There’s no better place than Jaco’s Bayfront Bar & Grille to enjoy a sunset, a sip and a special meal. This bistro, known for its small plates and big flavor, is tucked away in the heart of the Downtown Pensacola historic district at the very southern end of Palafox Street.
Owner David Hambrick, a longtime veteran of the car business, was seeking a fresh opportunity when he came across a concept for a restaurant while visiting the Carolinas. He brought the model to Pensacola, naming his restaurant after his beloved Wheaten Terrier, Jaco, whose face now graces its logo.
We suggest you park a few blocks north of the pier to enjoy a pre-meal stroll past some of the most interesting architecture in Florida. When you arrive at Jaco’s, ask to be seated outdoors. The patio overlooks Pensacola Bay and the Marina, positioning it perfectly to catch a staggering Gulf Coast sunset. Even if you visit during the lunch hour, the view of boats on the bay is a soothing sight.
Jaco’s has historically landed on the winner’s list of local Best of the Coast Awards for ‘Outdoor Dining’ and ‘Best View’ in Pensacola. If you have to sit inside, you’ll still have a great seat – with floor-to-ceiling windows and French doors that open to the veranda. The ambience is upscale, but laid back.
“Our location really sets us apart,” says manager Wade Beroset. “Not a lot of places downtown take advantage of the waterfront.”
Nor do many places have such a flair for fresh fare. Jaco’s features a unique menu that’s just as noteworthy as its setting. Locals favor the diverse array of flatbreads, ranging from the Tender Blue (steak, caramelized onions and blue cheese) to the Rustic Veggie (roasted corn, avocado, spinach, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and black bean garlic spread). One of our favorites is the Wild Mushroom — perfectly crisp yet substantial enough to support generous toppings that include pancetta, caramelized onions and asparagus, drizzled with truffle oil and a balsamic reduction.
If flatbreads aren’t your fancy, the menu boasts “Lite Fare” such as the Antipasto Platter and some of the best Pommes Frites (that’s French for French fries!) in town. You can “go green” with a crisp salad, or choose something heartier from the sandwiches or specialty offerings.
Jaco’s is also a hot spot for happy hour, with a fully-stocked bar offering an extensive list of beers and wines, as well as some delightfully fancy cocktails. Try a Hot Ruby – Milagro silver tequila infused with fiery jalapeño sage syrup and a splash of tangy grapefruit juice.
Should you wish to indulge, the Fried Oreo is a little slice of Southern heaven. (You can thank us later.)
No matter what you choose, Jaco’s aims to please.
“We use only the freshest seasonal ingredients, bring our seafood in daily, and make everything in house – nothing comes from a can,” Beroset says. “And because service is what truly sets you apart, we do our best to meet customer expectations.”
With all the essential elements of an exceptional dining experience, you can expect the best at Jaco’s Bayfront Bar & Grille. The food is both reasonably priced and remarkably palate pleasing, with a warm and friendly staff and an unrivaled atmosphere.
After you eat, wander back up Palafox Street to immerse yourself in Pensacola’s vibrant Downtown scene.