Whether it’s the first date or the regularly scheduled Friday night outing after 20 years of marriage, use the Riverside Avondale Night Trolley as your chauffeur for the evening. The Night Trolley runs the first Friday and Saturday of the month from 6 p.m. - 2 a.m. throughout the Riverside Avondale neighborhood.
Start your evening by taking the trolley from your home stop to Mojo no. 4 Urban BBQ • Whiskey Bar in the Shoppes of Avondale. If you or your date is a fan of whiskey, you’ll be enthralled over the dedicated whiskey menu, featuring old and rare options, cocktails, and flights. Well-versed is an understatement when describing the staff’s knowledge on the subject, and they are happy to share their recommendations. Don’t miss the FAQ section of the menu, which gives you enough information to be a formidable contestant on a game show. For cocktails try The Odd Couple, a bourbon and gin mix with orange, maraschino cherry, and rhubarb bitters. Or order the Staci's Huckleberry Mojito, a refreshing cocktail of vodka, lemon, mint, lemonade, and soda water. There's also plenty of beer and wine options to choose from if you'd like something a little lighter.
After your fill of pre-dinner libations, hop on the trolley and stop at Stockton Street. 13 Gypsies is splendidly unique in their style and offerings, and the intimate setting is perfect for date night conversation. Spanish born Chef Howard Kirk has created a comfortable atmosphere where 1980s and 1990s alt rock music accompanies your tapas. This tiny restaurant packs a punch in the menu, and the artistic style can be seen in the cured meat selection (make sure to try the “From the Chamber” cured meat to taste chef’s latest experiment). Everything in the restaurant is made in house, and you’ll be able to taste the difference. Start with a few things to share off of the menu and build from there. Personal favorites include the Roman style gnocci with beef stock and mushroom sauce, and the rotating rissoto of the day. Due to the small size, be sure to make reservations at least a week in advance.
Once dinner is done, take the trolley to 5 Points and make your way to BREW Five Points.This coffee and beer spot is classy enough for date night without being pretentious. Try one of the beer cocktails, a style that has gained popularity in recent years. Local favorites are the Hipster Speedball (a stout and coffee mix) or the Moscow Bul. If you’re craving dessert, let your eyes be your guide. BREW’s food program manager, Calli Webb, is a rising star in the Jacksonville culinary scene and her crafty creations are sure to satisfy. On the weekends, Calli whips up seasonal cakes that sell by the slice. Check out BREW’s Instagram to see what your tastebuds have in store.
There are plenty of late night options in 5 Points should you wish for your date to continue. Just remember that the Night Trolley stops running at 2 a.m., so head out before last call!