Bars where Pete has had a Drink (5,837 bars; 1,754 bars in Seattle) - Click titles below for Lists:

Bars where Pete has had a drink

Saturday, June 22, 2024

#5628 - Secret Tiki Temple, Jacksonville, FL - 3/15/2024

Secret Tiki Temple, Jacksonville, FL

On a road trip to attend baseball spring training games with some old friends, I made my first visit to northern Florida, including my first stop at Jacksonville's Secret Tiki Temple speakeasy. Little did I know that it, and the Pagoda Restaurant in which it hid, would close just a month later.

The Pagoda Restaurant had been in the area for almost 50 years, starting in Jacksonville Beach in 1975, and eventually moving to a new building in Jacksonville's Baymeadows neighborhood in 2002. The Cantonese and Szechuan Chinese cuisine restaurant was founded by James Tan, his grandfather Wei Chow Tam, along with some additional partners. The Tiki Temple was added by James' son Tommy, after he moved back from LA to assist with the restaurant.

Secret Tiki Temple, Jacksonville, FL
Tommy combined his appreciation of tiki and speakeasies in a secret room that took many years to evolve, and especially early on took the speakeasy style secrecy serious (e.g. as you can see in a news4jax video). By the time I arrived, it was a darkly beautiful tropical hideaway, with some very fine drinks. I arrived without a reservation, but thankfully managed to weasel my way into a bar seat. I much enjoyed the ambiance, my cocktails, and my chat with the bartender, and regret only that I can't come back with my wife and friends.

8617 Baymeadows Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32256 - (904) 731-0880
Est. 2016 - Building constructed: 1984 - Closed April 26, 2024 
Previous bars in this location: None known
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Articles ranked: - jaxdailyrecord - - news4jax (video) - globaltravelerusa - yelp - tripadvisor - jacksonvillemag -  actionnewsjax - firstcoastnews - msn 

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