By Anna Heise @annaeatzjax
Cowford Chop House in downtown Jacksonville has quickly become the place to be. With three areas of dining pleasure available, offers something for everyone. I recently had fun speaking with bar manager Harrison Perkins as he filled me in why the establishment has become so popular in such a short time.
What is unique about your bar area?
Our rooftop bar overlooks downtown, the best view I’ve seen in Jacksonville. At night with the bridge all lit up; it looks impressive. Other than the beautiful bar top, open space where you can view down from the second floor, three bars in one unique building. We also make all of our syrups for our cocktails.
When is Happy Hour?
Monday through Friday 3 pm to 6 pm.; our rooftop bar opens a 3 pm during the week. Cocktail favorites such as Cucumber Collins, Old Fashion, Mule, Dirty Martini priced at $9. All draft beers are $4, and a selection of wines but the glasses are $7 and 8 dollars.
What kind of weekly drink specials do you all offer?
Right now we are offering a few “Moove-it” specials partnering with local Manifest Distillery for our 2nd annual fundraiser. Typically we run “Cows” (Cocktail of the Week”). Cowford Sour(take on the NY Sour). For a Jaguar game, we ran a cocktail with Frenet Branca, Blue Curacao, Pineapple Juice and Passion Fruit Juice and called it the Coughlin’s Conquest.
Tell us about your best-selling drink.
Florida Old Fashioned- Buffalo Trace, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, Turbinado Syrup, Whiskey Barrel- Aged Bitters. Playing off the Florida theme, it’s citrus forward with the Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur.
Then the Pre-Prohibition Martini- Manifest Barrel- Aged Gin, Cocchi di Torrino, Orange Bitters, Thyme syrup. It’s floral notes from the Gin take a classic dring into a new style. Harrison shared this drink is one of his favorites.
Do you serve any local liquors or brews?
Yes, our local house vodka is Carve Vodka. We use a wide variety of local spirits in the Cowford Cocktails and Martinis. To name the others; Manifest Barrel- Aged Gin, Manifest Florida, Citrus Vodka, St Augustine Gin, Marlin and Barrel Bearing Rum. For drafts we carry, Bold City, Dukes Brown Ale, Intuition 1-10 IPA, Aardwolf Belgian Pale Ale, and have a rotating selection that’s currently Southern Swells Karate in Garage, from Green Room.
Do you all have music or any events?
We play classic jazz music throughout our entire restaurant on a regular basis. As for events we are doing an Eat and Greet at our second-floor bar, where several guests go through a 3 to 5-course meal paired with the wine, bubbles or spirits. Our next event, cocktails paired with food. Guests will be able to meet the chef and beverage or wine directors during these events. Our first wine dinner will be in March for 50 guests.
What compliments do you hear most often from your customers?
How beautiful the interior is and the views from the rooftop are, especially at night.
When customers are having a perfect time in your business what are they doing?
Enjoying birthdays, anniversaries, date nights. Everyone enjoys our rooftop view of downtown.
What is the busiest night of the week?
Typically it is Saturday, but it also depends on what’s going on downtown; game days, Florida Theater events, symphony, and shows.
What does your staff enjoy the most about working here?
The family environment, the kitchen provides a family meal each day at 4 pm. Dinner allows the staff a bit of downtime before the beginning of busy service time for relaxation and catching up.
What do you want more people to know about your business?
Best view in Jacksonville from the rooftop. Locally and independently owned, high-end steak cuts (28-day dry-aged Tomahawk that is 38oz,). Classic Cocktails with our twist, and an extensive wine list
Recipe: D’COOP D’etat
1 oz Pisco La Caravedo
3/4 oz Flor De Cana 12 year Rum
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1 oz Rosemary Simple Syrup
1/2 oz Lime Juice
Sprinkle with Nutmeg
2 Dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters
Build all the ingredients in a pint glass, add ice and shake vigorously. Strain over new ice in Old Fashioned glass. Cocktail should be nice and frothy. Sprinkle or grind fresh nutmeg over the top of the cocktail. Add two dashes of Peychaud’s bitters after completion of the cocktail. Garnish with rosemary sprig inside cocktail, sticking out approximately 2 inches.
I watched in amazement a Harrison built this drink with total attention to each detail. The results; a cocktail that is ideally suited for the upcoming spring and summer. I see myself sitting on the rooftop bar on a lazy Sunday enjoying the view and life in general.
A big shout out to my guide, Harrison Perkins.