When I heard a rumor that Jubilee was reopening on Pensacola Beach, I actually squealed. I say often that I “grew up on the barstools of Jubilee” – which for years was known as the absolute best restaurant on the entire island. So many of my childhood memories involve jumping in our boat to head to the Quietwater Boardwalk to spend the day having fun in the sun at Jubilee. We would literally spend all day there – having lunch and then dinner before heading home.
Jubilee Oyster Bar & Grille is a celebration of great taste, good friends, and incredible fun. Indulge yourself with our tasty soups, salads, sandwiches, baskets, and of course, the best fresh seafood on the island. Celebrate indoors or enjoy our outdoor waterfront dining. So whether you are in the mood for raw, baked or chargrilled oysters, fresh seafood baskets and entrees, burgers or salads… Jubilee Oyster Bar & Grille is THE BEST BITE ON THE BEACH! Coastal casual waterfront dining on Pensacola Beach.
Back then there was an “Upstairs Jubilee” and a “Downstairs Jubilee.” “Downstairs Jubilee” was a laid back oyster bar where you would see people in shorts and flip flops and occasionally a bathing suit. “Upstairs Jubilee” was much more upscale and their waiters and waitresses actually served in tuxedo jackets and gloves. I remember what a treat it was when I got to dress up and go to “Upstairs Jubilee” as a little girl. As I got older, “Upstairs Jubilee” became a favorite for dates, girls night out, and even before Prom. So many amazing memories happened at Jubilee. When they closed their doors not long after Hurricane Ivan, it was a sad time for everyone.
Mike asked me to go to lunch on opening day last week – and he didn’t have to ask me twice. I jumped at the chance to go check it out. Like every restaurant opening they were running a little bit behind – but honestly it was because the owners wanted to make sure everything was absolutely perfect – as it should be. This was a big deal. Opening a restaurant that was so well known and so well loved – ten years after it closed – was quite a bit of pressure. We said we would wait and headed over to the “little bar” of Capt’n Funs for a drink. The new Jubilee is located inside of the main bar of Capt’n Funs which they have converted to be a restaurant by day, but the same nightlife you know and love from Capt’n Funs by night – just like it used to be. Before long the doors opened and we were officially the second table at the brand new Jubilee.
One of the owners – Tom Carmichael – came by to welcome us to the new restaurant. I was so happy to see that Tom was still there. I remembered him as a little girl being one of the “head guys” there – but of course as a child I wasn’t sure what his official title was. It was great to see so much of the same favorites that I remembered from my childhood – it was like stepping back in time.
The “new” Jubilee has perfectly blended “upstairs” and “downstairs” in one location. The feel is very much “downstairs Jubilee” with music playing and sports on the television, but the menu has everything from poboys to grouper chardonnay. Mike and I were starving so we started with the spinach dip and then he ordered a grilled grouper sandwich while I went for the crawfish stuffed flounder.
Everything was absolutely delicious. We nearly licked the spinach dip skillet clean – the little crunch of the toasted parmesan on top was amazing. I could not believe how many crawfish came in my flounder – and I happily gobbled down every one of them. Even Mike – who is not a big fan of seafood – really enjoyed his grouper sandwich because it did not tasty fishy at all. I do have to warn you – the stuffed flounder does still have little bones in it – this is true fresh flounder – not just a little filet like some other restaurants serve. This is a nice generous portion of flaky deliciousness. You can check out the full menu on their website – jubileepensacolabeach.com – and be sure to like them on Facebook for news and events on the beach.
It warmed my heart to see that a place that was so important to me growing up has reopened its doors. Kudos to Tom and all of the new owners as well as the great kitchen and wait staff who were perfect – even from the first few moments of the doors opening. I can not wait to go back and take my girls there, so they can have memories like I do of the best restaurant on Pensacola Beach.