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A-Z of Northeast Florida: B is for Beach Boulevard

Beach Blvd.
Beach Blvd.
Wkikpedia Commons

When I was a kid, traveling down Beach Boulevard almost always meant a good time. Some of the things that made this road special are still around; some are long gone. Let me take you down Memory Lane, or boulevard to be exact.
I lived near the intersection of Beach and University, so first we will head east from there.

1. McDonald’s. Now there is one on every corner, but not so back then. There was no indoor eating, so we either ate in the back of the car or at outdoor stone benches.
2. Denny’s – not a landmark or anything, but a gathering place for the youth from my church back in the 70s.
3. Patti’s Italian Restaurant – where I had my first taste of chicken parmigiana.
4. Putt-Putt Golf with the giant dinosaur. This is where I played, poorly, a lot of “golf” as a teenage and where I found my cat, Smokey. It was a miracle to me that my parent’s let me keep her. She rode home in the back of my friend’s VW Bug – I was not driving yet.
5. The Intracoastal Waterway, now fondly known as “The Ditch”. We knew when we got to the bridge we were ALMOST to the beach.
6. Driscoll’s – The place to go as a teenager, pretending to be older, and dance the night away.
7. Taco Lu – once a tiny joint, now moved into the Old Homestead, which serves fantastic fish tacos.
8. Adventure Landing – not from my childhood, but from the childhood of my kids. This is where Grandma and Papa would bring them.
9. The Old Homestead Restaurant – I’m sure others can do better justice than I can, but it had the best fried chicken EVER, served in an iron skillet.
10. The Boardwalk – a wondrous place of food, games, and floats to rent.

Now, we will go west from the Beach/University intersection.

1. Nichols Alley – this was THE PLACE to disco in the late 70s.
2. Frangi’s Restaurant – it was so cool to me because I knew Frankie.
3. Morrison’s Cafeteria – this one is long gone, but I remember a few occasions there with my family. We didn’t go out to eat much, so this was a treat.

I bet there are those out there who can add much to my list. Leave me a comment!

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