Nightlife in Jacksonville, FL
Jacksonville’s Metro Entertainment Complex, aka “The Metro,” is Florida’s largest gay venue, serving the GLBT community for nearly 20 years. It houses seven different venues and hosts a variety of experiences including Lesbo-A-Go Go, monthly tea dances and appearances by live musicians, the nation’s top female impersonators and the occasional celebrity, like comedienne Jenny McCarthy. The Metro is open seven days a week from 2 p.m. – 2 a.m. But don’t dare show up in your flip flops. Dressy attire is a must.
If you’re the competitive type, Adventure Landing offers a fun option to the nightclub scene. Challenge your date to an 18-hole mini-golf match, a go-cart race or a fierce game of laser tag. Batting cages and a monster video and gaming arcade make for a romping good time. Three Northeast Florida locations in Jacksonville Beach, Jacksonville near Orange Park and St. Augustine are open until 11 p.m. or midnight on Friday and Saturday nights. So grab your putt-putt club and get your game on.
Built in 1967, the Alhambra Dinner Theatre is one of the nation’s remaining few. And it has quite the history, boasting past performances by the likes of Cyd Charisse, Frank Gorshin and Betty Grable (her Alhambra appearance was her last live performance). After going dark for a season, the theatre was renovated and reopened in 2010 with a swank new interior and a haute cuisine menu prepared by Matthew Medure, one of Northeast Florida’s most celebrated chefs. Shows like “The Odd Couple” and “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” star seasoned performers who have performed on Broadway and on international stages. Reviews are glowing and attendance is booming.
Feel like a visit to the Mediterranean? The Casbah Café in Jacksonville’s posh Avondale neighborhood serves up Middle Eastern cuisine, local and imported artisanal wines and beers, plus a variety of hookah flavors (and an excellent ventilation system for nonsmokers). Touted as an authentic cultural experience, the Casbah features an interior décor laden with sumptuous draping fabrics, a patio for al fresco dining and entertainment via live Jazz and traditional Middle Eastern belly dancers. It’s one of the few places citywide with a late night kitchen serving vegan/vegetarian fare.
Located in Jacksonville’s historic Springfield neighborhood, Déjà Vu is deliciously hip wine and art bar that doubles as a wireless internet coffee shop by day, and a casually upscale and intimate dance hall by night. The eclectic interior’s exposed brick walls and industrial ceiling are beautifully offset with original works for sale by local artists and sculptors, sleek leather seating and a few functional treasures like a 130-year-old upright piano and a 200-year-old wine storage wall. The drink menu boasts more than 100 red and white wines and 25 bottled beers plus espressos, cappuccinos and lattes. Neo Soul Saturdays and Ladies’ Night Thursdays feature music spun live by top local DJs. Apparently, the party never stops. Déjà Vu is open until 2 am seven days a week.