J.R.’s Old Packinghouse Cafe: Where Old Florida is Alive and Kickin’

by | Feb 26, 2011 | Culture, Florida, Laurel Park Management

{photo source}

So, this week’s post is a bit of an aberration, as we are not only giving a direct plug for a restaurant, but one that isn’t even especially close to Laurel Park. However, Laurel Park Management and J.R.’s Old Packinghouse Cafe do have something in common—a love of old Florida and a belief that the best of ol’ cracker life can coexist just fine with the modern city. Walk around Laurel Park and you’ll see people happily living in traditional bungalows only a stone’s throw from Main Street. Step into the Old Packinghouse Cafe and you’ll find a diverse crowd enjoying the traditional digs, honest food, and good music a stone’s throw from highway 75.

Known for good food, cold beer and live entertainment; it was used for packing locally cultivated celery beginning in the 1920’s. South of the Border offerings complement sumptuous southern dinners. A large variety of sandwiches are available, some prepared with “jerk”, a semi-mild Jamaican spice. And don’t forget to try the home made desserts, especially the bread pudding and key lime pie.

Celery can still be found here in the “Celery Plate with Dip” as can a bevy of other tasty menu items prepared fresh daily. Locals like the down-to-earth atmosphere of antiques and old photos, but it’s mainly the food they come for. Some favorites include: Black Beans and Rice, Cuban Sandwiches and Grouper Filet. Owner J.R., has been in the restaurant business for 25 years. He invites you to come out, enjoy a good meal at a fair price and have some fun. Six nights a week there is live music.”

The Old Packinghouse Cafe is located at 987 South Packinghouse Drive in Sarasota. You can reach them by calling (941) 371-9358 or checking out oldpackinghousecafe.com