Visited Kickbacks for the first time on Saturday. I read about it in Draft Magazine as one of the top 100 in the nation. It truly deserves that designation. The steampunk-esque atmosphere is off the charts. Everywhere you look in the place is just cool as hell. We had great service from Erica when we visited and one of the owners (Steve) was extremely accommodating - you can tell that everyone there is just into it. The selection covered the major styles and, if youíre slightly spoiled like I am, youíll still find something good on the menu. Food and value were very good. Overall, this is the hippest, coolest craft beer establishment Iíve been to. Very impressed!
02-21-2013 - Day 1 of the RBWG Welcome Dinner. Eight-four (84) beers on tap, tap handles on the ceiling and more than you can shake a stick at! A site to see! Lots of food choices along with kids meals. A must stop when in Jacksonville for sure!
Not sure why I didnít rate this place the last two times I visited. Crazy-crowded place, filled with a variety of people, but especially the young-professional types. Great beer selection and tasty food. The service suffers a bit from the crowds, but I imagine it would be great if they werenít as busy.
jackl (691) Minneapolis, Minnesota | March 2, 2015| Updated March 3, 2015
I found this place to be very frustrating. I visited for a late lunch on a Sunday and didnít find it busy. Kickbacks is absolutely massive. Thereís a couple of distinct drinking areas, with a patio out front, a sports bar section, and a dark back room that feels a little more opulent. The back room was so dark that I couldnít figure out if they were having electrical problems or they seriously wanted the place to feel like a subterranean cavern. I have no problem with low-lighting, but if itís so dark that I canít see any of the tap handles or design features, then whatís the point? I settled on sitting at the counter in the sports bar section. When I sat down I had to clear out some space for myself on the sopping wet counter amongst the collection of dirty dishes and used glassware left by the previous party. I assumed the party had just left and that someone would clear up the mess shortly. I was wrong. No one during the entirety of my hour-long visit bothered to stop and clean up, so I got to enjoy the sight and smell of their half-eaten food as I dined and drank. I ordered a chicken sandwich and fries in addition to my beer. The fries and chicken werenít tasty, clearly frozen and out of a bag. When my food arrived, the waiter sort of just chucked the order at my counter space and moved on without saying anything. The service from the bartender wasnít very good either. She was very transactional and wasnít willing to offer tastes of any beer before purchase. Mercifully, the beer selection was better than the food or service. There were easily over 100 available. Nothing was particularly eye-catching, but there were many options to choose from. I settled on an ESB from CCB that was pretty solid. Prices werenít expensive; I guess you get what you pay for. Overall, I was really disappointed with Kickbacks. World class places offer a combination of ambiance, service, food, and beer selection. Kickbacks has a bunch of taps. Theyíre lacking in every other area.
I am writing an updated review since Goozlepipe & Guttzworks recently opened.
First I would like to say something about the subpar reviews.
It seems some people went during the remodel when the bar dropped from 84 taps to around 20, and the size of the kitchen was greatly reduced. I do not think it is truly fair to judge the place based on this, sort of like rating an infected beer that the brewer has said was a mistake.
The new place, should it be 2 places? They are connected and have the same menu and beers, but are completely different styles. One is a very beer centric bar with TVs, giving it beer and sports bar feel. The other, Goozlepipe is like nothing I have ever seen.
Goozlepipe has a great bar to sit at and just look around. It is a steampunk themed bar and every detail has been considered, from the over 1 million pennys on the wall, to the 99 bottles of beer on the wall (only SA Utopias), to the beautiful and giant fan, the copper tables, the steampunk paraphernalia, the windows/paintings... The place is just stunning, you could spend hours just looking around.
- Ambiance is out of this world!
- Service, there were slow times in the past, with the larger staff and larger kitchen I feel these days are gone. I went 4 times while in jax over the holidays and food and beer came quickly. The bartenders had some great recs too.
Selection 140? 150 taps? yes they have 3 or 4 bmc beers, but the other 140+ is a beautiful mix of wild ales, ipas, stouts, lagers....
For those that had a bad experience during the remodel I implore you to try the new place it is gorgeous, has good food, an expanded and better menu now, and a top notch tap selection. Truly not to be missed
UDBeernut (269) Between JAX and SGJ, Florida | August 24, 2014| Updated June 6, 2015
Update 2: this place failed a bunch of health code insoections. Meat was unrefridgerated. Do not go! Update: I decided to give this place another shot a few weeks ago. Service was poor. Most beers on the list were not in. Then I recieved a beer I did not order because the one I asked for was out with out asking me if I wanted it. This place sucks. Old rate: Yeah, where to begin with this one? Well letís start with the fact I sat at the bar, may not be the best choice with this place. Itís tough to interact with the bar tender. The taps block the whole bar so itís tough to get their attention or hold even a modest conversation. Here was my view: http://i.imgur.com/mPbRNmw.png
Anyway, the tap list was large... But I could not see it from my seat and it was not in a menu form either. Like having a 20 inch dick but keeping to a life of celibacy. I did not eat but the menu was expansive. The vibe the place gives off is cool, open brick, tap handles galore, dusty beer glass hanging from ceiling, cool. I had two beers, then decided I needed to go somewhere else. I may return, but will not go out of my way for it.
When I visited: Late March 2014.
What I had: Over the course of two visits Ė New Belgium Spring Blonde, Stone Enjoy By IPA - 04-20-14, Intuition Ale Works Jon Boat Kolsch, Freigeist & Jester King Sauer Power, and New Belgium Rampant Imperial IPA on tap, Chicken Caesar Wrap with Fries, fish entree with salad, and several white wines for the Mrs.
What I liked: Fun and bustling atmosphere with a fairly diverse crowd, lots of space between tables, impressive tap list even during construction, our server was efficient, hilarious and made great drink recommendations, had an awesome chat with one of the locals at the bar, very reasonable prices.
What I disliked: Food left something to be desired but we had such a good time that we didnít really mind.
Would I go back? Definitely, and Iím sure this place will be even better once the renos are done.
Overall Rating: 84