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Pensacola Is For Hipsters

Sluggo's facebook page

Last month the website PolicyMic posted an article entitled "If you Can't Stand Hipsters, These 11 Cities Are For You." Ostensibly this is a mashup of data about toughness from crime rates to professional athletes and blue collar workers- and Pensacola ranked #1.

While I salute our ranking based on honored military service and exemplary athletes I would like to also offer a counterpoint of 11 ways that Pensacola is ideal for hipsters: and why we need them.

  1. As Troy Moon pointed out in the PNJ: Sluggo's. 'Nuff said.
    This vegan eatery, bar, and scruffy music venue was cool before this generation of hipsters was even born. Through evolution of its menu and reincarnating in several different locations Sluggo's has remained relevant as a touchstone of Pensacola's niche counter culture. Plus: Paul the P Funk Fresh, rap night, and friendship tabs.
    End Of The Line Vegan Cafe also pulls weight here and vegan or not you should try brunch or Thursday night dinner there.
  2. Palafox & Gregory
    Nestled in this intersection is the hip mid-century Sole Inn & Suites, Revolver Records, Bikes Plus Cycle Shop, and Pensacola Hardware. I think those all speak for themselves. If you're not sure about Pensacola Hardware go in the back and buy a Coke for 50¢ then drink it while considering that the place has been around for 163 years.
  3. Pensacola's coffee culture (closely related to hipster culture) is growing.
    With Constant Coffee and Bodacious Brew joining The Leisure Club as artisanal coffee shops featuring carefully sourced and prepared beans and tea, fans of coffee shop culture have lots of places to get their fix. Throwing Bad Ass Coffee, My Favorite Things, Bagelheads, and Drowsy Poet in the mix makes our independent coffee shops far outnumber the corporate ones.
    Credit The Leisure Club
    Matt Barnhill, barista and manager at The Leisure Club.
  4. City Grocery, Apple Market, O'Zones & The East Hill Yard
    This quartet of eateries (and wineries) combine authentic no-fuss food with a surprisingly good selection of drink. Seeing smoke pouring out of the grill at City Grocery makes my car stop of its own volition. Bonus: Wine tastings and pH balanced Icelandic water alongside the craft beers, sodas, and every flavor of Arizona tea.

    Apple Market's deli is legendary; add the locally sourced produce and other products they carry plus a sushi bar and this is the pit stop to hitting more birds with fewer stones.

    The East Hill Yard is a newbie but it has taken up residence alongside pizzeria O'Zones at the Old Sacred Heart Hospital in East Hill. While Ozone's has that gritty ambience and beer selection hipsters crave The Yard thrives on beautiful weather, delicious authentic Latin food, and a reliable lineup of local musicians.

  5. Blue Dot, Jerry's Drive In, The Elbow Room & The Coffee Cup

    Credit The Elbow Room

    These restaurants are the kind of place Macklemore is talking about when he says he wants to steal your grandpa's style. Your grandpa probably still goes to them, in fact. Because they are awesome.

  6. Palafox Market
    As a bellwether for a nascent locavore movement, the Palafox Market bodes well. Three blocks of artisanal foods and fresh local produce enliven Palafox street each Saturday morning so hop on your bike (the cruiser with a basket) and come on down.
  7. The Handlebar
     This divey music venue, pool hall, and bar appeals to that set of scenesters who enjoy the ambience of sticky floors, neon lights (ironic or not), and plenty of PBR and American Spirits. It helps that they frequently get talented up-and-comers performing. Bonus: Jukebox.
  8. Gulf Breeze Cinema 4
    If you want to get away from the cinema megaplex than this little theater is for you. Grab your (not grossly overpriced) popcorn and soda and check out the latest indie films or second round release. For even more of a throwback the Pensacola Saenger Theater has classic movie nights in their fully restored historic theater.
  9. Roller Derby

    Credit Pensacola Roller Gurlz

    Good thing the Pensacola Roller Gurlz exist or we wouldn't have a chance at being either a tough city OR a hipster-friendly one. These ladies are competitive in the rink at the nostalgic Dreamland skating center and fierce at Seville Quarter's Running of the Bulls where they will chase you down the street in Pensacola's unique take on a Spanish tradition.

  10. Thrifting Paradise
    Every hipster who grates at the label brightens up when you mention thrifting and Pensacola is a haven for thrifters. Whether you're digging through clothing at the Waterfront Mission, one of the many Navy Surplus Stores, hitting up Oooodles AntiquesBlue Moon Antique Mall, or one of the plentiful estate sales in East Hill and North Hill you're bound to find something absolutely one of a kind
  11. Vinyl Music Hall
    Music is integral to any city's culture and Pensacola is lucky to have such a diverse midsize venue to showcase local talent, national acts, and indie performers. From Bounce Queen Big Freedia to acoustic crooner Edwin McCain you can get your live music on here. Bonus: cocktails.

Hipsters take note, Pensacola can accommodate you- and we should. Every city, even and especially America's oldest, needs to be challenged and reinvigorated by each succeeding generation. If a portion of them are "hipsters"- welcome.
Sorry Akil but, "all of America is covered with sprinkles and hipsters."

What would you add to this list?

Lindsay Myers is Digital Content Editor at WUWF. @lindsayraemyers, lindsay@wuwf.org