Palms Fish Camp Restaurant
Finally, Jacksonville has a waterfront restaurant to be proud of not only because of its accessibility by Boat, Kayak, Jet Ski or SUP but they serve delicious fresh local caught, straight off the boat, fish and shrimp. No wonder their waterfront deck and patio pack out on sunny weekends while listening to live local music on the deck all day Saturday and Sunday. Additionally, The Palms has live music Wednesday through Friday evenings. Located at 6359 Heckscher Drive the Palms abuts the Timucuan Preserve, part of the National Park system. Access by water is easy with plenty of deep water and a 13-foot clearance under the bridge at low tide. The Palms Restaurant is located next to the Palms Fish Camp Boat Ramp.
The location, atmosphere and layout of the Palms makes it an ideal location to host fishing tournaments and captains’ meetings. In just a year and a half the Palms has hosted 7 tournaments ranging from offshore Wahoo and Snapper tournaments to inshore tournaments. The Palms is also proud to serve as the home of the Jacksonville Bluewater Fishing Club and hosts many of their events throughout the year.
Owners Marshall Adkison and Marc Hardesty met over 20 years ago while both were commanding Army units. Both had commanded various Army units, been deployed and retired after 20 plus years of service. Both run other successful businesses, Adkison built from the ground up Adkison Towing that services the entire region with towing and salvage services. Hardesty, a trial attorney started the local law firm Hardesty, Tyde, Green & Ashton 25 years ago with offices in Jacksonville and Jacksonville Beach. They also had something else in common. They both are avid fishermen who know fresh seafood, they live close to the Palms Fish Camp Restaurant that it is part of their neighborhood. Both had known the Palms Fish Camp for years when it was open and then watched the location close and sit vacant for years. They appreciated the potential and location of the Palms and secured a long-term lease while beginning extensive renovations to create a destination restaurant dedicated to Fresh Local Seafood. Both have an uncompromising commitment to the fishing community. As Hardesty said “why in the world would you want to serve foreign frozen processed seafood when the best and freshest fish is right here?” Adkison is quick to point out “the reason the other places serve Tilapia and pond raised shrimp in a plastic bag is because it’s easy, quick and cheaper not to mention the inferior quality.” “We simply won’t do it that way. We buy all our shrimp directly from our neighbor’s boats 4 miles down the road and our fish straight off the local hook and line boats” Hardesty said. The Palms also catches its own fish periodically which sets itself apart from most everyone in the seafood restaurant business.
Daily specials are the norm with the fresh catch selections dominating the menu. How about a whole fried Flounder or Beeliner, Wahoo Medallions, Sheepshead or Cobia filets, a basket of fish throats, House made Smoked Mullet, House made Smoked Fish Dip, Mayport Shrimp or a low country boil with Nassau Sound Blue Crabs, Oysters Fried Steamed or Raw, Grand Banks Dry Packed Scallops and the list goes on and on. If, by chance, fresh seafood isn’t your thing then how about a hand-crafted pizza or flatbread creation from our Woodstone oven. If that doesn’t do it then how about our house smoked pulled pork, short rib burger, steak or chicken.
I could go on and on about the food but there’s so much more like the Live Music on the Deck overlooking Clapboard Creek and the Timucuan Preserve. The North Florida Tiki Bar even has hand carved Palm Tikis carved by Cress Baker one of the locals. They have a full bar with specialty drinks, wine and many local craft beers on tap and in the bottle. As they say at the Palms: “Come on Up the Creek and Taste the difference Fresh Local Caught Seafood makes!!”