The aroma of expertly grilled meats and seafood fills the smoke-friendly Monkey's Uncle Tavern, opened by Carter Guillen in 1985 after spending two decades working in bars and restaurants. Barkeeps dispense draft beers, wines, and cocktails from behind a rectangular bar, a shape that, according to The Florida Times-Union, "forces eye contact among patrons, which tends to make people act more neighborly — sitting there, you feel you know what 'Cheers' might have been like."
Along with culinary treats, Carter crams the tavern's interior with a plentitude of games, including pool tables and dartboards, or rounds of team trivia and bar bingo. In between bouts, a dance floor and award-winning karaoke summon grooves and croons from music fans and ambitious robins. Servers flit platters of fresh shrimp and buffalo wings to up to 70 guests inhaling fresh air on the outdoor patio, while an adjacent liquor store, Monkey's Uncle Liquors, stocks domestic and imported booze, beer, and wine for at-home libations.
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