by jack diablo
At night, Downtown Jacksonville is transformed from a center of commerce and civic activity to a vibrant and diverse nucleus of urban nightlife. With a variety of options for any taste and any budget, you are guaranteed to find something to please.
2 Indpendent Drive – Perhaps, the most obvious location Downtown is the Jacksonville Landing. It is host to eight restaurants, ten food court locations, twelve retail shops and two nightclubs. At Maverick’s Rock N’ Honky Tonk you can enjoy the country/southern-rock atmosphere and catch the occasional band or head to Twisted Martini, voted Jacksonville’s Best Martinis and Best Mixed Drinks. You can also count on free entertainment in the courtyard year-round on the weekends. An evening at The Landing offers a myriad of options for whatever you are in the mood for.
One of the best spots Downtown is the strip of clubs/bars on the 300 block of East Bay Street. There you can find TSI, Mark’s, and Dive Bar all within spitting distance. No matter what your flavor, there is bound to be something you will enjoy just about any day of the week.
333 East Bay Street – TSI is the place to see and be seen among the indie club crowd. They serve an impressive list of imported and domestic beers, wine, and even champagne to keep you loose on the dance floor. In addition to the latest dance music, they also bring in both local and national bands on a regular basis. On Fridays you can guzzle PBR for a penny from 9-11 pm and Saturdays typically result in an all-night dance party.
315 East Bay Street – Stop by Mark’s for an upscale nightclub experience. Enjoy the lounge-style atmosphere during Happy Hour featuring half-priced drinks every Tuesday. At night on Thursdays through Saturdays, Mark’s is one of Downtown’s premier dance clubs catering to the young professional crowd. Despite the classy and modern vibe, you can find some of the cheapest drink specials, with dollar wells after midnight on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
331 East Bay Street – Don’t let the name fool you, Dive Bar is anything but. This bar that spins top 40, dance and rock music with a 60s retro decor. Under the same ownership as Mark’s, Dive Bar gives off a laid back vibe with a more come-as-you-are style of clientele.
21 East Adams Street – If you want a bite to eat with your beer, any urban core resident will tell you that the best place for casual food and drinks Downtown is Burrito Gallery. The BG, as it’s affectionately referred to, serves southwestern fare complete with a full bar. There is always a huge crowd after Art Walk and sometimes features live music. 74 Soundsystem spins reggae and dub on the last Friday of the month with Biggie Tea filling in every other Friday.
The Ivy Ultra Bar
113 East Bay Street – “When average isn’t good enough,” it may be high time you stopped in at one of Jacksonville’s newest hot spots, The Ivy Ultra Bar. It is the place to go for trendy dance music and that extra special VIP treatment. Stop by after work for two-for-one Happy Hour or come on a Friday for $99 bottles of Ketel One and free valet. Single young professionals just might find the guy/girl of their dreams on Flirt-After-Work Thursdays.
331 West Forsyth Street – A little out of the way, 331 is another hot spot at night. The kitchen serves up American and Mediterranean food and they occasionally have live music. DJ Marcia will rid you of the hump day blues, spinning indie, pop and top 40 on Imperial Wednesdays, and when the weekend rolls around, it’s time for Supertronic Saturday with resident DJ, SuZi-Rok. 331 is quite possibly one of the coolest places you’ve never been.
If you need a reason to make the trip Downtown, Friday nights are a great time to score some bargains. Simply mention Destination Downtown at select bars and receive free admission. There is also discount parking available and if you plan on doing some serious partying, the Omni and Hyatt hotels offer special “Take The Elevator Home Rates” to keep you off the road.
With all that action, you have no excuse not to make Downtown Jacksonville the spot for your next nightlife adventure.
by jack diablo