Since Fringe has trickled out of Loch Haven Park, forking off toward Orange Avenue to take in Theatre Downtown at the corner of Princeton and Orange and the Venue all the way down on Virginia Drive, many festivalgoers will discover themselves traipsing that stretch between shows quite frequently.
And while the venues are not so far-flung as to require constant breaks along the way, there are a number of watering holes to keep you from getting parched on your march.
The first cocktail spot you’ll encounter past Theatre Downtown is 21-and-up gay bar Savoy (1913 N. Orange Ave.), which could offer you a different sort of show between shows. Happy hour is 5-8 p.m. for drink specials, but dancers go on after that until 2 a.m., so I’ll leave it to you to deduce which hour is which.
But if you’re looking for something more low-key, there is beloved beer joint the Caboose (1827 N. Orange Ave.), which is a no-frills operation with beers you know and friendly service. If you’re not much for brews, cheaply indulge in $2 sangria or various other drink specials, so you can save your Fringe dollars.
Next on your stroll, cross the street to find the Imperial Wine Bar & Beer Garden (1800 N. Orange Ave.) by making a right at Washburn Imports and looking for their double-door entryway. Furnished with imported furniture you can buy from the store on the corner, there’s ample yet unusual seating (including outdoors!) and more upscale choices of craft beer and wines.
Stop by Nora’s Lake Ivanhoe Wine & Cigars (1407 N. Orange Ave.), before turning left on Virginia Drive to find the Venue, which is your destination – but we wouldn’t blame you if you skipped across the street to take cover at the Hideaway (516 Virginia Drive) for a fast round and a shot of Fireball whiskey.
If the sports bar is too crowded, creep a little further down the road to find the newest neighborhood bar, the Matador (724 Virginia Drive), where you can finally find a decent craft cocktail on this strip. Then, flip the thing and reverse it to get back to Loch Haven’s lawn.