Pensacola, Florida
Saturday August 30th 2014

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The East Hill Yard: Bringing Simplicity to Dining

By Hana Frenette

New restaurants and bars have been popping up all over Pensacola in the past few years. The East Hill Yard is striving to offer a different kind of service than many patrons are used to.

“The Yard is from the ‘light service’ species of restaurant and is known mainly for its simplicity,” owner Josh Flores said.  “When a guest arrives, there are no table waits or table sections, as we don’t have table side service.”

When guests arrive they can decide where they’d like to sit, either outside in the yard or inside. The food menus and beer and wine selections are in the beverage room indoors. Most people find a seat and then make their way into the beverage room to order their food and drinks from someone behind the counter, where they can then take them wherever they’d like.

“During our slow times, our staff will make best efforts to run the food from the kitchen to the table; however, when we’re busy our kitchen will call out names of the order to be handed through an interior window that connects the kitchen and indoor dining room,” Flores said.

You are in charge of your own dining destiny when at the Yard.

Flores was eating at a place with a similar dynamic in New Orleans, called Bacchanal Wines and immediately thought that he’d love to own or run a business in the same manner.

“I found the style of dining to be quite unique, less rushed, and overall enjoyable,” Flores said. “Although I live around the corner, I did not place the actual location until months after I fell in love with the business plan.”

And then came time to dream up the menu. The Yard currently collaborates on all its menu and kitchen items with Dannon and Joanna English, former owners of Sabor Tamales on Ninth Avenue.

“Although we have a vision of offering a constant variety, our popular items so far consist of fresh gourmet tacos, tamales and other South American items,” Flores said. “We also have five different styles of 100 percent angus big bun hot dogs, unique hot sandwiches and a vegan option for almost everything on the menu.”

Flores says the menu isn’t even close to being finished and that they are still testing out new things with everyone.

Their bar is still growing as well. The Yard has a great selection of wines and also keeps 24 different craft beer options in stock, including a couple choices from Pensacola Bay Brewery.

There’s also a small handmade stage outside, next to rows of different colored vintage lawn chairs and string lights. Several musicians and bands have already played on the stage and Flores said he hopes to make live entertainment consistently available.

“We just want to make it beneficial for the performers along with paying the bills,” Flores said.

The Yard is relaxed and all its unique aspects make it an enjoyable place to eat, drink, or just hang out. And maybe one day, they’ll have a pet sloth.

“Not a day goes by without the constant flow of new ideas and how we can make them happen,” Flores said. “Also, we love sloths and would like to own one—if that’s legal. “

We’ll keep checking back, just in case.

THE EAST HILL YARD
WHERE: 1010 N. 12th Ave. #111
HOURS: Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Closed Monday.
PHONE: 696-2663
DETAILS: facebook.com/easthillyard