#50 of 131 Pensacola Beach Restaurants

The Kennedy

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The Kennedy - A Mix of Historical Nostalgia and Modern Cocktails
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

The Kennedy was built, in part, as a tribute to the bars of the 1960s. However, the menu has been updated for modern bar hoppers who want a little more creativity in their lives. Stop by for a craft cocktail, a shareable snack, or a heavenly dessert. 

- The FloridaPanhandle.com Local Expert Team

The Kennedy is a bar that simply conveys class. The atmosphere, cocktails, and even the menu are all designed to make you feel like they’ve stumbled into another era. A passion project of the owner, the bar prides itself on merging the old with the new. Modeled off the popular establishments of the 1960s but serving cocktails that are a touch more modern, you can expect nothing more than a night on the town when you’re here. The 1,500 sq. ft bar features leather banquette seating with gold accents everywhere you look. 

If you’re looking for a classic drink, like a Manhattan or a gin-and-tonic, then you won’t be disappointed. The bartenders here pay homage by perfecting all those drinks that have withstood the test of time. Their endurance is a testament to their taste, and The Kennedy benefits from decades of historical experimentation. But if you want something a little more daring, then there are plenty of creative cocktails that mix things up a little. Just up to the serpentine bar-top and pick your poison. 

And if you find yourself getting a little peckish after a round of cocktails, then there are plenty of bar bites to be had. Made from local ingredients and meant to be enjoyed alongside one of the bar’s inventive cocktails, try a Gourmet Pressed Cheese sandwich next to a gin martini or a glass of hearty red wine with the flourless chocolate cake. 

If you’re at The Kennedy, here are a few favorites:

The First Lady 
While Pensacola may be a hot city, its nights can certainly get a little chilly. The First Lady is made with lemon ginger tea, and it’s guaranteed to leave you feeling cozy at first sip. The vodka, lime, mint, and candied ginger all round out this refreshing drink. And if you happen to want this one on a warm summer night, you’re free to order it chilled too.

Carnival Punch by the Pineapple
We recommend this one for the sheer production value of it. Presented in a cored pineapple, this serious drink is enough for two people and loaded with all the good stuff. Overproof rum, lime, sugar, and (of course) muddled pineapple, this drink is the perfect way to celebrate your vacation with a taste of the tropics. 

Sometimes when you’re drinking, nothing but bar snacks will do. But instead of going for peanuts this time around, try the house-made beef jerky. The combination of salty and spicy is guaranteed to pair well with anything from a beer to a French 75. 

Elvis Bread Pudding 
Elvis may not have been born in Pensacola, but his legacy lives on in this dessert made of chocolate, bananas, peanut butter, and caramel. If you’ve already had dinner at one of the many famed restaurants in the city, try the bread pudding and an old-fashioned as the perfect nightcap.

The Kennedy may not be for everyone, but it’s a step back into the Manhattan-style bars that have been immortalized for their glamour and historical connotations. If you’re looking for a bar that’s a step away from our smartphone-filled days, this is a great place to reconnect with a different time without feeling like you’ve entirely abandoned the modern world. 

Insider Tips:
– The Kennedy and The Old Hickory Whisky Bar are both in Pensacola and both owned by the same person. 
– This place tends to get loud, so you may not want to drop by for in-depth conversation. 
– There’s a calendar on their website that lists the bar’s special events, so you may want to check before you go.