EGAD; not your Grandmother’s district anymore
When you mix certain colors, it brings to life the most unique blends. The Eau Gallie Arts District (EGAD), a colorful mix of historic charm and new-age modern art, brings life to Florida’s Space Coast in the most unique ways. With roots cultivating back to the late 1800’s, this downtown district full of historic structures, such as the Ginter and Bank buildings, is now also home to the works of muralists and a famous (to locals) shark just begging for a spot on your Instagram page. With this new charm, EGAD, or the district, is now growing into a destination of all kinds – from art and entertainment to eclectic speakeasys and pubs, EGAD is not your grandmother’s district anymore.
As you head across the Eau Gallie Causeway and enter EGAD, the district’s most notorious mural greets you with open (mouth) arms. Shark Toof immediately gives you the edgy vibe that EGAD promises. But, this is just the BIG beginning to the mural fun. Walking tours, provided from October – May, give you a firsthand guided look at the dozens of pieces throughout the district.
A walking mural tour will make anyone hungry, and luckily EGAD has a growing variety of options to satisfy any craving. FM Pizza Oven, hosted in the Bank Building, provides an historical setting for a mouthwatering, cheesy treat. The Cottage Irish Pub, owned by the Hogan Family of Co. Mayo, Ireland, is a Traditional Irish Pub with the authentic tastes, sounds and vibe of the Emerald Isle. Of course, you can’t miss The Bearded Chef hosted at Intracoastal Brewing Company (more on that later) for the unique and deliciously-bizarre food creations from a James Beard award-winning chef. Frigates Melbourne, which lies just outside the district on U.S. 1, offers perfect views with a laid-back yet sophisticated tropical feel.
Perhaps the crown jewel of EGAD’s beverage scene is Space Coast favorite, Intracoastal Brewing Company. An expansive (and growing) beer garden begs for you to sit and enjoy, while the craft itself leaves you craving more time and time again. The Oleander Club brings back prohibition in a good way, with a mysterious speakeasy style bar with the craft cocktails to match. The Salty Fox is the local pub that everyone belongs to and no one ever wants to leave, even on Karaoke night.
Food and drink are just the beginning of the fun in EGAD. Locals flock to Squid Lips Overwater Grill at the base of the Eau Gallie Causeway for nightly live music at their overwater bar, which just happens to be fully equipped with a private beach. Fifth Avenue Art Gallery includes Gallery One which features a new themed exhibition every month – plus admission is free. If you are looking for some unique finds, the District delivers. Rehab Vintage Market, Revamp Vintage Market and The FLEAGAD Market are just a few of the retail options available. And to top it all off with a cherry, EGAD offers yearly events, including Whiskey in the District which promises food, music, mayhem, and well … whiskey.
If this all wasn’t enough, EGAD is flourishing into a downtown destination of the 21st century. A proposed 9-story hotel was unveiled in July 2020 which would include about 180 rooms and a rooftop restaurant, pool and lounge; a six-story parking garage housing about 505 spaces; a food hall-marketplace; and additional surface parking and then some. A new three-story experience, Pineapples EGAD will open in 2021 and feature a rooftop bar with live music, dining, and more. Plus, the restaurant will neighbor that famous Shark the locals have come to love.
It’s safe to say, this is not your grandma’s EGAD anymore.
Leonardo DRS has a growing presence on the Space Coast, and its Melbourne Campus is just a short drive from EGAD. Find a career at Leonardo DRS and be a key contributor to a leading defense technology innovator: www.LeonardoDRS.com/careers