Jacksonville Beach brunch spot opens second restaurant

A Jacksonville Beach restaurant known for its lavish brunch featuring bountiful breakfast boards, mega-sized Bloody Marys and daily bottomless mimosas amid vibrant murals of human rights activists, cultural icons and historical figures, has unveiled its highly anticipated second location.

Two years in the making, Tulua Bistro — also known for its upscale drag shows — recently opened in a 78-year-old building at 1703 N. Main St. in historic Springfield. It’s near 1748 Bakehouse, Springfield Scoops, and Historically Hoppy Brewing Co.

The Springfield location serves brunch all day and is an expansion of the original Tulua Bistro at 798 3rd St. S. in Jacksonville Beach, which opened in June 2020.

Both restaurants offer hearty, build-your-own breakfast boards, as well as bowls, sandwiches and cocktails, served in brightly colored, eclectic decor and with a fun, welcoming atmosphere.

“We’re super excited about Springfield. This was always a neighborhood we were passionate about,” Joey Brown, founder and owner of Tulua Bistro, told the Times-Union.

Tulua Bistro, he said, tried to emulate Springfield’s unique character: diverse and inclusive, a mix of modern and historic and fun, he said.

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On the menu at Tulua Bistro

At Tulua Bistro, plates consisting of sweet and savory brunch items are a favorite on the menu.

But they’ve also tweaked some of their popular menu items, like the ‘Springfield Platter’ and the ‘Go Jags! Flatter’.

Starting at $12.90, the Springfield Platter includes two scrambled eggs, two bacon strips, grits or home fries and a warm cookie.

Brown said the “Go Jags! Platter” is a nod to the hearty brunch favored by some Jacksonville Jaguars players.

“We get some Jags players coming in and eating and it would always go overboard with the amount of food. It would be four different combos,” he said.

Once, there were seven players at the Jacksonville Beach restaurant, and they all ordered the big breakfast plate, Brown said.

“Usually a table of five orders one of these,” he said. “So we decided we had to do something so that when these guys came in, and for people who just like to eat a lot, we made the Go Jags.” The platter ($16.90) includes three sausage patties, three pieces of bacon, a whole order of biscuits and gravy, a side of café potatoes or grits and two eggs of any style.

Signature favorites at both locations include the Chef’s Selection Breakfast Boards, which come in three sizes: small ($30), medium ($42) and family-size ($57).

Guests can customize their plate by choosing from freshly made cookies, pancakes, waffles, French toast, eggs any style, fresh fruit, grits, bacon, croissants, sausage, café potatoes and avocado slices, according to Tulua’s online menu Bistro.

One of the restaurant’s most popular appetizers, Brown said, is the Bacon Pancake Dippers ($10) – four pieces of flat bacon covered in pancake batter, cooked and served with a layer of maple syrup dipping sauce and topped with powdered sugar.

Other signature Tulua Bistro offerings:

  • Not Your Basic B**ch ($16): Hash brown patties topped with avocado puree, pico de gallo, medium eggs, crumbled bacon, feta cheese and drizzled with a balsamic reduction
  • The Spicy King ($18.50): Seasoned, marinated fried chicken breast on a Belgian waffle with homemade Sriracha ranch, berry jalapeño compote, powdered sugar and maple syrup
  • Wild Thing Bagel ($15.50) Two omelette-style eggs, American cheese, bacon, sausage, onions, green peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach and herb aioli on a large toasted bagel with lettuce, tomato and jalapeños served separately plus grits

The Springfield restaurant has a full bar. Brunch drink favorites include Tulua Bistro’s Bloody Marys – believed to be the largest in Northeast Florida – along with their daily bottomless mimosas.

The traditional brunch cocktail, called “The Most Bomb Bloody Mary,” comes in two sizes: the 64-ounce “madness” and the “miraculous,” which is 96 ounces.

Mother Teresa, Harvey Milk and Malcolm X: Vibrant murals convey a message

Tulua Bistro offers both food for thought and a meal.

Florida-based artist Nicole “Nico” Holderbaum created hand-painted murals of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Mother Teresa, Maya Angelou, Harvey Milk and Malcolm X, as well as Lady Gaga, at the restaurant.

Nico previously painted murals of Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi and RuPaul at the Jacksonville Beach restaurant.

Tulua means ‘rising up, overcoming challenges’. Breakfast marks the start of a new day. The murals reflect that as well as the endurance of the human spirit, Brown said.

The murals, he said, depict people who have overcome challenges such as discrimination and worked to improve the lives of others.

“They are all people that I personally looked up to and I think represent our brand,” he said. “We have a lot of different people coming here… and it’s all about inclusivity.”

The restaurant is open daily from 8am to 3pm for brunch. On Friday and Saturday evenings it presents Tulua After Dark, with adults-only entertainment including drag shows and other special events such as drag bingo.

Teresa Stepzinski is the food reporter for the Times-Union. Follow her on X, formerly known as Twitter, @TeresaStepz or reach her via email at [email protected].

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