoe Repair. And I mean REALLY hidden. The only entrance is a small doorway at the top of the stairs in the Hanson Building, and you’ll need the password to get in!
Where is it?
Hanson’s Shoe Repair is located in the Hanson Building in Downtown Orlando. There is so much history here, including an actual shoe shop ran by Mr. Hanson himself in the 1800s! This is believed to be the oldest building that is still standing in Orlando, and was home to Orlando’s first electric sign. I’m a sucker for all things vintage Orlando. Before Disney World and UCF, it’s pretty impressive that people called these original swampy lands home. I also wondered after learning the history of the building if a ghost or two calls this place home!
To find the speakeasy, you’ll have to walk into Bauhaus at the entrance of the building. Continue all the way to the back and travel up the steps to the next floor. You should find a little sitting area and a door with a sign reading “Private” on it. Here you’ll ring the doorbell to travel inside with the help of a special password. The password can be found on their Twitter account or their Instagram stories. Once you’re in, it’s pretty easy from there! There is a small bar inside as well as an outdoor area with string lights and a large movie screen.
The atmosphere was incredible at Hanson’s. There is so much history in this building which they really amplify with their decor and cocktails. Real candles are burning all around which really sets the vibe. There are also vintage photos on the wall, and a sign that says Hanson’s Shoe Repair. Knowing the history of this building I can only wonder if this may be an original sign from the original occupant?
Cocktails and More
I’m not being overdramatic when I say that these are so far my favorite drinks I’ve had in Downtown Orlando. They were so delicious. They have a small menu with really unique cocktails, or you can order your favorite drink. I really loved that the bartender said he would be happy to craft a cocktail for us just based on our favorite flavor profiles. He took so much time to chat with us, considering our allergies, and offered some different options.
We chose to go with some of the cocktails on their menu, the Jules et Jim was my favorite. This cocktail had an aperitif, gin, honey, peppercorn, and mint in it and though it sounds strange, it was great. I also felt inspired by the prohibition-era atmosphere, so I ordered my favorite vintage drink, a Bees Knees. Let me tell you, this was the best Bees Knees I’ve ever had! The ingredients are made with freshly squeezed juice and premium ingredients, and it really makes a difference in the flavors.
Journey into the past at Hanson’s Shoe Repair, hidden in Downtown Orlando. I can’t recommend this place enough, it’s definitely one of my new favorite spots in Orlando and I already am looking forward to the day I can visit again. Try an Old Fashioned from this vintage spot, you won’t be disappointed!
Downtown Orlando has something to offer everyone. Enjoy the outdoors? Visit Lake Eola for a stroll through the park. Like trying new foods? There are plenty of local restaurants and bars to check out including the Bellhop and Pups Pub Orlando. Are you a theme park fanatic? The theme parks are only thirty minutes away from Downtown. And with beautiful vintage homes that fit the theme of Hanson’s Shoe Repair, or Condos in skyscrapers, there are homes here to fit every need. Interested in homes in Downtown?
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