It’s difficult to describe Kickbacks Gastropub! The original section has a sports pub theme…. and then ….. there’s the Goozlepipe & Guttyworks addition, which has its own bar and restaurant seating, a downstairs “Belgian” Room, and downstairs “Catacombs” which houses over 100,000 beers and a private beer locker room (at a comfy 56°). If you haven’t been to Kickbacks, be sure to look at all of the artifacts, and you’ll be amazed. If you have been there, it’s likely that you’ll find something you didn’t know was there. It’s one bar that gets photographed over and over, and it’s garnered its share of recognition. Still, the place is low-key. Oh, by the way, there are around 200 beers on tap.
Business: Kickbacks Gastropub / Goozlepipe & Guttyworks
Business Address: 910/914 King St., Jacksonville (Riverside)
Website: www. kickbacksgastropub.com
Business hours: 7am- 3am daily
Interviewee: Steve Flores, Owner
Overall throughout your establishment, how many taps of beer and how many beer choices in bottles and cans do you offer customers?
We currently have 180 beers on tap, and we will soon add 24 Belgian beers on draft in the basement. We also have a vintage bottle collection featuring over 1000 different beers.
Kickbacks Gastropub was the original business. How did the Goozlepipe & Guttyworks concept/addition come about and how long did it take to construct?
The new concept was born out of necessity. We simply didn’t have the space to properly service our existing customers. We needed to get bigger to get better. We spent 3 years planning the addition and dealing with the permitting process followed by 2-3 years of construction.
How would you describe the difference in ambience between the Kickbacks and Goozlepipe & Guttyworks sides?
The original dining room still has a casual, sports bar feel to it. The new space has a completely different atmosphere and energy. It has been described as uniquely steampunk with a Willy Wonka twist.
The decor and artifacts throughout Goozlepipe & Guttyworks are unique. What are those all about and where did they come from?
Goozlepipe & Guttyworks was put together like a puzzle. It took several years to collect and make all of the pieces. Jim Smith spent 3 years making over a thousand little sculptures for us, and David Ponsler has spent 3 years so far twisting different metals for us into different pieces of functional art. Other artists have also contributed.
Please tell us about the center tap tower in the Goozlepipe & Guttyworks bar.
We made the main beer tower out of a 100 gallon coffee urn that was used during the Civil War. It’s heavy copper, and we fitted it with 72 beer faucets. We made the chandelier above it out of the guts of an old copper washing machine.
What are those “99 bottles of beer on the wall” in the upper level?
A work in progress featuring 33 cabinets. Each cabinet will store 3 bottles of Sam Adams Utopias, the strongest beer ever naturally fermented (27% abv).
How many and what kinds of beer are in the basement cellar/catacombs? How old are they, and are they all for sale?
Most of the beer in the catacombs is available for sale. The average age of the beer ranges from 5-10 years old. There are 100,000 beers in the cellar — over 1,000 different brands. The cellar specializes in Belgian beer and other beers and styles from around the world that improve with aging.
How many beers are on tap in the downstairs “Belgian Room,” and what kinds of beer are they?
There will soon be 24 beers on tap in the basement, and all of them will be styles of beer from Belgium.
When do you open the Belgian Room, and when is it available?
We currently only use the Belgian room for private parties and for overflow seating. Soon we will begin to take reservations to sit in the basement when we are not using the space for private parties.
How did you come up with using 1.1 million pennies as wall decor in Goozlepipe & Guttyworks? How long did that take to do?
The pennies took 8,000 hours to install over a 10-month period. They were intended to provide an interesting backdrop for the art installations, but they have actually taken some of the attention away from the art that they were intended to accentuate.
How would you describe your food menu?
Our food menu has evolved into an very large, eclectic mix of various items, including breakfast items, served 20 hours a day, everyday. It’s done in a way that’s affordable and approachable to most people with emphasis on value and flavor.
What other kinds of beverages does Kickbacks have besides beer?
We serve wine, mead, cider and liquor. We also have teas, coffees and a Coke freestyle machine.
Do people really drink beer with breakfast at Kickbacks?
Yes! Some beer is actually designed to be consumed with breakfast or as breakfast. Stouts infused with coffee beans are always a good choice. Also, some of our customers get off work at 7am, when we open, so they are drinking beer at breakfast time for people with normal schedules.
What else would you like people to know about Kickbacks/Goozlepipe & Guttyworks?
We’re 12 years into a long journey to be better everyday, and to be a place that Jacksonville can be proud to call its own.
Linda Johnson, Certified Cicerone®
Covering Florida’s beer scene and locally in North Florida
(photos by Linda Johnson)