We have written about the Wild Turkey Tavern in the past. It is one of the Eight Restaurants on Florida’s Ridge You Owe It to Yourself to Try. Since that time, we found how The Wild Turkey transformed from a local hangout to a true experience of country dining and entertainment.

We learned that The Wild Turkey Tavern was opened on Halloween of 1980 by Mike & Kay Reark. For years they were best known for their wonderfully snarky and inventive signs, posted on the restaurant’s reader board.

They told us stories of controversies he’d created and how “The Turkey” had been featured in the local newspapers.

In the past, “The Turkey” was known mostly to area residents for it’s local cuisine, dart games. pool and live music. The Wild Turkey experience continues to this day.

The Wild Turkey Tavern sits on Highway 27 just south of Avon Park.

New Owners

Recently the Rearks retired, passing the place on to new owners. The good news is, it seems that not much has changed. Gator tail and Frog legs still are on the menu. For fish lovers there’s Ahi Tuna, Grouper bites and the very popular Salty Cracker Shrimp Remoulade.

As those who follow us know, we are sandwich lovers and again there’s plenty of choices. They had everything from a Steak Sub to Grilled Bologna. I opted for the Classic Cracker Trail Burger. This baby has BBQ sauce, bacon and a pork cracklin to boot.

Additionally, I ordered an “Orange Crush” as they have a full bar.

Picking sides and starters is equally difficult for us. Our favorite options are the home made chips. However, we are equally tempted by the sweet potato fries, ‘taters & onions and fried pickles.

We suggest you go online and take a look at their menu.

As they say at The Turkey, “These are good groceries in a great atmosphere.”

Entertainment

We did mention that there’s plenty of entertainment at the Wild Turkey Tavern. Although we don’t play, we did have fun watching a number of couples as they gave the pool table a real workout. Where we were sitting, there was a row of dart boards. Apparently they pull the high top tables back when there are dart tournaments.

There are some spirited games of pool at the Wild Turkey.

The Ambiance

It was difficult for us to pinpoint the crowd. We spotted families, dates, golfers, guys getting off work and just about every age and demographic. Moreover, we noticed that there were families with youngsters who came in to enjoy the food and the atmosphere of this wonderful little spot.

Outside the front door is a great little tiki hut. We thought about sitting outside but it was a bit chilly for us. They also have live music there from time to time.

In the end, we vowed to return, enjoy yet another meal there and get you a video of one of the many troubadours who entertain the crowds under the grass roof.

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