There’s a new face in the neighborhood. Since its first soft opening at the beginning of January, Neon Moon has already made quite a name for itself in 5 Points through mostly word of mouth, but it’s obvious they already have a bright future ahead of them.
This western-chique style bar is the perfect balance of chill and upbeat, bright and dim. The beautiful acoustic ceiling installation alludes to big future plan for live music, pop up shows and other forms of gatherings. Specializing in natural wines, cold draft brews and vegan eats, Neon Moon is curating a space that fits the demographic of Riverside, and brings originality back to 5 Points.
When Cafe Karibo, a sister restaurant of Timoti’s Seafood, in the heart of 5 points decided to officially close its doors last August, long term kitchen hand Zorry Humphries, 29, tossed out the idea of the current owners letting him run the space. Zorry had the idea to transform the space into a down home, neighborhood bar, and the owners gave him creative freedom, and partial ownership.
“I want more young people to be involved in the business world. In order for the city to grow and evolve you have to let young minds be involved. That’s what was dope, like I mean, I’m not super young, but I am young to be a business owner,” explained Zorry. “They took a chance on me but also what they were doing wasn’t working, they didn’t understand this area of neighborhoods like I know it from living here for so many years. I got real cool with everybody in the community and was like fuck it, i’ll try to do bar. Seems nightlife has taken over this district anyway.”
Zorry grew up in Callahan, and is an eclectic combination of every culture he’s a part of. He moved to Jacksonville to pursue skateboarding, and spent nearly a decade in the kitchen at Timoti’s/Karibo to pay his way to be able to do so. Skateboarding is a special knit community of individuals from varying backgrounds and is the spark for many of the connections Zorry has made in the community. He’s looking to make Neon Moon a similar type of eclectic inclusivity.
Zorry said it this way, “I’ve always hung around different groups of people. So for me, like you can be a cowboy. You can be a skateboarder. You can be hardcore, like, thats what skateboarding created for me. It was like a different style of friend group. But I grew up in a small town. We were taught to hang around certain groups. But I was always the one kind of like, I’m cool with the black people. I’m black. I’m cool with thugs. I’m cool with the Redneck dudes and I’m cool with the punk rock kids. So I’m like, Yo, everybody come hang out. I want to show that everybody is kind of similar if you bring them together.”