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Tiki Island Tap House - Jacksonville, FL, Jacksonville, FL (restaurant)

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Name:Tiki Island Tap House - Jacksonville, FL
Street:614 Pecan Park Rd
Phone:(904) 403-0776

First, you need to know that this is the "Sanford & Son" of tiki. But please continue reading, this is actually a good and unique little place. It proves, once again, that you CAN run out and buy a bunch of carved tikis, carved masks, and plastic stuff and put it up and call it a "tiki" joint. It's really an interesting and unique "beer pub" of sorts. Read on for more interesting and fun details.

It's located off I-95 one exit north of the Jacksonville International Airport. When the wind is blowing from the right directions, commercial aircraft will fly overhead on approach, or having just taken off. The place borders a small fenced-in pond which they call a "wilderness preserve," mainly because it is home to three large and neat looking alligators who are often on the banks and easily observed. The staff and customers are very relaxed, and very friendly. You should relax as well, so don't dress up for the place, and wear any camouflage clothing you own - you'll fit right in. The beer is cold, very reasonably priced, and tasty. Among others, for example, they serve Duke's Brown Ale which is a local microbrewed favorite.

The food is ok, their pulled pork is excellent although the pulled pork sandwiches could have been piled a little higher. But when I saw their pulled pork nachos for $6.75 being served, I was quite surprised and knew that I had to order it to go with my beer. They serve other things as well, but I'll have to save that for a future visit.

Also of interest is that they don't have a "building" per se, except for the small kitchen where food is made and beer is served. The rest of the place is made of some very large single and double-wide aluminum car ports on concrete slabs with various wall coverings to protect customers from wind and rain and sun. If you are familiar with how much it can rain in Florida, this is EXCELLENT when you like your beer with the sound of falling or torrential rain. There are also a generous number of picnic tables with umbrellas on the grounds, and a decent fire pit for the cooler nights. Live music is offered, but I don't know how often.

I thought of this place in the past as a "let's visit the flea market and look for vintage tiki stuff, and then have a beer." But now that I've actually sat there, shared a pitcher and food with a buddy, I gotta say it's worth a drive up there by itself and THEN maybe also visit the flea market.

While it's not really a tiki joint, it's definitely not a Jimmy Buffett craptacular either. At least there are real tikis here, which is more than we can say for a lot of other places that pretend and like to play at being "tiki."

I recommend a visit if you're in the area or making the drive through northeast Florida on I-95. I think you'll have a good time. One additional note - they don't have a restroom, only a single port-a-potty. Fortunately the flea market has real restrooms if you need it.

Some pics are coming soon.

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