#EATUPJAX is a monthly column featuring restaurant openings, closings, new locations and other food news in the local Jacksonville food scene brought to you by GastroJax, Inc.
Gilbert’s Social on the Southside is now closed. If you still have gift cards or turkey orders, they will be honored at Chef Kenny Gilbert’s Fernandina Beach restaurant, Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen.
Craving some vegan and gluten-free? This November, coming to 311 West Ashley Street near the Duval County courthouse in Downtown, is Grenville Kitchen. They’ll be serving pastries, soups, salads, and Caribbean-inspired cuisine. The most intriguing of their selections: the voxtail, a vegan version of an oxtail.
The super-swanky Downtown eatery, Cowford Chophouse, has rolled out a new fall menu with cocktails. It’s been on the scene for two years now, and it’s often a destination for tourists and rooftop diners.
The Alice in Wonderland-themed restaurant 10/Six Grille is open in the restaurant space of Sweet Pete’s Downtown.
We don’t have a lot of details yet, but expect some swanky rooftop dining next year in the former Independent Life Tower at 233 West Duval Street Downtown. The development group that bought it also plans apartments and a grocery in the multi-use space. We will update you as more details are made public.
It will be a while before we see it opened, but permitting and construction is underway for a Florida Cracker Kitchen at 1842 Kings Avenue in San Marco. This will be their second location.
Derby House Diner in 5 Points closed last month.
Sun-Ray Cinema is making some big moves. They’ll be opening Pizza Cave restaurant a couple of doors down from their 5 Points location before the end of the year. Plus, they plan to open another location with five screens at the former KMart on San Jose. If you’ve never been to their 5 Points location, you should go, because they have the best food of any movie theatre in town, bar none. It’s good enough that people who aren’t even seeing a movie will pick up food for dinner, so we’re stoked about Pizza Cave and the new Mandarin location.
The long-anticipated opening of 1748 Bakehouse has finally happened! Allison and Kurt D’Aurizio have been pleasing taste-buds at the Riverside Arts Market for years, and the brick-and-mortar location in Springfield has lines out the door. Along with the usual awesome baked-goods Allison is most known for, they’ve branched out into some savory breakfast and lunch delights.
The Jacksonville chain Maple Street Biscuits just cashed in and sold to Cracker Barrel for $36 million dollars. The Murray Hill Taco Bodega next door in Murray Hill (which was owned by the same folks that owned Maple Street to begin with) just shut its doors. The two may or may not be connected, but with heavy-hitter El Jefe opening up on the road, and lots of food competition in the neighborhood, it’s understandable that they would close their doors.
There’s some trouble in the Burrito Gallery family–basically, the original owners had given licensing to another group to run additional locations, with some hefty bonuses, in exchange for annual reports, an accounting of profits, plus marketing overall for all of the locations. Since the original owners claim they haven’t even gotten the annual report or tax information as agreed upon since entering the agreement in 2014, they are suing to get that information, which they requested in writing. Since the lawsuit was filed in October, they’ve gotten part of the records, but they want access to all of it, as well as any attorney fees as a result of the suit. We will keep you updated as more info is released.
Citrus Distillers, an artisan distillery, has taken over a Rail Yard District locale. While they don’t give tours, it’s nice to have another local spirit place in Jacksonville, and great to see the Rail Yard continue to develop.
So…if you feel your food doesn’t have enough Super Saiyan power, you might want to go to Soupa Saiyan, a Dragon Ball-themed restaurant that’s also a noodle bar serving ramen and pho. Maybe it’s the thing you never knew you needed, until now. It’s going to be next to Insomnia Cookies in the parking lot of the Tinseltown movie theater. It’s way out in the parking lot, in a newly constructed strip. It should be up and running by November, but you know restaurant openings–hard to predict. We do know it’s coming soon, and in the meantime, when you get that 2am craving for cookies and milk, you can head over to Insomnia Cookies (which is open until 3am).
There’s word that Blue Bamboo owner Dennis Chan is planning to open a second restaurant at 10110 San Jose Boulevard.
1928 Cuban Bistro has opened to some pretty good reviews from local bloggers and reviewers. It’s located at 3928 Baymeadows Road.
The former Mimi’s Cafe near the Town Center has been transformed into an Ida Claire, a Texas-based eatery serving Southern cuisine. The coolest thing about them so far seems to be the converted Airstream trailers in the patio garden. They’ll be opening November 5th. During the grand opening, they’ll be donating half their sales up to $10,000 to the Jacksonville Humane Society.
Mudville Grille on Monument Road is about to transform into a new restaurant concept. It will be re-named Southern Coast Seafood, featuring fresh-caught, Southern-style seafood. Since the Mudville Grille owners also run a fishing business in the area, Outta Line Fisheries, that makes it easy for them to bring the freshest of catches to the new restaurant, and they can somewhat supply themselves.
Southern Roots Filling Station is open in Atlantic Beach. Expect a menu that’s pretty close to the one they have at their Riverside locale, with some Beach tweaks to cater to the locals there.
The Local opened a second restaurant at the Beaches Town Center on the Neptune Beach side.
Those who visited St. Augustine growing up might well have fond memories of feeding the fish out of the side of the Santa Maria restaurant on the wharf. Right now, the former restaurant lies empty, but it might be revived again soon, albeit in a different form. The White family, which also owns the Chatsworth Pub, O.C. White’s, and The White Room, is looking to revamp and expand the property into something they’ll call “The Wharf.” There are still many zoning questions to be answered, as well as how they might accommodate boats without it blocking the marina, but if they can get the city’s approval, they’ll start building.
Now it’s time for moonshine! A new distillery is opening up in St. Augustine, with a modern (and legal) take on grandad’s shine. City Gate Spirits will be located on St. George Street in St. Augustine.
Champion Brands, which reps many of our local breweries here in Jacksonville, has just opened a $6 million, 36,000-square-foot center, packed with amenities for their workers from a 24-hour-access gym, to game lounges, outdoor patios, and more. They anticipate that the outdoor portion, which has a firepit and pavilions, is probably scenic enough that weddings could be booked at the location of 5520 Florida Mining Boulevard.
Foodery Farms CEO Angela TenBroeck just got a $20,000 check to develop her idea for vending machines that stock hydroponically-grown produce in food-insecure areas. The prize was part of a new initiative in the inaugural Block by Block Food Insecurity Challenge, sponsored by Guidewell, which is the parent company of Florida Blue. Congrats to Angela! We can’t wait to see her idea in action.
November 14 Moon Over the Market This annual fall tasting event, put on GastroJax, curates some of the best eats here on the First Coast. As usual, this event strives to introduce at least a few new eateries that you might not yet know, but you should. Ten tastes from restaurants, caterers and area food trucks, plus food from a Pro-Start Culinary student competition, some tastes from the Jacksonville Farmers Market, and unlimited cocktails are all included in your ticket price. Food from Blue Bamboo, Vucca Street Food, El Mariachi Loko, Blue Orchid Thai, Pastiche Catering, Luvin’ Oven, Pie95, Rite on Que, Celestia’s Coastal Cuisine, Jazzy’s Restaurant, and Front Porch Pickings. Purchase tickets here, $40.