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Thursday April 24th 2014

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My Pensacola—Kelly Blackwell

Kelly Blackwell
Day Job: Communications Coordinator at UWF from 9-5, Bad Ass Around Town 24/7
Pensacola Resident Since: 1993

Good Eats:
The Elbow Room Phread and Lisa host this unique Pensacola landmark. Along with ice cold Schlitz and amazing pizza, you’ll find nostalgic décor, a variety of games, a “real” jukebox, easy conversation and plenty of red–truly a locals spot. P.S. The napkins smell like Cheer (I’m not kidding), so cleverly apropos.

MP Grille Marcus Point Grille, located at the Marcus Point Golf Club, is not just for residents! The amazing Chef Chris Kelly is open for lunch and Friday dinners. Stop in and try some of his culinary treats–the fare is often Southern/Italian fusion, and the wine and beer menu are exceptional.

Retail Therapy:
Bailey’s Farmer’s Market I know it may seem odd to put a farmer’s market in this category, but it really does the mind and body good! Nothing beats buying perfectly picked produce, supporting local businesses and putting it all together so you can invite your closest friends over for a yummy feast/food fight!

Watering Holes:
Sir Richard’s Bar and Lounge aka “Sir Dick’s” Amy Joelene will pour you the best whiskey you ever had! Yes, it’s smoky, but Patrick Jennings and karaoke night make up for it—you’re liable to have your face rocked off! For the rest of us with stage fright, pool, darts and Silver Strike are located in the back.

The Handlebar The service is adequate, the shows are mediocre, and the beer selection is minimal. Why is it one of my top picks? It reminds me of my youth. Snotty, pseudo-punk-rock kids and hipsters abound. It’s the perfect environment to don your “I know more about (insert sub-genre here) music than you ever will” threads.

Nightlife:
Everyone is aware of Ladies’ Night at The Fish House, but have you ever been to Awesome Mondays at 5 1/2? Great drink specials, giveaways, awesome art by Evan Levin, music by Brooks Hubbert, drinks by Patrick Bolster and Chris Brown. Enough said.

The Wine Bar on Palafox: What’s not to love? Great selection of wine and food at affordable prices—
Maricarmen Josephs runs a great place! I put it in my “nightlife” choices because it’s smack dab in the middle of Play, Hopjacks and Vinyl, so the people watching is always fab!

Arts & Culture:
The Great Gulf Coast Arts Festival It comes at the perfect time of year–the first week of November. You can actually enjoy this festival without melting in the process, and Seville Square is a work of art itself. Last year, I bought one of my favorite pieces to date. I do a lot of Christmas shopping during this festival.

Never Miss Events/Festivals:
The Get Down It’s Sunday Funday presented by Matt Rod. GD is full of music, friends, drinks and sunshine. Our best local DJs–Mr. Lao, Megan Davis and RamZ (to name a few) spin whatever they want as opposed to what you always hear at the clubs. It’s always a great time!

5 ½ Bar, 5 E. Garden St.
Bailey’s Farmer’s Market, 4301 N. Davis Highway
Elbow Room, 2213 W. Cervantes St.
Great Gulf Coast Arts Festival, ggaf.org
The Handlebar, 319 N. Tarragona St., handlebarpensacola.com
Hopjacks Pizza Kitchen & Taproom, 10 S. Palafox, hopjacks.com
MP Grille, 2500 Oak Pointe Drive, golfmarcuspointe.com
Play, 16 S. Palafox, Suite 200, iplaypensacola.com
Sir Richard’s, 2719 E. Cervantes St.
The Wine Bar, 16 S. Palafox, Suite 100, chanswine.com