Written by Jaimz Dillman
Photos by Ellie Logan & Jaimz Dillman
We were invited to step through the looking glass and into a magical world down the rabbit hole of HIGH T, the newest concept bar to hit downtown Orlando.
From the same minds behind the year-round Halloween bar Cocktails and Screams and 80's throwback 1Up, Addie and James Monroe of Bar None Creations have lent their artistic talents to their newest brainchild above Church Street with patio views of downtown.
From the minute you ascend the stairs, whimsical touches surround you instantly transporting all to a Wonderland definitely outside the tourist corridor. Beautiful stained glass "windows" along the walls and ceiling highlight different cards and characters well-known to those of us who love the Lewis Carrol stories. The colors extend to the custom winding bar that snakes down the length of one side of the long room with the other side hosting plush banquettes and tables with raining flowers and foliage overhead.
Alice was greeting guests in front of the projection wall and, high above all the bar revelers, a live piano player entertained with a mix of songs from every genre from the Red Queen's Piano Lounge. All the decor and wow factors aside, this is a bar after all, and the menu definitely kept the fantastical feelings flowing.
Designed to be a reservations-only space until later in the evening, the steep price of the deftly crafted cocktails makes for a good 1-and-done before catching a show at Dr. Philips or an after-Amway stop-off. But the cost is completely worth it.
Different categories classify the concoctions starting at $16.61 for Timeless and Contemporary offerings such as the Queen's Park and Very Merry Mule to a $78.87 Esoteric and Extraordinary Off With Their Heads.
What sets these drinks up for success is the artful presentation in gorgeous glassware and porcelain containers, paired with trims and garnishes as pretty as a picture. IG and social media posts will be a must before anyone dives in.
We sampled the Sleepy Talk (espresso martini made with house pumpkin and 6 spice blend) accompanied by a dormouse macaroon and small plates from the pastry cart. The Queen's Heart, Cheshire Cat Tail, and Macaroon trio were simply divine! Followed by the martini- woo! We were having our own trip!
Make sure you look up, down, and sideways during your visit. Just like their other locations, James and Addie have surprises hidden in every corner. Including the bathrooms! I demand a chandelier over my toilet from now on.
I can see this space becoming the spot for special celebrations, very merry unbirthdays, and where you take out-of-town friends to show off the coolest side of O-town.