The Sun-Ray Cinema at 5 Points, formerly known as Riverside Theater and 5 Points Theatre, is a historic single-screen movie theater in the Riverside section of Jacksonville. Originally opened in 1927, the large room was specifically designed to accommodate live theater as well, in the event that talking movies didn’t take off as expected. Over the years, the theater was opened and closed numerous times as a performance center, a night club and general cinema house, until the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission approved it as a Jacksonville landmark and remodeled the space several years ago. Colorful murals give vibrancy to the updated space, while comfortable seating and long wooden tables in front of each row act as wonderfully modern touches, allowing each guest to set down food and drinks easily. P, pulled pork sandwiches and a host of not-seen-everywhere snacks make for a unique experience inside.
Located on Jacksonville’s south side, The Comedy Zone has been hosting some of the nation’s finest standup comedians for decades. Tucked away inside the Ramada Conference Center and Hotel, the Comedy Zone is a quaint, dim, charming nightclub venue filled with cozy tables and chairs. The thick carpet underfoot cushions the space further and keeps noisy shoes and squeaky chairs to a minimum. The small, gleaming wood stage is back-dropped by a large brick wall, reminiscent of so many other famous comedy clubs. Over the years, the stage has played host to a variety of national touring comedians and lots of local Florida talent. A full bar and a variety of burgers, sandwiches and appetizers are available to order, and can count toward the room’s industry-standard one drink or item minimum. Of course, that means comedy fans must be at least 21 years of age to enter the Zone.
Jacks or Better Casino explores the waters stretching from the Mayport area down the coast. The boat stretches 155 feet from stem to sternum and contains a whale-sized supply of Vegas-style casino gaming. Deft dealers engage lucky streaks on a variety of table games, from blackjack and roulette to traditional poker, video poker, and fireplace poker. With visions of cherries and triple-bars dancing in their heads, slots fanatics sidle up to dual-screen Modern Gaming slots such as Four Leaf Fortunes and Jackpot Galaxy. Jacks or Better's slots paid out jackpots totaling $3 million in 2011. Special events and attractions include a craps tutorial with limits ranging from $5 to $1,000, ensuring comfortable stakes for anyone, from the novice dice slinger to the local Yahtzee grandmaster.
Exposed-brick walls bearing dartboards, colorful paintings, and flat-screen televisions anchor Dog Star Tavern's rustic, playful character. Bartenders stand behind a glossy bar top, filling shakers with selections from 50 rums and 25 vodkas and washing aged scotch over ice cubes. Frosty mugs fill with 16 draft beers, ideal for sipping on hot nights in the beer garden or after dancing up a sweat to live music Thursday?Saturday.:
At their studio in historic Riverside, the artists of Old School Electric Tattoos adorn bodies with both ink and piercings. Helmed by a master tattooist, body-art professionals possess experience in an array of styles, such as East Coast, West Coast, portraits, and illustrations. They also apply their experience in custom designs, helping guests develop original images or dynamic renderings of their social security number. Beside the tattoo team, piercers work under the direction of several master practitioners who studied with renowned body-modification artists such as Fakir Musafar and Steve Haworth. Each member of Old School Electric Tattoos' staff complies with certified sterilization standards and biohazard practices.
The Salty Fig has been renamed the Blind Fig to sync with its sister gastropub The Blind Rabbit, but it maintains the same Southern-inspired cooking that has made its name well-known to those in Jacksonville. This Avondale eatery is full of gourmet turns on simple recipes, while the lavish dining area further sets the mood thanks to deep booths, dark wood trim and a rustic tin ceiling. The cavernous, funky space is mood-lit for soft, glowing evenings out over plates of shrimp and grits or flatiron steak. Beer-battered fish sliders and a pork belly and oyster sandwich serve the simple gastro side of the menu, while drinks like the Fig Manhattan, touched with fig-infused Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Averna Amaro and housemade rhubarb bitters, keep the pub motif going.