Melbourne Beach is a quiet bedroom community of about 3,000 people on the barrier island across the Indian River Lagoon from the larger city of Melbourne. It is Brevard County's oldest beach community.
Most histories place the founding of the village as 1883 when a Civil War Union veteran, Major Cyrus E. Graves, began buying land for $1.25 per acre and started raising pineapples.
In the early days, Melbourne Beach was the only access to the Atlantic Ocean beach for many miles north and south. The barrier island was virtually a jungle back then.
A ferry brought passengers over from Melbourne where they landed at the Melbourne Beach Pier. A narrow gauge railroad with a push car took passengers from the pier down Ocean Avenue to the ocean.
There was a bathhouse near where the current day Sand on the Beach Restaurant stands.
A causeway was built across the Indian River Lagoon in 1921. It connected Melbourne Beach to Melbourne by way of the town of Indialantic.
Ferry traffic began to decline, but the town began to grow slowly as a result of the better connection to the mainland.
One of the first buildings erected in the town was the Community Chapel. Built in 1892, it still stands and conducts church services, weddings and other events.
Another original old building the Villa Marine, still stands at the corner of Ocean Avenue and Riverside Drive. It was built in 1912 as a hotel and is used today as a dentist's office.
The space program at Cape Canaveral and Banana River Naval Air Station (now Patrick Air Force Base) to the north contributed to the the residential development in Melbourne Beach.
Today the village is largely residential with a few businesses along Ocean Avenue and State Road A1A. It is truly a walkable little town that takes great pride in its history.
The Melbourne Beach Pier was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. The town has also preserved many of its original old houses and buildings.
The village has numerous access points to the beautiful sand beaches. Melbourne Beach is also the main access point for the long stretch of beach along State Road A1A all the way down to Sebastian Inlet.
The barrier island has many parks and beach access points between Melbourne Beach and the inlet.
RESTAURANT OF THE MONTH
Djon's Steak and Lobster House
522 Ocean Avenue
Melbourne Beach, Florida 32951
Djon's is a fine dining establishment named after its owner, Djon Papej. It is not your typical beach establishment; you will be okay wearing slacks or shorts and a polo shirt, but leave your flip-flops and tee shirt at home.
This place warrants your dressing up a bit; you won't be disappointed. I lived for many years near this restaurant. In the old days it was known as Poor Richard's.
The newer Djon's has kept up the quaint ambience and improved everything from top to bottom.
Locals and tourists enjoy the daily happy hour from 5pm to 7pm with $5 cocktails and $6 martinis. The happy hour menu is good enough that you can dine on the offerings from this event alone.
Filet tips, sesame tuna, garlic shrimp, calamari and many other tantalizing treats.
The restaurant is in a historic early building, with both inside and outside dining. The upper dining deck has a great view of the Indian River Lagoon.
Your dining experience will begin with any of a large variety of appetizers. Calamari, crab and lobster cake, escargot, baked brie, King Crab spring rolls, Oysters Rockefeller and many other treats.
The salads are great. Choose from asparagus salad, the house salad, Caesar, wedge or roasted beet salad.
Entrees include either a 6 ounce or 8 ounce filet mignon (my favorite), Prime Angus New York Strip, a 22 ounce Delmonico, veal, lamb, burgers, crusted chicken and roasted duck.
The seafood menu offers live Maine lobster, sea bass, yellow fin ahi tuna, scallops, cedar planked salmon, crab crusted grouper, roasted lobster tail and several other lobster dishes.
Djon's has a full service bar and a large selection of beer and wine. It is a perfect place to cap off a day of fun in the sun and surf of Melbourne Beach.
Use the Google Map below to plan your route to Melbourne Beach. Bring your beach clothes and a semi-dressy outfit to enjoy the restaurant we will tell you about.