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Expert Tips

 

Craft Cocktails Invigorate Jacksonville's Nightlife, Stylish Bars Pay Homage to the Past



 

A night on the town in Jacksonville, FL could take you any number of colorful directions. The city is a diverse metropolis full of bold style, and a casual authenticity all it’s own. From the beaches to downtown you’ll have plenty of options to choose from depending on your whim. For a bird’s eye view of the city and craft cocktails to start the night off right make reservations for the Rooftop at Black Sheep restaurant in 5 Points. Pay homage to Jacksonville’s rich prohibition history with 1920’s inspired joints like The Volstead downtown, Side Car in San Marco, and The Parlour speakeasy.

Cuba Libre keeps it hot with live music and latin dancing til late, while Flask and Cannon at the beach brings on the rum. Dos Gatos and Suite each dish out their own signature style to a fashionable crowd with sophisticated tastes, with plenty of entertainment to keep you moving all night. Meanwhile the Lemon Bar keeps it easy with it’s ocean view, and tropical drinks.

Jacksonville’s nightlife is truly as diverse as it’s residents and to know her is to love her. Whatever your taste there’s something for you, where the nights are hot and the memories unforgettable.


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To add a little spice to your night visit Cuba Libre. The music is grooving and the dancing is hot! Get a lesson in salsa then practice your moves all night. When you get hungry order some traditional Cuban food next door at Havana Jax restaurant. Back on the dance floor enjoy live music while mixing and mingling then sip on a Mojito and take in the colorful artwork. Cuba Libre attracts a diverse crowd from all around Jacksonville who seek out the dance club for the great atmosphere, live entertainment, and and exotic drinks. What's more they have convenient private parking on site so you don't have to park a mile away. Conveniently located minutes from downtown Cuba Libre is where to go if you like it hot!

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Cuba Libre offers a diverse crowd and the best latin dancing in town.

Amy's expert tip: Go before 10pm to skip the cover charge.

Read more about Cuba Libre Bar →


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Neptune Beach

Ocean air, flip flops, and Pina Coladas come together in a vibrant social scene at the Lemon Bar in Neptune Beach. Just 12 miles from downtown off Atlantic Blvd, the Lemon Bar is Jacksonville's little slice of paradise. Enjoy tropical drinks and tasty nibbles like Ahi Tuna, local Mayport Shrimp, and mouthwatering Hamburgers. Welcome in the evening with the best happy hour at the beaches and a relaxing ambiance to enjoy a drink with friends and watch the moonrise. Ride your bikes up to the bar and catch up with old friends while cooling off with a Rum Runner or Lemon Bar Freeze at this lively oceanside watering hole.

Read more about The Lemon Bar →




If you are headed to the beaches and looking for something special, head to Flask & Cannon for unique cocktails with a vintage twist. Sidecar's beachside sister serves up 80 plus varieties of rum that please the palate. Taking a detour from the overly sweet rum drinks of today, Flask & Cannon rewinds back to the classic Tiki style with well balanced mixes that are balanced and refined. Get all the sophistication with non of the stuffiness at Flask & Cannon. It's all about the beach vibes, sunshine, and fun when you hit up this friendly bar serving up some serious concoctions at prices that won't hurt your wallet.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Flask & Cannon brings back the iconic Tiki Bar while satisfying the thirsts of a modern crowd.

Amy's expert tip: Flask & Cannon is located in a joint building with V pizza guaranteeing your hunger will be just as fulfilled as your thirst.

Read more about Flask & Cannon →


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West Jacksonville


If your looking for a bar that can hold it's whisky then look no further than The Rogue. Known for it's large whiskey selection, as well as it's unpretentious crowd The Rogue has an intimate dive bar feel minus the shady characters. The bar's retro ambiance is as much a calling card as it's popular happy hour and famous mason jar ring toss game. Take a selfie in the bath tub, try your hand at the ring toss, and find your new favorite whiskey. Make The Rogue your first stop as you enjoy all that King St has to offer after dark.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: You'll love The Rogue's retro ambiance, laid back crowd, and large whiskey selection.

Amy's expert tip: Make sure to try out the ring toss game for a chance to win a shot of whatever bottle your ring makes it around.

Read more about The Rogue →


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Southside

Looking for sophisticated socializing? Suite Jacksonville is a martini bar hosting the best in national and regional DJs and live bands. You'll observe attention to detail in everything from the decor to the cocktails at Suite. Ideal for casual after work drinks or for larger groups Suite is known for their exceptional service and hospitality. World class entertainment keeps it lively for mixing and mingling and the Suite calendar is always full of themed events encouraging you to dress to impress in this fashion forward venue. Make your next bachelorette party, or birthday one to remember at this chic lounge where nights are hot and the crowd is hopping.

Read more about Suite →


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Bringing back the art of craft cocktails while paying tribute to Jacksonville's involvement in the prohibition era, The Volstead makes the iconic come alive. As you enter you're invited to make yourself at home in the vintage living room complete with television and comfy couches. Pass the velvet curtain and you're greeted by black and white movies projected larger than life on the walls. Once the journey back in time is complete you'll enjoy a wide selection of classic and signature cocktails presented by staff decked out in 1920s style garb. The Volstead, for all it's style is still pretty laid back. Feel like giving some retro influence to your date night duds? Cool. Wanna keep it chill and enjoy the ambiance? Go for it. It's all about the cocktails and community at this premier River City whiskey lounge where excitement awaits.

Read more about The Volstead →


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Riverside


Black Sheep restaurant is one of the top establishments to dine in the Bold City, with it's Bourbon inspired bar and Southern Regional American fare. The crown jewel of this locally owned restaurant is it's rooftop bar. The Rooftop is one of the only places in Jax you can enjoy a bird's eye view of the city while sipping on a cool drink and indulging in some tasty bites. It's this vantage point and urban chic atmosphere that has night owls seeking out the restaurant as a meeting place for girls nights out, date night, and group get togethers. Unwind from the week's stress under the stars with a hand-crafted cocktail and enjoy the balmy night air in a unique to Jax destination. Black Sheep is located in the center of 5 Points, known for it's hipster culture, great shopping, and blossoming dining scene.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Black Sheep's dining is exceptional and the rooftop bar offers an incredible atmosphere to get social, and enjoy the night in style.

Amy's expert tip: Make reservations, the rooftop is a popular attraction and fills up fast.

Read more about Black Sheep →


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San Marco


What's more attractive than a hidden gem only a select few can find not to mention get on the list to enter? Perhaps not quite as difficult to get into as the traditional speakeasy of old, The Parlour still has plenty of mystique to keep the curious coming. Known for their hand crafted cocktails and live music, The Parlour is a swanky joint set in the heart of historic San Marco. A side entrance can be found into the lounge, or if you like the secretive route enter through the Grape and Grain Exchange's hidden passageway (nope not telling where). The Parlour manages to keep it's vintage inspiration without feeling kitschy making it an ideal place to impress that special date or group of friends from out of town.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: We all love a great secret and The Parlour is one of the best kept in Jacksonville.

Amy's expert tip: Reservations are a must on weekends and music nights, and don't forget the $5 cover charge.

Read more about The Parlour →


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Downtown


Dos Gatos is known as the original cocktail bar in Jacksonville and certainly lives up to it's reputation. Standing just a few steps away from the historic Florida Theatre in downtown Jacksonville, this urban bar is full of character and isn't afraid to show it. Skilled bartenders create hand made concoctions from a list of house specialties as well as their own collection of favorites. If you aren't up for exploring new territory, no worries, ordering off menu is also welcome for those with a hankering for that one special drink. Order from their diverse selection of spirits, or grab a beer if that suits your fancy. Lots of good natured fun goes down with an eclectic selection of music, great atmosphere, and friendly staff. If you are looking for cocktails for grown ups without any pretentiousness head to Dos Gatos to get lively.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Dos Gatos' knowledgeable staff serves up unique hand crafted cocktails with a little bit of sass, and a whole lot of flavor.

Amy's expert tip: If you are heading to Jaguars game seek out Dos Gatos' satellite location at the stadium and enjoy the best cocktails at Everbank Field.

Read more about Dos Gatos →


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San Marco


Located in Jacksonville's San Marco neighborhood, Side Car is a fine example of the sophisticated nightlife Jax has to offer. Inspiration was derived from the 1920s speak easy, but the design took a more forward leap. The fusion between iconic and modern is seamless as you step inside this urban beer garden and cocktail bar. The menu includes well crafted remakes of old fashioned specialties and new creative inspirations from the minds of talented bartenders. The creators of Side Car bring all the skill of great beverage making with none of the snobbery. Watch a drink come together in front of you like something from a pharmacy with painstaking attention toward details, or if you just like it straight up, go for it. It's all about what suits you at this locally owned bar with great indoor and outdoor spaces that encourage folks to get to know one another while enjoying some of the best drinks on the First Coast.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Side Car elevates the bar atmosphere in Jacksonville taking great pride in their sophisticated creations yet still embracing a relaxed atmosphere.

Amy's expert tip: Side Car is located on the side of a great pizza spot you can order from and enjoy in the bar.

Read more about Side Car →


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Meet Amy West

Jacksonville, FL based Amy West is the creator of amywesttravel.com, a travel and lifestyle brand including TV show "Like Love Want Need".

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