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Cemetery Gravestones

Pour one out for the places that have closed their doors. Here is the restaurant graveyard that I wish didn't have to exist, but alas we can't have beermosas and poutine on a rooftop while overlooking the St. Johns River. Gone are the days of rolling out of bed and into Deerwood Diner.  Change is the only constant.

RIP to the OG
Beloved Restaurants


It was December 26 and the year was 2017...

Moxie stands out from the highway like a tall rectangular cube of ice inviting Butler drivers to slow down and stroll in for a drink. I recently stopped in for a Saturday night's date.

Date Night​

He had suggested a few options. Burgers or a swanky Jacksonville joint called Moxie. I chose the latter. I opened the door to survey a modern scene with couches, high tops, long tables, bars, alcoves, and long tables for parties. People stood around dressed for the evening. Our server in a vest, suspenders, and crisp shirt – dressed in finer clothes than some of the bar-goers he might serve. Freshly shaven and in well-fitting slacks he crept toward our table to take drink orders.

To See and Be Seen by the Towncenter

My date and I swirled up the wire and wood spiral staircase to perch in a corner on comfy leather stools. Nearby a girl in a golden sequin short dress leaned against the railing and laughed with a friend. On the bench not five feet away sat a couple leaning in and back and forth sharing intimate stories, having private moments in a public place.

Outside the porch bustled with drinking parties and friends, gathering, drinking celebrating Saturday’s eternity. I peered at the menu and didn’t see a single food item, but drink after drinks. So many wines. Beer options too. A whole slew of craft cocktails with enigmatic names and even stranger concoctions as descriptions. Similar to the Black Sheep happy hour fare, these strangely spiced beverages did not disappoint my taste buds.

A Sure Thing

I ordered the Sure Thing, a blend of Vodka and sugar. I was unsure of how to pronounce Beauregard, one of the options. Just the name seems to eke back to a long-ago battle, or perhaps a Humphrey Bogart nod. My second drink was a gin blend. My date tried the Moscow Mule, poured unceremoniously in a juice glass, though delightfully garnished with candied ginger.

The same non-Moscow glasses, in all likelihood, meant to be vases, were used for our water glasses also. Music played at a comfortable, yet thrilling decibel. People flitted past the bar, through the restaurant, and out the door. We stayed some time and enjoyed good conversation. I glanced up to see light fixtures in shapes like giant industrial Hershey Kiss sculptures. The place was rustic chic. An art display of decor and bar-goers. Craft cocktails a-plenty to sip. The staff cleaned up the place as the night grew later, and let us take our time heading back out into the outside world.

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