To get to know the flavor of Junkanoo on the Beach better we will feature a staff member or one of our regular customers sharing a little about themselves.
Shooting the Breeze with Junkanoo on the Beach’s Bartender, Jessica Nesbitt
Even though Southwest Florida is such a tourist destination, Junkanoo on the Beach retains its status as a great “locals” place to hang out. Yes, we get lots of vacationers coming to us during season, but even many of them are “regulars,” who come back to us year after year, when they come visit their second home. They love to come, and hang out at the bar or restaurant, and “shoot the breeze.”
Getting to know our customers is our staff’s favorite part of working at Junkanoo on the Beach, as you’re about to find out, and we are happy to have a chance to reciprocate here, by giving you some insight into who our staff members are, and even who some of our regular customers are, using this Q&A format. Feel free to ask us any questions you’d like to see answered in future posts! We’ll start off this series with one of our bartenders, Jessica Nesbitt, a favorite with many of the regulars!
Q: Are you a native Floridian? If not, where are you from and how long have you been here?
I grew up here. My parents moved here from Philadelphia, PA when I was just seven, so really I consider myself to be a native.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about living here in SWFL?
I love the weather here in SWFL . . . and I really love working at the beach. We always have a great view from the bar at Junkanoo on the Beach! Even stormy weather is beautiful at the beach. I love watching the lightning over the water on a stormy day.
Q: How long have you worked at Junkanoo on the Beach?
I’ve been working at Junkaoo on the Beach for almost three years this upcoming July.
Q: Tell me about some of the changes that have occurred while you’ve worked here.
We remodeled a couple of years ago and I love the new look of the bar area at Junkanoo on the Beach. We have a new bar top that’s beautiful, bright and beachy looking. And the bar area has more light now and is brighter and feels sunnier now. We also had some changes to our menu, and the new menu items are so delicious! I love the new Grouper Taco. You can order it fried or grilled, and it has a delicious chipotle aioli on it, along with salsa, cheddar jack, shredded cabbage, pico de gallo and sour cream.
Q: Do you have a favorite story, memory or anecdote about working here?
We have a lot of regulars here at Junkanoo on the Beach, and my favorite anecdote involves one of them. It’s so nice to have “buddies” at work. One of my favorite’s, Bob Elsner, knows how much I love gardening. Last year for Mother’s Day, he gave me this gorgeous Bougainvillea flowering bush to plant in my garden! It was such an awesome surprise from this customer who is so sweet!
Q: What’s your favorite dish at Junkanoo?
Junkanoo on the Beach has a really wonderful chef who is such a great cook. We are known for our pizza here, and it really is delicious . . . everyone loves it. One of my favorite dishes is a new one that was introduced a short time ago. It’s the Black & Bleu Flatbread. It has blackened steak and bleu cheese crumbles, arugula, caramelized onion, roasted red pepper, and mozzarella, and it’s topped with a balsamic glaze.
Q: Do you have a favorite cocktail as well?
I love the Junkanoo Drink, and so do most people actually. It’s such a beachy tropical drink and even comes in a glass that looks like a tiki. It has mango rum, coconut rum, Jumbie rum, pineapple rum, grenadine and a mix of tropical juices. It’s the perfect cocktail for the beach!
Q: What’s the best thing about working at Junkanoo on the Beach?
One of the best things about my job is getting to know new people! I love meeting new people, and learning about where they are from. I mean, people from different areas of the country even drink very different drinks and it’s always fun to learn about them. For example, recently, people visiting us from up North have been asking for a Bloody Beer or a Red Beer. I had never heard of it before, but it’s kind of like a Bloody Mary in that it’s tomato juice and beer!
My favorite thing about working at Junkanoo though is the experience of working with my co-workers. They are my friends and my family. Even the managers here treat us like family!