2017-02-01 / Features

Jaco’s and a bayfront view

By Kristin N. Compton

Head out to dinner but skip the movie; the view awaiting you is more than enough. Art à la Carte, Pomme Frittes, appetizing lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch selections, your favorite cocktail or glass of wine, and breathtaking sunsets over Pensacola Bay; this is just a glimpse of the experience waiting for you at Jaco’s Bayfront Bar and Grille in downtown Pensacola. The marina-side casual dining establishment owned by David Hambrick and in business for six years now, is perfectly situated on the Palafox Marina in Plaza de Luna featuring varying monthly specials, specialty flatbreads and salads, fresh seafood dishes, and sauces and plated fare prepared from scratch in-house daily. The view is magnificent all on its own, but pair that with some great food and superb service and you’ve truly found an unassuming paradise in a small but thriving Gulf Coast town. “The thing that everybody really raves about is the Pomme Frittes, the fries,” said General Manager Wade Beroset. “Everybody really loves the fries!”

Ahi Tuna Ahi Tuna Wade says another fan-favorite is the Ahi Tuna, one of Jaco’s specialties and a savory, spicy treat, served with tempura vegetables, wasabi mashed potatoes, spinach and Thai chili reduction. “All of the sauces and the dishes are our own recipes,” Wade said, adding that everybody’s taste buds tend to gravitate towards whatever the monthly special is at that time. “The featured dish always ends up being something that people want.”

Jaco’s monthly specials include a lunch, dinner and anytime feature, so they can be enjoyed essentially around the clock. The delectable array of appetizers, entrees, salads and desserts ranges in price from $12 to $25, making it an excellent choice for an affordable yet classy date night. And if you’re finding it difficult to get away, there’s a kids menu available as well. Another great amenity for the little ones is the splash pad in Plaza de Luna; not a part of the restaurant but situated directly (and conveniently!) behind it.

The waterfront bar and grille offers a full bar with wine and beer selections, accommodations for private parties and group seating arranged through reservations, and ample parking in the lot between Palafox and Jefferson Streets. Jaco’s is also accessible by boat for its seafaring patrons.

Aside from the nautical crew, the romantics, the family-types and even our four-legged canine friends, Jaco’s is also willing to accommodate those plagued by allergies or other dietary restrictions. “We have gluten free and vegetarian options,” Wade said. “Customers can just tell their server of any allergies and the chef will come out to the table to confirm. We’ll take care of them.”

Something else that really sets Jaco’s apart is its involvement in hosting several art and wine-friendly events throughout the year. “There is a monthly event called Art à la Carte where local artists’ works are featured and available for sale throughout the restaurant,” Wade said. “Jaco’s has a special month in February where it features a sunset photo contest for the Pensacola State College advanced photography program which includes awards, an individual featured artist opportunity later in the year and fundraising for a scholarship.” He added, “In April there is the Bayfront Wine Festival sponsored by Jaco’s that includes an exclusive wine-paired dinner.”

Jaco’s accepts cash and all major credit cards. They are open and serving patrons Monday through Wednesday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. to accommodate brunch. For more information or to make reservations, call (850) 432-5226.

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