This week I got a sneak peek at JoJo’s ShakeBAR, a next-generation restaurant and bar serving 80s and 90s nostalgia, diner fare, hand-crafted cocktails, decadent desserts, and of course, its over-the-top Biggie Shakes. I wasn’t sure what to expect really. This is their first location in Florida, and as a local, I’m always a little leary of new places on I-Drive. But I was pleasantly surprised!
The modern, yet familiar, diner experience is grounded in nostalgia and focuses on creative desserts and elevated diner favorites. JoJo’s invites friends and families to transport back to the 80s and 90s with vintage tongue-in-cheek details and nods to Central Florida’s iconic attractions, famous faces, and world-class hospitality with a custom mural on an entire wall of the restaurant.
JoJo’s isn’t like other diners. The focus is the specialty cocktail program, a very pointed whiskey selection, and the best two draught beers around that rotate seasonally. Spirits may be added to all shakes and hot chocolates such as BACARDÍ rum, Jameson Irish whiskey, and Kahlúa® coffee liqueur to name a few.
Guests may opt for a center table to dine under JoJo’s signature glittering disco ball as bright pink neon clouds ‘drip’ from the ceiling, grab a seat at the Pastry Bar and enjoy a swing-out stool while watching JoJo’s chocolatiers dip gourmet treats, or stop by the walk-up window for treats on the go.
We got to try out a variety of food and drinks from their menu and they were all pretty darn tasty. And holy cow are the portions huge!
Champagne Sangria – pinot grigio, prosecco, orange bitters, blackberry, blackberry, peach, lemon
Smokin’ Hot Blonde – mezcal, passion fruit smoking cinnamon, firewater bitters amarena cherry, lime. (pictured below)
I am a sucker when it comes to Mexcal cocktails, so I couldn’t pass up this Madonna-inspired cocktail. It even had a smoking cinnamon stick that looked like a little cigarette. The cocktail was smokey but super smooth. I would DEFINITELY order this again!
JoJo’s Fries – crispy waffle fries, piled high and smothered in a four-cheese blend, topped with applewood bacon, and sour cream and chives.
Spinach, Artichoke & Brie Dip – served with tortilla chips. (pictured below)
Baked Mac ‘N’ Cheese – cavatappi pasta, five cheese blend, herb & parmesan breadcrumbs. You can add fried buffalo chicken, which I of course did! (pictured below)
I was impressed by the size and the cheesiness of the mac ‘n’ cheese. I enjoyed the buffalo chicken, but it did overpower the main dish a bit. I think if I ordered it again I would ask them to put the chicken on the side.
Girl Scout Shake – Andes mint chocolate shake, toasted marshmallow, chocolate pretzel, chocolate s’more, and double chocolate cookie. (pictured below)
The shakes are all that and then some! If you want to have a shake, I suggest not even looking at the rest of the menu. The shakes are a meal in themselves with all the toppings, plus you can even add booze to them.
They also have a Boozy Brunch served Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with signature favorites including chilaquiles, baked French toast, smoked brisket hash, served on a bed of crispy hashbrowns with roasted bell peppers, cheesy cheddar cheese, brisket smoked to perfection, all topped off with a delicious fried egg. Plus, for an extra twist, try the pancake house shot with Jameson, butterscotch, orange juice, and bacon.
*Disclosure: I was invited to a Media/Influencer night before the grand opening. As always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.