There’s a new social spot in downtown Fort Walton Beach, and the owners aren’t shy about their intentions. The G.O.A.T. uses a well known sports acronym — Greatest of All Time.
The bar and restaurant opened four months ago, and bar manager Kristine Nelson said the aim is to help revitalize the heart of the city.
“I’ve always loved downtown,” she said. “Now we have a new salon, new businesses like us and Cowheads – it’s bringing the community together. We (The G.O.A.T.) bring a different vibe. It’s really laid back and relaxed — you can tell people are just enjoying their time here.”
Nelson said The G.O.A.T. is invested in the community and supports locals in many ways.
“Wednesdays through Sundays, we have live music. We support local musicians heavily,” she said. “We are also in a large military community, so we have military Mondays and always offer discounts for military members in uniform.”
Nelson herself hails from a military family and said she calls Okinawa, Japan, her home.
“I’ve been here since 2010, but I’m originally from Okinawa,” she said. “My dad is retired U.S. military, but everyone knows everyone in Okinawa.”
In her off time, Nelson said she enjoys the perks of living at the beach.
“We like to live like tourists,” she said of herself, her boyfriend and her new puppy, Katana. “Obviously, in Okinawa, I’m always comfortable in the water or on the sand. I don’t think I could ever not live near the ocean.”
As for her signature drink, Nelson chose The G.O.A.T. Mojito, which uses all fresh ingredients including strawberries, blueberries and mint.
“I use real sugar in this drink, not simple syrup, and I use fresh lime juice,” she said. “My biggest thing with the signature drinks is the fresh fruit, that’s what makes them.”
The G.O.A.T. is at 138 Miracle Strip Parkway in downtown Fort Walton Beach. For more information, visit http://goatrestaurant.com or call 850-659-2012.