Baby Boomer nostalgia seems to be fueling a lot of modern leisure and entertainment, especially in South Florida, but there are some things that can’t be brought back.
Like Double Roads, the area along the ocean north of Marcinski Road in Juno Beach. That’s where teens, many of whom are now in the Boomer age bracket, once congregated from the 1960s through the 1980s. There were evening bonfires on the beach, musical listening sessions, and various activities during that era, both in the sand and parked cars, that are no longer tolerated or ignored by local authorities.
Double Roads Tavern, on the other hand, returned to bring back a bit of such namesake nostalgia and beyond. Husband-and-wife co-owners Vince and Kelly Flora initially opened the club in 2014 at 251 U.S. 1 in Jupiter, where it became a mainstay restaurant and live music destination until a series of complications led to its closure in 2021.
That closure practically became temporary for the sake of a new-and-improved makeover. Less than two years later, Double Roads reopens at 5 p.m. on January 19 as more of a variety restaurant and club that’s literally a stone’s throw to the north — at the old Outback Steakhouse location in the Jupiter Square plaza at the corner of U.S.1 and Indiantown Road.
“I had a seven-year lease at the old location and decided not to renew,” Vince Flora says. “After COVID hit, it was just a bad mix of the politics and legalities of trying to present live music outdoors. Especially the noise ordinance, where one person can complain from anywhere and create a problem. I have a 10-year lease here, and the space to implement all the ideas I didn’t have room for there, where I had about 2,700 square feet. Here, it’s almost 7,000, and with better parking.”
Flora knows what type of club he wants to present, because he’s primarily performed as a vocalist and harmonica player in ones that weren’t up to snuff. His past area blues/rock vehicles included The Hellhounds and Night Train; his current act, Big Vince and the Phat Cats, will continue the tradition of appearing occasionally at the new Double Roads.
Other traditions that will continue include a stylish, music-themed interior that includes instruments on the walls and even on the ceiling, a full-liquor bar, quality wines, and music-themed craft beers. There’s an array of vintage LP covers on display, with the albums inside, that get put to use on the club’s Tuesday “33 1/3 Nights,” and Sundays will again be reserved for jazz, with a brunch early and a jam afterward.
A new menu will feature Southern-style barbecue, seafood and burgers, plus pizzas from a separate wood-fired oven that will also be available as to-go orders, all with a Florida flair from the club’s expansive kitchen.
“I always wanted to serve quality barbecue,” Flora says. “There’ll be brisket, pulled pork sandwiches, mac and cheese, collard greens, pickled foods, homemade bread from our pizza oven, and smoked shrimp, salmon, and fish dip. We just catered a wedding out in Jupiter Farms for 200 people.”
A green room adjacent to the main stage on the north wall will be available for private VIP lounge party rentals for six to eight people for $200. Additional LPs, instruments (some autographed), musical accessories, T-shirts and more will be for sale from a booth near the front doors, with 30 percent of the sales going toward the health insurance program Flora has set up for his employees.
And songwriting superstar Bob Dylan’s signature line of libation co-creations, Heaven’s Door Whiskey, will be among the bourbons and other liquors available.
“We wanted to create a collection of American whiskeys that, in their own way, tell a story,” says Dylan, who certainly knows a little bit about such artistry, on his website.
There’s even a private 1920s-style, sound-proofed Heaven’s Door speakeasy, with a separate entrance accessible only through a thumb print on the club’s south end. It features Dylan’s own welded iron metal gate sculptures, an additional bar, and a staging area for smaller live music acts.
“It’s a Prohibition-era room with a jazz and blues theme,” says Flora. “This is a membership club priced at $1,500 per year. For that, you get an elevated level of service, with craft cocktail bartenders and a special food menu, and the room will be event-driven for things like football games, happy hours, and corporate meetings. Chris Blackwell, from Island Records and Blackwell Rum, will be doing a James Bond night where we serve rum and show Bond films.”
Anyone interested in membership can contact Double Roads by emailing email@example.com. Much of the club’s additional square footage is taken up by the speakeasy and kitchen, with the main room comparable to the entirety of the previous location. As always, that’s where the Floras will continue to serve drinks, food and music seven nights per week, so patrons can expect blues, rock, jazz, country, bluegrass and rockabilly acts on additional themed nights like “Blues, Bourbon & Brisket” Thursdays. Seating at individual tables near the stage and dance floor, and at long community tables in the center of the room, can be reserved in advance online.
“Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights will be $10 to reserve a seat,” Flora says. “Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday prices will vary, based on the band, from $10 to $25, and there’ll be a $25 minimum at all seats. We’ll have local and national touring acts. Clients can refer to our website and subscribe to our mailing list to get weekly updates. We’re opening just after New Year’s, with no firm date yet.”
The club’s main stage is emblazoned with and sponsored by Santo Tequila, the new joint business venture between solo artist and former Van Halen front man Sammy Hagar and the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives TV host Guy Fieri. Such acquaintances have Flora thinking beyond Jupiter.
“Sammy and Guy are going to help us buy entertainment and promote the club,” he says. “Our goal is to open up five or six units like this, so touring acts can book mini-tours and loop through them. I’m looking at locations in Lake Worth Beach, Pompano Beach, southern Fort Lauderdale, Naples, Tampa, Sarasota, Sebastian, and St. Augustine.”
If You Go
See the Jake Walden Band from 6-8:30 p.m., and the Chris O’Leary Band 9:30 p.m.-1 a.m. on the opening night of January 19; multi-instrumentalist Tom Regis & Friends host the “Jazz Brunch” noon-3 p.m. and a jazz jam from 5-9 p.m. on Sundays; guitarist/vocalist Frank Bang host Chicago blues jam sessions from 7-11 p.m. on Mondays, and The North 40 perform 7:30-11:30 p.m. on “Western Whisky Wednesdays” at Double Roads,103 U.S. 1, Suite A1, Jupiter. Info: 561-203-7061, doubleroadstavern.com.