Every year, without fail, there always a few new business and restaurants that totally miss the Best of the Coast boat. They either open right before, during or after the voting period, so people just aren’t really familiar enough with them yet to vote for them.
This year the crop of new business that fall into that category are all pretty great. And while we can’t predict the future, we feel pretty confident in saying that places like The Leisure Club, Play and Vinyl are all going to be contenders next year for some serious “Best Of” wins.
So current winners consider yourselves warned—you’ve got some new competition coming your way.
The Leisure Club
126 S. Palafox
Palafox Street has been in dire need of place like TLC for a long, long time. It’s the perfect spot for coffee, lunch, happy hour, dinner, Sunday brunch and pretty much everything in between.
IN’s Predictions: Best Coffee Shop, Best Brunch, Best Place for a First Date
Vinyl Music Hall
2 S. Palafox
Music fans in Pensaocla have been dreaming of a mid-sized venue pretty much forever and Vinyl Music Hall has finally made that dream a reality. They’ve only been open a few months and they’ve already played host to some pretty big names like Nappy Roots and the legendary Dr. John, just to name a few. We anticipate it’s just going to keep better and better.
IN’s Prediction: Best Live Music Venue
It’s not even open yet, but the buzz surrounding Pensacola’s first “barcade” Play is already huge. All we know so far is that’s going be located on Palafox Street and according to their website it will have “20 rotating microbrews, a combination of vintage and state of the art arcade games, pool tables and skee-ball machines.” That’s more than enough to get us excited for the upcoming grand opening.
IN’s Predictions: Best Bar for Bar Games, Best Bar Where It Pays to be a Regular
Elise Coastal Dining
22 N. Palafox Place
Elise is expected to open late this month, and Gulf Breeze native and chef Blake Rushing has created a tantalizing menu for the new downtown addition. Elise’s offerings will be centered on French and American styles, but they’ll also offer a bit of Asian flavor in the mix. How’s this for a mouthwatering selection—Pan Roasted Grouper, Confit Tomato Petals, Artichoke and Portobello Mushroom Barigoule, Pea Shoots, Pancetta Crisp, Potato Rosti and Thyme Froth.
IN’s Predictions: Best New Restaurant-Escambia County, Best Restaurant-Downtown Pensacola, Best Up-and-Coming Chef (Blake Rushing), Best Original Menu, Best Seafood Cuisine
Indigeaux Denim Bar and Boutique
122 S. Palafox, 607-2255, indigeaux.com
We think Indigeaux may help alleviate the area’s denim drought since the closing of Pensacola Blues on Bayou. Indigeaux Denim Bar and Boutique will be opening early November, with a Grand Opening Gallery Night, Friday, Nov.19. The boutique will offer denim from Miss Me Jeans and Paige Denim, Trinity quality organic silk and cotton clothing, including Judith March for game day wear, and others.
IN’s Predictions: Best Women’s Apparel, Best Women’s Accessories, Best New Retail Shop, Best Boutique
Jaco’s Bayfront Bar & Grille
997 S. Palafox St., 432-5226, jacosbayfrontbarandgrille.com
With an unbelievable view of the bay and Palafox Marina, brand-new digs, a distinguished chef, and a promising menu that includes flatbread, pizzas, salads and small plates, we think Jaco’s is poised to do some major BOC damage in 2011 and beyond.
IN’s Predictions: Best View, Best Restaurant-Downtown Pensacola, Best Place to Meet Friends After Work, Best Appetizers, Best Place for a Business Lunch, Best Place for a Birthday Dinner, Best Pizza
Wine World Wine Bar
16 Palafox Place, chanswineworld.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
A certain IN staffer is a little bummed that someone’s opening a wine bar before she got a chance to, but we’re pretty sure that once Wine World Wine Bar opens this fall, she’ll get over it after her first cheese plate. The Wine Bar will include 40 wines by the class, bistro food, gourmet cheese and craft beer on tap. We can’t wait.
IN’s Predictions: Best New Bar-Escambia County, Best Selection of Wine by the Glass, Best Place to Meet Friends After Work, Best Appetizers, Best Place to Get “Cheese-y” (Cheese Shop!)