There’s a lot of talk here about how “Old Florida” is disappearing. Kitschy roadside attractions are being paved over for gated homes along golf courses, and old timey family diners are being squeezed out by Chick Fil A and Olive Garden. It’s like this in a lot of the country, as Americans allow national chains to destroy the very things that make our hometowns unique.
We get a kick out of finding new, divey places to check out. In the last couple of weeks, we’ve found two great places that are sadly, a dying breed: Archie’s Seabreeze on Hutchinson Island, and Mrs. B’s in Vero Beach, off I-95.
We didn’t find them on our own; our online friend Chelsea told us about Archies, and the locals we met at Earl’s told us about Mrs. Bs.
Archies: Loud Pipes, Great Music and Good Food
Archies has been around since 1947. It’s the kind of place that the Wild Ones would’ve called home. Archie’s is a great outdoor dive bar and restaurant that truly appreciates their devoted biker clientele, and welcomes dogs like our Jerry.
Located on prime real estate, right across from the ocean, I’m sure developers are frothing at the mouth to bulldoze it. The city of Fort Pierce even tried to get rid of it by declaring it structurally unsound, but Archie’s owner fought it and won. With strong support from the biker community, Archies will hopefully be here to stay. We love this place, and were bummed that we didn’t ride there.
Warning; don’t go there if you don’t like loud pipes! Consider yourself warned.
Mrs. B’s: Basic and Tasty Road Food
If you find yourself traveling down I-95 on your way to South Florida and your stomach is growling, take the Highway 60 Exit toward Vero Beach and get yourself some great road food with an old Florida twist.
Mrs. B’s menu includes fried catfish fingers, fried chicken and even fried liver ‘n’ onions. Jim had the chicken, I had the catfish, and both were good, basic home cooking.
We liked Mrs. B’s because they don’t try to be anything else but a place to catch a home cooked meal. They aren’t shy about paper napkins or putting out bottles of Wishbone dressing on the table for their iceberg dinner salads. The vegetables are reminiscent of grade school cafeteria food. But it’s not about the veggies there.