DISH UPDATE

by Erin Thursby
Moe’s, a burrito franchise popular here in Jax, is seeing growth rather than downturn. Business Week says that they would be launching 33 franchise deals in the first quarter alone. That’s ten more stores than they opened in all of 2009. They’re looking to expand internationally, particularly in Turkey. Apparently, Southwestern cuisine is the emerging trend in Turkey.
Want something in your Easter basket that’s a little more grown-up? Head to Fresh Market, where they have gourmet Easter baskets of all kinds: coffee, gourmet chocolate, healthy baskets and more.
The St. Johns Town Center keeps on building! It’s a popular spot for a nosh. Bahama Breeze got added recently and this month Whisky River opens. (see story page 16). California Pizza Kitchen is also slated to go in the Town Center, to be opened in early August.
Firehouse Subs and The Loop made the www.fastcasual.com Top 100 Movers & Shakers List for 09. The Loop comes in at 94 and Firehouse comes in at a shiny number six!
If you renewed your season tickets for the Jags last month, you should have a nifty little coupon book called Teal Deals. It contains about $1,400 worth of coupons from local eateries as a promotion to sell tickets.
Weekends in St. Augustine are a terrific getaway. Opus 39, a long lauded dinner spot in St. Augustine, has now opened a bakery in the back. They serve breakfast Monday through Saturday starting at 8 am and get a more leisurely start on Sundays at 10 am. They also serve soups and sandwiches in the late afternoon. Head to www.thebakerybyopus39.com/ for more info.
Hurricane Grill & Wings, opened February in Julington Creek. In the short time that they’ve been open, they’ve had record sales.
On March 1st, the Hunt Club Subs N Grill opened on the Southside. The theme is hunting and fishing, so the decor borrows from rustic cabins. Photos of hunts gone by and those big fish catches adorn the walls. Subs, burgers and beer are the main draw here.
April 17 Russian Festival A full day (10 am- 4 pm) of traditional music and dance performances rarely seen in the U.S. There will be a variety of activities, informational displays and entertainment. The festival will feature a Russian Exhibition, Russian Dance group, history of Russia, Russian traditional food, traditional Russian crafts, craft making demonstrations, a puppet show, and other children activities. This family oriented International event will include: Continuous live entertainment, ethnic foods, vendor booths, kids amusements and much more. Call 880 – 7671 for more info or visit russianorthodoxy.net/
April 17-18 Bradford County Strawberry Festival So you missed the Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City. Don’t cry, dry your eyes and schedule a drive to Starke, which has its own, smaller festival for these fabulous little fruits. See arts, crafts and more. www.mainstreetstarke.com
April 22 Earth Day/King Estate Wine Showcase Dinner A wine dinner at Bistro Aix? Sign me up. The King Estate Winery in Eugene, Oregon is the highlighted winery. Tickets cost $99 per person (including tax and gratuity) and entitle attendees to dinner and drinks. Call 398-1949 for tickets.
April 24 A Taste of St. Augustine St. Augustine’s finest restaurants will offer samples of their signature dishes as they compete for the coveted T.O.St.A. and People’s Choice Awards at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. Noon to 8pm.www.epiccommunityservices.org
April 29 A Night in the Village Roy’s Restaurant in Jacksonville Beach will be hosting a funraiser event for the the Monique Burr Foundation for Children. Expect fine food, tropical drinks, auction items and more, starting at 6 pm. Event attendees will also enjoy live entertainment including hula dancing, fire dancing, music, a fashion show and exclusive shopping opportunities at select boutiques in Third Street Village. Tickets are $75. For more information about the event and tickets, visit online at www.moniqueburrfoundation.org/
April 29 -May 2 World of Nations Celebration Visit over 25 countries in one day and experience the culture, entertainment and, of course, the food. $5 for a one day pass, $8 for a two day pass at Metropolitan Park. www.coj.net/
April 30- May 2 The 46th Annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival The Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival includes dozens of food booths featuring shrimp specialties. The Fine Arts Show has been ranked 38th in the nation by Sunshine Artist Magazine as part of their 200 Best Shows in the United States. Each year, the Festival is held in the historic Downtown Centre Street business district in Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island. The festival is a lively mixture of fun including an annual “Pirate Parade” to kick things off on Thursday and features juried fine arts and crafts show, antiques, live entertainment, Southwest Airlines Kids Korner, contests, pirates, free admission and 25 food booths featuring shrimp prepared every way possible by local non-profit organizations. Downtown Fernandina Beach, www.shrimpfestival.com

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april, 2022

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