Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Village Saloon Leading a Leisurely Life at 30

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Village Saloon Leading a Leisurely Life at 30

Article excerpt

Byline: Laura Capitano

ORANGE PARK -- My Weekend column research is most thrilling when the "happening" is a total unknown for me. Last Friday, I rode out to the Village Saloon, a place I'd never heard of prior to one of the owners alerting me to the bar's 30th anniversary Tuesday.

Curious about a place that's been on Northeast Florida's leisure map for so long, I had to check out the Saloon scene.

Jim Vincent opened the lounge and package store back in the '70s, and since he passed away in May, his wife, Lucy, and sons Tyler and Cody have carried on the family business.

From the outside, a mighty fortress is the Village Saloon. The brick walls stand strong, uninterrupted by windows. Though there are playful swinging doors on the sign outside, a heavy industrial door actually leads into the Saloon. After one more wish that the Villagers on the other side would be peaceful, I stepped through the door.

I was delighted to be met with comfortable lighting, a warm reception from the staff and a drink served in the largest rocks glass I'd ever held. It was nearly a two-hander.

The U-shaped bar is a comfortable place to lounge. Some serious cushioning rims the whole bar at just the right height for resting the forearms.

There's plenty of scenery at the bar, too: three decades' worth of old license plates, many personalized street signs bearing amusing road names or funny statements and some great beer lights. The Coors neon sign in the shape of one of those keyboard-guitar instruments (keytar) was a new encounter for me.

The most impressive wall decor was the arrangements of small red plaques displaying the names of the Saloon's He-Man drinking club members (ladies are welcome to join, too). Tyler Vincent told me the club has grown to 825 members, not that there are any particular requirements to join. …

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