by Erin Thursby
There’s no mistaking the impact of the St. Johns Town Center on desirable shopping in south Jacksonville, just try to find a parking place during the holidays. But, in spite of all the great shopping along with an abundance of eateries, one thing that’s been missing at this burgeoning marketplace has been a venue dedicated to live entertainment. So, the buzz for the launch of the fun time, live music honky-tonk Whisky River has already been strong. Whisky River is a bar franchise owned by race car superstar Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and also operates another venue in Charlotte where they’ve cultivated an image between VIP lounge and rockin’ country bar.
“It’s not strictly a county bar,” says operating manager Todd Frankman, “The best way to explain it would be a mixture of country and rock & roll and all around great time.”
And yes, there is a mechanical bull. There are also four bars, a patio area, a dance floor a VIP area, and a room for private parties and booths. One bar is entirely decorated with belt buckles sent in by Whisky River fans! Quite a few private parties are already booked.
The club area is separated off from the main dining room by a huge, sliding barn door so you can join the party or eat in comfort. Live bands play on Thursdays. Friday and Saturday, they have DJs for the dance floor. Music will reportedly be a mix of rock, country and the top 40.
The menu offered will be quality bar food, something there isn’t much of at the Town Center. Pizza, barbecue, onion rings and nachos piled high are just some of the things you’ll find at Whisky River. They’ll also have fried green beans and sweet potato fries. “We’ve tested this food over the past three months with lots of different palates,” says Frankman “and everybody has given it the thumbs up.” They plan to serve food from 11 am to 2 am every day, so it’ll be going on our list of places to get a late night bite.
Grand opening weekend for Whisky River kicks off on April 16 located inside the St. Johns Town Center. Turn down Big Island Drive off of Town Center Parkway to find it. For more info, you can sign up for their twitter or facebook or just head to their website at www.whiskyriverjacksonville.com/
Whisky River Opening
by Erin Thursby