IF you are in the Jacksonville area, and IF you have your own transportation and can get there (Because it is a bit of a haul if you are staying down town) be sure to visit Clark's!
From the outside, you would swear there is NO WAY ON EARTH that this could be a viable eating establishment, it looks like an over grown and added on to chicken shack sitting there at the edge of Julington Creek....one good strong wind should push it right off its moorings and into the water it would go!
In fact, it looked extra uninhabital this visit due to the construction and excavation....seems the bathrooms always flooded and alligators would be found swimming around on the water covered floor!
So for our convenience, since the bathrooms were closed, there was a porta-potty-trailer just outside, if you should happen to need one!
It started out as a simple bait & tackle shop. I'm not sure when they started to serve food there, and I am doubly unsure of when it came to be the retirement home for copious amounts of really weird taxidermy, but there you have it!
Everywhere you turn, there are animals and birds and reptiles of all varieties staring back at you from behind their glassy eyed expressions. In other words, it's a ZOO in there, and it's not just due to the mobs of people that frequent the place. It's everywhere!
This blurb is from the website:
"Rumored to be one of the largest privately owned collections of taxidermy in the country, Clark's menagerie of preserved animals includes lions, tigers, monkeys, bears, giraffes, deer, bobcats, and a flock of birds that gaze eerily at guests in the bar area and dining rooms."
Weird or not, it is just plain fun! And the food is great. I ended up with the stuffed flounder florentine, which had spinach and scallops as the stuffing...it was baked, not fried, so delicious!
And these are some of the lookers-on while we dined!
This guy was just hanging around and chillaxing.....
Don't you think this is extremely weird? Musk Oxen and Lions together? Add Christmas lights, and some how it is "ambiance" !
I just know this guy had his eye on my hushpuppies!
I'm not sure how the taxidermy collection started. I don't know where they all came from. It's sad and it's beautiful all at the same time? I'm not sure how to describe it.
It's a very very interesting place! If you have a chance...go! It's a Jacksonville Tradition for me!
These pics were taken by Marcia's hubby, Lou!
He caught me trying to duck out of the way from his camera, but he got me anyway!
A view from outside...yes there are gators, and turtles and other marine life right there in the water!
Even with the cloudy skies predicting rain, it was a gorgeous Jacksonville Friday evening!
My special thanks to Marcia and Lou for making sure that my one request of a return visit to Clark's HAPPENED! It was a great show, and this was the perfect end to a perfect visit!