Orlando Dining Guide: Lazy Moon

An Orlando favorite, Lazy Moon, reopened its (new and shiny) doors last month to the hoards of people who have been missing their favorite late night pizza joint since it closed temporarily last year in preparation for a big move. Lazy Moon used to be housed at the intersection of University and Alafaya in a shopping center called “The Plaza” (where another spot frequented by students, the Knight Library, operated). The shopping center was slated for demolition and eventual redevelopment last year, necessitating the move for companies like Lazy Moon.

The “new” Lazy Moon is located at 11551 University Boulevard; for those of you who want a more convenient way of locating the establishment: it’s next to World of Beer. I headed over there to check out the joint with friends last week, hoping for the same relaxed atmosphere, delicious food, and hipster company I’d enjoyed at Lazy Moon so many times before.

Lazy Moon has suffered no lack of patronage since they reopened. When we arrived, the line to order was long and the tables (read: all of them) were packed with boisterous college students and hipsters alike (that much, at least, hasn’t changed). The noise level, though, assisted by the wide open floor-plan and walls of wood, caught me off guard. I like a happening place as much as the next girl, but I also like to be able to communicate without the need for elaborate hand gestures and lip-reading.

The square footage has increased dramatically, amplifying both Lazy Moon’s capacity and staff size. The decor of the new location is much more modern, fresh and quite frankly, more boring than it used to be. However, much to my liking, they did manage to keep a few of their hipster elements such as their sticker-covered oven hoods and tattooed, magnificently bearded pizza cooks.
The wait to place our order and then snatch an emptying table wasn’t terrible, and our slices (don’t fret: they’re as huge as ever) were brought out by servers shouting our names above the racket, just like the old days, surprisingly quickly. Lazy Moon knows what they’re doing when it comes to pizza, and so it should come as no surprise that I neither heard nor uttered any word of complaint with regards to the quality of our meal.

So the pizza’s good and the beer is cold, just like you’d expect. But here’s the thing – Lazy Moon used to be a low-key, kind of hippie hangout with torn booths, outside seating and an atmosphere you could actually converse in; a place you could go to relax or chat with friends or watch the game. I loved that. And don’t get me wrong – I’m glad that such a cool local establishment got the chance to expand their business. But this “new” Lazy Moon doesn’t give off the same chill vibe when you walk in the door, distract you with the same awesome mismatched assortment of wall decor, or allow you the same ease of conversation with friends and strangers alike.

So my recommendation? Go for the pizza and the beer, but definitely not for the atmosphere. As for me, I miss the old Lazy Moon.

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