JD's Restaurant & Lounge is a perfectly quirky way to experience casual Florida dining. For example, at the front door is a neon-colored octopus, greeting customers with a sign that says, "I eat at JD's."
Cute, very cute.
The truly fascinating part of JD's on Gulf Boulevard in Indian Rocks Beach is in the back. The "back porch," to be exact. It is where an open-air bar sits with a nice view of the Intercoastal. People flock to the back of JD's to enjoy cheap beer and cocktails, live music and chill down with rows of fans blowing a refreshing mist.
Did I mention it was quirky?
On the roof of the back porch is a statue of a pink pig wearing a sailor's hat, quietly presiding over the festivities. Who could blame him? JD's offers all the ingredients of a good time. There is a truly memorable happy hour, live music and an extensive list of early-bird specials (ends strictly at 6 p.m.). The back porch relies heavily on the live music—not one, but two live acts were there on a Friday afternoon.
Now… here is where the hard-hitting journalism comes in.
The one dollar drafts of Budweiser and Miller Lite, the heart of JD's darned good happy hour, has a dirty little secret—the glasses are only about eight ounces. Shocking!
That is right; the draft beers are just a little smaller than a regular draft. However, after a few of these mini-beers, you are still getting a terrific deal for a little money, as well as a decent buzz.
There are also mixed drink specials, including Manhattans and martinis. Any bar starting their happy hour at 8 a.m., offers it through 6 p.m., and has a Bloody Mary special, is OK in my book.
On the drink menu is an interesting martini made of gin or vodka, dry vermouth and a bleu cheese stuffed olive. It is not the drink ingredients, but the name—the 'Dean Martini.'
I am sure I mentioned that JD's is a quirky place.
Across the street sits the Intercoastal; a beautiful view and JD's own landing and boat dock. A place like that must have quite a number of water-related events and welcomes the occasional boat party.
Of course, the customers lean a little towards locals and more 'mature' residents. Again, after downing a few one-dollar beer specials, you cannot help but to have a good time. The back porch allows smoking—that is why there is an indoor dining room.
The staff is friendly; there to make sure the drinks flow freely, and everyone has fun. You would think that was a no-brainer, but not every place is as pleasant.
After the bartender noticed my note taking with my smart phone, she automatically placed another of half-drafts in front of me, even though the place was packed.
"Type everyone I say hi...," she smiled.
Don't worry, I just did.
JD's Restaurant & Lounge opens at 8 a.m. every day. It is located just south of Walsingham at 125 Gulf Blvd., Indian Rocks Beach. Call them at (727) 595-1320, or check them out at www.jdsrestaurant.com and You Tube at www.youtube.com/jdsrestaurant.