About Drift

Experience the Difference

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Directly on the Gulf of Mexico, perched high above on the second floor, DRIFT is a Casual Fine Dining restaurant serving Modern Coastal Cuisine (Crudo, Prime Steak, Seafood, Hot & Cold Small Plates), that offers guests an Upscale Social Dining Experience – THE DRIFT EXPERIENCE. 

Led by John Lipkowitz (Director of Operations & Culinary Arts), DRIFT’s eclectic, yet refined menu, is his thoughtfully curated blueprint of his forward-thinking culinary mastery. Lipkowitz earned his MBA from Pepperdine University and brings to the table more than 30 years of operations experience in the culinary and hospitality industry, overseeing more than $1.7 billion in expansion and development initiatives. He manages the entire operation of DRIFT and is the creative mind behind its menu. 

With the sleek modern design of its indoor and outdoor Gulf Front dining rooms and bars, guests can choose to gather inside, or dine outside on its expansive outdoor deck, overlooking the breathtaking views of the Emerald Gulf Coast, to share an ultimate DRIFT EXPERIENCE like no other.

The Drift Culinary Experience

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A pioneer restaurant who brought the artful craft of Crudo Dishes to the Greater Pensacola Area and its surrounding coastal villages, DRIFT is also the only place on Pensacola Beach that serves Prime Steak. 

So, what's Crudo?

Crudo simply means ‘raw’ in Italian and refers to the fusion of meat, fish, shellfish, fruit, vegetables, herbs, spices, oils, and vinegars. The preparation of Crudo has no limits and is open to interpretation by the hands that make it. Although typically a Mediterranean inspired dish that mirrors sashimi, carpaccio, or tartare, Crudo has the versatility to showcase any flavor profile, from any ethnic background. But what makes Crudo so intriguing, is that it’s a clean, healthy alternative… but with bright, exciting, and interesting flavors. 

DRIFT’s inventive Crudo-Style Dishes, Prime Cuts, and Seasonal Entrees are all meticulously prepared with fresh and predominately locally sourced ingredients, that all pay homage to DRIFT’s keen focus of offering Pensacola Beach a hip and healthy alternative to fresh Land & Sea Plating.

The DRIFT Drink Experience

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DRIFT’s creative cocktail menu and carefully selected wines are just as vibrant and edgy as its culinary counterpart. DRIFT’s Master Mixologists utilize only the freshest fruit, vegetables, herbs, and spices, to craft its Signature Cocktails that playfully highlight every bite.

 DRIFT’s wise approach is well-rooted: To elevate Classic Cocktails by utilizing unique ingredients and techniques to develop inventive drinks like its famous CABO, DRIFT DROP, and ESPRESSO MARTINI.

DRIFT prides itself on offering a team of Bar Chefs who passionately prepare each cocktail for each guest’s pure enjoyment.