Traveling a lot I always find myself in the most interesting places, unique situations, and awkward positions. This is going to be one of those days and one of those stories. This is the day I was introduced to Shanty Town Pub.
Walking around Springfield, a small eclectic neighborhood just north of Downtown Jacksonville, I was met by a hipster on a bike asking me, “what you up to?” It just so happened on this day I was doing some research on the many murals that are located in the area. A mission of discovery and enlightenment. My assignment was to just get a few images of the murals, discover a few new ones, and then be done for the day.
No sooner than I explained what I was up to, I was then abruptly asked if I liked cheap, cold beer. My answer was an immediate yes. Keep in mind that it was about 1,000 degrees outside in the sun and I was looking for anything cold, including an A/C and a drink. The next thing out of said hipsters mouth was, “you have to come with me bro, I have a something you gotta see….”
Who could say no to that offer? I knew the adventure was just getting started but, what I didn’t know was if it would be an interesting place, a unique situation, an awkward position or all of the above.
Together hipster and I walked a few blocks and the next thing l knew I was there. A magical place, a place that somehow I had been transported to without a clear understanding of what,when, and where. At first sight I was a bit perplexed by what I saw. Think a dive bar that slammed head-on into a drunken mural painter. A type of graffiti nirvana one could expect to happen when a donkey and a unicorn make a love child. This is what now appeared before my eyes…..
Do you remember the moment when you traded your old tv for a brand new hi-def flat screen with whatever Dolby surround sound version we are up to today? It’s kind of the same thing but…. a hi-def tv with low lighting, smoke wafting through the air, and stories of bank robberies and high-speed getaways. And that’s only for starters.
There are shanties in the back yard!!!
If the definition of a dive bar is true, then Shanty Town Pub would be the picture next to the definition. The catch to this place is how special it is, how it makes your feel, how it’s like an abstract painting, a conundrum, a complete oxymoron in and of itself but, someone has added a little something special to the sauce here, a je ne sais quoi of sorts. Oh but it only gets better. This dive bar has a twist and wifi…. and by twist I mean some of the most fantastic art and design that one can image. Mix all of this with the Nunchux Food truck on blocks and graffitied picnic tables in the backyard, and we have sensory liftoff.