Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

The Good Times Flow at New Martini Bar

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

The Good Times Flow at New Martini Bar

Article excerpt

Byline: Laura Capitano

ORANGE PARK - Ooh, you lucky Fleming Islanders with your spiffy, new Green Olive Martini Bar! It is a bit tucked away out there off County Road 220. Look for the glass block towers that bring a hint of Art Deco to the Olive's facade.

Green Olive owner Anita Jones opened her doors on Valentine's Day. It's her first solo business venture after a lifetime of working in the hospitality industry, and her experience shows at the smooth-running Olive.

Often, particularly at places with a fancy drink menu that I can't narrow down, I'll ask the barkeep to surprise me. Some drink-slingers reply with a stammer and a stare. A good one, as I had at the Green Olive, asks for my flavor preference (slightly fruity, please!) and pours a beautiful and delicious cocktail. My friend and I were wild about our Undercurrent, which featured a green and purple tie-dyed effect. Bravo.

The bar pulls a crowd in the 30 to 50 age range and has a mildly upscale dress code (no ball caps, tank tops, etc.). But the doorman won't turn first-timer offenders away; instead, he'll inform them not to repeat the outfit next time.

The Green Olive features a good set-up for guest comfort. The stage, DJ booth and dance floor are sectioned off by a blue-lit, curved glass wall, and a bench runs along the side of the wall facing all the moving and grooving. A handful of tables and chairs are set up along the bench, and that's the most action-packed place to sit. The Friday night DJ didn't fear variety as he entertained, calling upon disco, '80s, light hip-hop and progressive house selections.

And yes, Virginia, there is a disco ball.

All the seats are good ones, and you can see the stage from anywhere in the place: the L-shaped main bar, the baby bar in the opposite corner and all the glittery high-top tables surrounding the two, where cocktails servers circle with their light-up drink trays. …

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