In addition to the same chain restaurant/bars found in every other US city, Jacksonville offers many unique watering holes you won't find anywhere but here. Closing time in Duval County is 0200 hours, but several establishments offer package sales to keep the party going after hours.
Ritz Cocktail Lounge (185 North 3rd Avenue, Jacksonville Beach; 246-2255)
An old Beaches standby, the Ritz is guaranteed to be standing room only late night and weekends. The drink specials alone are reason to go (dollar Guinness all day Wednesday, for example). This joint is famous for big drinks and lots of single hotties. If sobriety and chastity are high priorities, this probably isn't the place for you. Ironists will savor the nineteenth-century temperance propaganda, and any red-blooded male should appreciate the lovely locals. If you ask nicely, you can get a bottle to go.
FuBar (9119 Merrill Road; 745-1116)
A newer establishment, FuBar is the friendliest bar in Jacksonville, hands down. Despite its small size, they have live music every night. Get there before it gets crowded and ask to see the First Annual "Miss FuBar" contest video -- it's a hoot. Buy a membership and you'll get a free drink and cool FuBar dogtags to show all your pals back home.
Sherwood Liquors Inc. (1105 San Marco Boulevard; 398-1142)
"Sherwood Liquors Inc." sounds more like the name of a package store than a bar; that should tip you off to the fact that they deal in bulk quantity. Just call it "Sherwood's" like everyone else does. In addition to its well-deserved reputation for stiff drinks, Sherwood's has beer, wine, pool tables, video games, and the delightful dark, smoky ambience savored by barflies everywhere. Expect big college-age crowds on the weekends.
Pete's Bar (117 1st Street, Neptune Beach; 249-9158)
The first Pete's Bar opened in Duval County after Prohibition's demise, and today it stands as the gold standard by which dive bars may be judged. Pete's offers eight 25-cent pool tables, war trophy guns patrons brought home from World War II, a starring role in a John Grisham novel, and a virtually unbroken record as "The Best Bar in Jacksonville," as voted by the readers of Folio Weekly. There's a place for everyone at Pete's, be they tattooed and pierced, young and beautiful, or grizzled veterans. Package sales available.
The London Bridge (100 East Adams Street; 359-0001)
London Bridge is a welcoming English-style pub located right near the heart of the Super Bowl action, and features a wide variety of domestic and imported beers, ales and ciders. Excellent pub fare is also served, so forget everything you thought you knew about British cooking. Local artists are showcased on the walls and stage.