Jacksonville Nightlife is Hoppin’ at Ragtime Tavern

Jacksonville nightlife sparked in Atlantic Beach when Ragtime Tavern moved in …And it’s been hoppin’ ever since! Ragtime is a local’s hangout and the “Cheers” of Atlantic Beach!

Jacksonville Nightlife in the Beaches Town Center of Atlantic Beach wasn’t always as lively as it is now.  Though it has always been a commercial area with a few small shops, a hotel and restaurants dating as far back as the 1910s, this area is where Atlantic Boulevard was built by the wealthy so they could race their cars to the beach. 

Atlantic Boulevard runs through Neptune Beach and Atlantic Beach.  And although many businesses have come and gone over the years, a single restaurant can be attributed to bringing the spark of Beaches Town Center back to life and reviving it to the bustling hot spot in Jacksonville night life and that is Ragtime Tavern. 

You can do a bit of everything in Beaches Town Center, whether its shopping, grabbing a cup of coffee or getting a taste of Jacksonville nightlife.   Beaches Town Center is a great place to visit and Ragtime Tavern is a must visit when you’re there.

Ragtime Tavern is the ‘Cheers’ of Atlantic Beach

Brothers Tom and Bill Morton purchased an old pharmacy and turned it into Ragtime Tavern, opening in 1983.  In the beginning it was just a small place where neighbors could meet, holding only 12 tables and one bar.  Over time, because of its great food and exceptional customer service, customers soon became regulars which helped contribute the growth of this little Jacksonville treat.  

Due to Ragtime Tavern’s growing popularity the Morton brothers decided to add a lounge and tap room in 1990 and in 1994 they decided to open a microbrewery.  Ahead of the craft beer movement this was Jacksonville’s first microbrewery.  In 1997, the Morton brothers decided to sell their restaurant to CraftWorks.  Craftworks is a multi-brand restaurant operator and although they have a slew of microbrewery chains, Ragtime Tavern has managed to keep is unique look and feel without becoming corporate-themed as the rest of their chains.

Hot Spot in Jacksonville’s Nightlife

Ragtime Tavern offers a very special social environment.  Known as the “Cheers of Atlantic Beach” this great place is one that you will want to come and visit over and over again.  Located on the Atlantic Beach side of Beaches Town Center, Ragtime appeals to a more diverse crowd of varied ages compared to the Neptune Beach side which seems to lend itself to a more college town crowd. 

Ragtime Tavern has three separate bars and dining areas.  The dark wood, exposed brick decor throughout the tavern gives it a New Orleans Bourbon Street feel.  You can catch live music in the tap room when the sun goes down and spend the whole night listening and dancing to great tunes. 

If you are looking for quiet spot to chit chat and catch up with old friends, Ragtime has a grotto-like booths near their fish tanks or hang out outside at their covered patio.  If people watching is more your thing, you can request to sit along the window that faces Jacksonville’s popular street scene – Atlantic Boulevard.  Nonetheless, Ragtime Tavern offers a great place to socialize with friends, drink delicious beers, eat tasty treats and make memories.  It is truly the place to be in Jacksonville’s nightlife.

Ragtime’s Microbrewery

Ragtime is right on trend and riding the craft brewing popularity wave.  One of the best microbrews of Jacksonville, Florida, their signature microbrews are pumped straight from their vats through their refrigerated tubes and right into your glass.  Their master brewer is Scott Bannester who has been brewing for 12 years.  Bannerster got into the microbrew culture when his college roommate started working for a brewery.  From there he began as a salesman for a local brewery but when he realized his passion for the actual brewing he went back to college to get his master’s degree from the University of California in fermentation science.  He came to Ragtime 7 years ago and has been one of the major contributions to helped turn this gem into one of the best microbrews in the state. 

With many handcrafted beer awards under their belt, there are many yummy beers to choose from.  You will find a wide variety of beer colors ranging from gold to black.  Their pale ales are known to hit the spot but you must try their seasonal beer delights!  You can choose from their lager called Dolphin’s Breath which is their lightest out of their selection, Red Brick Ale — a red ale that is a bit hoppier than the rest brews or their black stout called A. Strange Stout which tends to be more robust in taste compared to the others.  Their seasonal selections include Sweet Magnolia, a brown ale available in the winter or Westbury Wheat, available in the summer, that has a unique banana and clove taste to this wheat bear.  With all these great microbrew selections there is truly something for everyone.

Delicious Dishes at Ragtime Tavern Seafood & Grill

Not only is Ragtime known for its great Jacksonville nightlife entertainment and tasty microbrews,  what really sets it apart from the rest is their menu.  Their specialty is providing the freshest seafood with a New Orleans taste to their customers.  Their Sesame Tuna dish is a must try!!  This fish is marinated 24 hours so you can really taste the flavor.  Some of their other favorites that the locals swear by are their blackened snapper and any of their skewered seafood.  All are Cajun inspired.  And with your entrée you must order their red beans and rice side.  This is a favorite among their devoted customers.  If you have room for dessert, their homemade key lime cheesecake and triple-chocolate brownies is absolutely delicious.  If you want something truly special, the locals will say you can’t go wrong with their white chocolate sun-dried cherry bread pudding dessert.

If you do happen to visit Ragtime be prepared for a long wait time in the evening and parking at Beaches Town Center can be a bit of a challenge but Ragtime Tavern is worth it.  Its open and airy atmosphere, exception customer service gives this hot spot keep their small town feels.  Ragtime is a great stop in Jacksonville’s nightlife that you will leave feeling full and happy.

Question of the day: for you craft brew snobs out there, what is the best local beer that you’ve ever tried? Share with us in the comments below!