12431 SE 135 Ave
Ocklawaha, Florida 32179
Gator Joe's sits right on the white sand beach on the north shore of Lake Weir. It is a comfortable place with inside and outside dining and an Old Florida feel to it.
It's unusual in inland Florida to find a place like this on a white sand beach. Most Florida lakes have marshy shores and their beach alone makes this bar and grill a popular destination for both locals and tourists.
My server at the bar was Brittany. She is typical of the staff here: friendly and helpful. Gator Joe's specializes in a wide variety of seafood prepared in a multitude of ways, many of them Southern and Caribbean. Their appetizer menu includes fried green tomatoes, fried okra, fried pickles and a host of other things such as jambalaya, shrimp and wings. It's very easy to get a full balanced meal just from sitting at the bar and eating appetizers.
Entrees include both baskets and full dinners. Dinner examples are mahi mahi, pork chops, shrimp scampi and mussels linguine. Some dinners come with jerk seasoning and others are prepared Mediterranean style. Baskets include a gator tail offering, shrimp, chicken and clam strips. Everything is good. There is also a large selection of salad choices along with hamburgers and other sandwiches and wraps. They have good fish tacos too.
The outside dining decks are spacious and comfortable and provide the best view of the lake and the beach activities. It's a pleasant place to sit and have a drink and enjoy the atmosphere.
Gator Joe's has a full service bar with a large selection of beer, wine and liquor. It is open Mon-Thu from 11am to 9pm, Friday 11am to 10pm, Saturday 1030am to 10pm, and Sunday 1030am to 9pm.