Walking up to the entrance of the Red Bar in Grayton Beach, Florida you are greeted by a four armed elephant painted on the door in the glow of red lanterns. Sounds weird? Well, it would be if it didn’t absolutely set the tone for what is inside. This is the kind of place tourists make it a point to come to, not just for the food, or the music, but also because it bounces with personality in the most hip 1970’s kind of way.
The Red Bar is one of the most famous bar in the Florida Panhandle, located about 15 miles east of SanDestin off HWY 30A. If you are traveling through, it is a must-stop! Though the decades old wooden tavern has flooded multiple times through the years due to its beachfront location, all that destruction just seems to add more character. Funky paint is added where things are falling apart and the beat goes on. History is definitely steep and so is the vibe.
Once inside, the Red Bar doesn’t have a single light that isn’t red (thus the name.) The dungeon-like darkness glowing with a soft burgundy hue is a perfect retreat to the blinding sun off the shore. It is not only cool in temperature…but truly makes anyone feel cool just being there with its eclectic décor.
The decorations of times past cover the walls and ceiling; old photos, old street signs, and band posters or pictures exude old rock with beachy flair. Of course, this entire ambiance is scattered with red lights everywhere in the form of chandeliers, lanterns, antique lamps and Christmas lights. A feast for the eyes for sure – isn’t the only feast to be had.
Though the burgers are juicy, fat and perfectly grilled, the Red Bar seafood is the more common order. Everything from famous tuna salad to crawfish and shrimp delights the taste buds. The menu is simple but the food is fresh out of the water and will not disappoint lunch or dinner (and now breakfast!) Best of all, it won’t break the bank if you bring the family. Lunch items range from 3.50 – 12.50 and dinner isn’t over the top either; simply reasonable, good food. They accept cash and check only, but there is an ATM on site…right by the bar.
Last, but certainly not least, the live Jazz bands can be heard for blocks and absolutely rock out. Red Bar hosts the best local bands that will have you humming and feeling like you are where the action is. Make no mistake, you will be entertained. You will love the food and once you visit…you will come back!