FIDDLING AROUND IN WINTER PARK: Irish Eyes Still Smiling at Fidds
By MARSHALL SWANSON
Irish eyes are smiling, and so will you on entry into Fiddler's Green in Winter Park. The iconic location boasts of a loyal following which prevails throughout even these times of uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic. Donal O'Brien founded Fiddler's Green with a commitment to Irish hospitality and a belief that Fiddler's feel like a second home. Indeed, regulars know the kind of experience the restaurant offers is unique: at Fidds, you're not just a customer - you're family.
The building sits right behind the train tracks on the intersection of Orange Ave and Fairbanks. Before O'Brien founded the establishment, the location was occupied by an English pub. In both cases, the spot served as a magnet for students of Rollins College down the street, though COVID-19 has changed that for the time being. But even without the influx of students usually crowding the bar on a typical Friday, most of the client base are locals from all walks coming to indulge in O'Brien's tastiest Irish dishes and relax with friends over a cold beer or stiff drink.
Although the business remains a focal point for Winter Park residents and a hang-out for many in the Orlando area, COVID-19 did temporarily close the doors for Fiddler's out of an abundance of caution. The number one priority of Fiddler's is safety for customers, and that's why they're working overtime to provide a sterile environment for them.
Equipped with masks, socially distanced tables and hand sanitizer at every turn, Fiddler's goes out of its way to ensure cleanliness. But just because the times call for drastic health measures doesn't mean the fun is over. On any typical night you'll still find the dart boards open for tournaments (though thoroughly washed), and Irish rock still blares on the speakers.
In the end, it's not just quality food and drink that keep Fiddler's afloat, but the bonds of trust and friendship the restaurant cultivated with customers for decades. Never tried Fiddler's Green? Now is a better time than ever! So go grab a Guinness and some Shepherds Pie today, and say hello to Donal for us while you're at it!
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