Welcome To The Taco Palace

“The vibe at The Palace…I’d like to think, punk rock and honky tonk, with food and booze. We got it all goin’ on man.”
– Bucky Fellini (Owner, STP)

STP is the type of place you’d love to have within walking distance of your house…mainly, because you’re rarely in any shape to drive by the time you leave.

Tucked away near the back of a typical nondescript, West Orlando strip mall, STP is your proverbial craft beer and tequila oasis in an otherwise barren, thirsty landscape.  On the surface, there’s so much about this place that almost purposefully shouts at you to keep your distance, but, in the same vein, manages to tickle one’s interest as to what kind of party lies behind that big orange, black and white logo.  That’s the genius behind the nearly 9-years of success STP has seen.  You gotta be willing to get in touch with your weird side.  Your inner rebel.  Your spirit animal.  A killer craft beer selection and local live music eases the transition quite nicely too.

“Being a small business with that shop local attitude, I love the fact that we can do whatever we want.  I like to choose breweries that are close by.  Crooked Can is a great example, they’re pretty much right in our back yard.  I love Cigar City out of Tampa.  The closer to STP in address, the better.”
– Bucky Fellini (Owner, STP)



In the land of chain restaurants and tourist-friendly establishments, STP is decidedly neither of these things.  Owned by a couple former bartenders (Bucky Fellini and Timothy Foley), they most definitely feel the pulse of their fellow service industry people (2 Happy Hours every day and a full menu until 2 am), and in turn, the insider vibe piques the interest of the Orlando-local looking to hide from the swarms of tourists that tend to clog up the area.

“It’s nice to have that local crowd because you’re gonna see them again and again and again.  And you get constructive feedback from them.  Good or bad.  I mean, we want to impress everyone that walks thru that door.  Everyone that walks thru that door is a guest in my home, because it is my home.  Well, my second home.”
– Bucky Fellini (Owner, STP)

Having grown up in New England, Bucky has taken that local, New England-style-pub feel to Orlando.  It’s not only obvious because of the numerous Bruins, Sox and Pats logos adorning the walls.  It’s the no-frills, all-friends atmosphere that you get at those awesomely one-of-a-kind places you find in the northeast.


The Man, The Myth, The Bucky

“I’m originally from Rhode Island, my business partner’s from Connecticut.  Just an odd coincidence that we’re both New England guys.  When I think New England I think local food, you know?  Like those little mom and pop places.  The Italian place, the local seafood place, the butcher, the baker.  That’s where my attitude comes from.  That’s what I grew up with.”
– Bucky Fellini (Owner, STP)


What sets STP apart from so many other independently-owned establishments in Central Florida HAS to be their beer selection.  With their ever changing, 50-plus selections on tap/bottles-n-cans…just clap your hands, their beer game is strong-to-VERY strong.

“It’s nice having the final call.  I can change my beer menu every day.  If I want to get something from Terrapin, or Cigar City, 9 times out of 10 it comes thru.  It’s nice to have that beer power.”
– Bucky Fellini (Owner, STP)


Among many local and off-the-beaten-path selections, my personal favorite that they’ve recently procured is the Vanilla Maduro, a boldly flavored Brown Ale brewed with Madagascar Vanilla Beans, courtesy of Tampa’s own, Cigar City.  Now, you can get the regular Maduro just about anywhere here in Central Florida these days as it’s one of their most widely distributed varieties (the others being “Jai Alai”, their flagship IPA; “Florida Cracker”, a Belgian-style White Ale; and “Invasion”, their Pale Ale).  The Vanilla Maduro is like Maduro Sr.’s reclusive younger brother.  You can find it, but you really gotta know where to look.  STP is one place to find this gem.

I get that a lot of hop-head craft beer drinkers these days shy away from the traditionally mellow brew known as a Brown Ale.  I know.  Brown Ales tend to not be very exciting, nor do they set your bitter taste buds ablaze like the Chicago Fire of 1871.  I get it…but open your mind, my friends.  This is not your grandpappy’s Newcastle.

The Maduro is a Northern English-style Brown Ale with some bold, shall I say cocky American sensibilities.  For one, it’s higher in alcohol content than the common English Brown Ale and features flaked oats in the malt bill which imparts a silky body and works to mesh the roasted, toasted and chocolate components together in Maduro’s complex malt profile.  To top all that off, the Vanilla variety adds a much welcome mild sweetness to the nose and finish that really balance out the surprisingly intense flavor profile.  It almost (and I stress…ALMOST) drinks like a stout…which is just fine by me.

“Honestly…I love to eat and drink, so I’m in a great place.  I hate to say that it’s a party every day, but it resembles that.  It’s a business and I’m serious about it, because it’s mine, but we have a good time here and I’m usually right in the middle of it.”
– Bucky Fellini (Owner, STP)


2 thoughts on “Welcome To The Taco Palace

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