Founded by Irving “Ducky” Glickstein, The Lobster House opened in 1944 in a building that previously served as a warehouse and boat shop. Within a few years, it became one of the hottest spots around Jacksonville to grab a bite to eat. Businessmen, politicians, and other movers-and-shakers were often spotted dining at The Lobster House.
The eatery served seafood – of course – as well as steak and other non-seafood dishes. In addition to the main dining room, it also featured a cocktail lounge, a gift shop, and an exclusive private dining room. Its dining patio offered patrons an unbeatable view of the Jax skyline.
The restaurant’s biggest moment came when it was featured prominently in scenes from Revenge of the Creature, the 1955 follow-up to the hit film Creature from the Black Lagoon. Scenes were shot depicting the titular creature attacking diners at The Lobster House, using local extras hired from the nearby Prudential insurance company.
Unfortunately, The Lobster House would be destroyed in a fire in 1962 – one of several fires along the riverbank during the ‘60s.
Believing that it would be too complicated to rebuild in the same spot, Glickstein took his insurance money and left for the Southside where he opened a Polynesian eatery, Trader Glick’s, along Philips Highway. He operated Trader Glick’s until his death in 1971.
Construction began on Friendship Fountain next to the former Lobster House property just a year later. A new lobster house called Diamond Head was built near the site of the original Lobster House, but it would be demolished in 1990 to make way for the new Acosta Bridge. The building that would become River City Brewing Company was built a bit further down the riverfront, closer to Friendship Fountain.
Nothing remains of The Lobster House now, over 50 years after it shut down for good. But longtime Jax residents – and fans of old horror films – still carry on its memory.