1. Bellwether

Restaurateur Jonathan Insetta plans to open his newest venture called Bellwether at 100 North Laura Street in early April 2017. With a menu similar to Insetta’s Black Sheep, the 120-seat casual yet sophisticated restaurant will offer an eclectic mix of timeless fare for lunch and dinner. As an example, the 4,700-square-foot restaurant’s burger program will include beef, chicken, the beet burger veggie option, a fried chicken sandwich and a “gooey cheeseburger.”

For more information: https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=549409

2. Bold City Brewery Downtown

Bold City Brewery is in the process of opening a new brewery and taproom at 109 E. Bay Street, next to the Cowford Chophouse. The new three-barrel system in the shotgun-style downtown location is intended to give brewers a chance to try new recipes and brew small, single batches. When it opens in early 2017, it will include 12 taps on-site.

For more information: http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=548803

3. Breezy Jazz Club

Tenant improvements continue at 119 West Adams Street for a new restaurant and live entertainment venue called the Breezy Jazz Club. The owners, Thea and Bernett Jeffers, intend to create an atmosphere that embraces the fullness of Jazz and enriches the heart of downtown. Breezy Jazz club anticipates a fall 2017 opening.

For more information: http://breezyjazzclub.com/

4. The Bullbriar

Acclaimed Chef Scott Schwartz will be opening The Bullbriar in the historic Marble Bank in 2018. The “southern-sophisticated” themed restaurant will include 175 seats and a large bar within the space. Along with the restaurant on the first floor and mezzanine, Schwartz has an option to have private dining rooms and wine cellars in the building’s basement vaults. After years of delay, construction should be underway on The Bullbriar and the rest of the Laura Street Trio, later this year.

For more information: http://www.actionnewsjax.com/news/local/90m-project-could-revamp-laura-street-trio-barnett-bank-building-in-downtown-jacksonville/489738286

5. Cowford Chophouse

Jacques Klempf and Forking Amazing Restaurants plan to transform the long abandoned Bostwick Building into the Cowford Chophouse continues to make significant progress. Plans for the building include a modern, upscale steakhouse restaurant and rooftop terrace. The project will create 55 permanent jobs and is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

For more information: https://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2014-nov-bostwick-building-to-be-renamed-the-cowford-chophouse

6. Doro District

The Doro District, or as we say downtown’s next big thing, is advancing plans to add a bowling alley, dining and entertainment venue near Everbank Field and the Veterans Memorial Arena. Intended to complement Intuition Ale Works, BLK SHP and Manifest Distilling, developer Iconic Real Estate Investments intends to redevelop 44,500 square feet within the former Doro Fixtures building, at A. Philip Randolph Boulevard and Georgia Avenue into a restaurant, bar, bowling alley, a rooftop terrace space and an outdoor recreational/entertainment space. The new venue could open its doors by the end of 2017.

For more information: http://www.moderncities.com/article/2017-feb-downtown-bowling-alley-opening-in-2017

7. Florida State College at Jacksonville Culinary Arts Program

FSCJ’s plans to bring life back to long vacant 20 West Adams Street involve much more than the introduction of student housing in downtown. The institution of higher learning will also introduce a “Panera-style” culinary café on the building’s ground floor that will act as showcase for the school’s culinary program, when it opens its doors in fall 2017.

For more information: http://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2016/10/20/renderings-see-inside-fscjs-new-downtown-student.html

8. Grabba Green

Grabbagreen, an Arizona-based restaurant and juice bar with 53 locations, plans to open in Brooklyn Station in early 2017. Grabbagreen describes itself as healthy fast food with grain- and green-based bowls, smoothies and fresh-squeezed juices.

For more information: http://grabbagreen.com/restaurant-juice-bar-coming-to-brooklyn-station-2/

9. The Happy Grilled Cheese

Anthony Hashem, the self-proclaimed ‘Sultan of all Things Cheesy’ behind popular The Happy Grilled Cheese food truck, is opening his first brick and mortar location in downtown Jacksonville within just a few short weeks. Downtown diners will be able to enjoy a full menu of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and melts at the former location of Folk Food at 219 North Hogan Street.


10. Kazu Sushi Burrito

David Chen is expanding his rapidly growing Kazu Sushi Burrito fast casual restaurant concept into downtown Jacksonville at 117 West Adams Street. Sushi burritos, are oversized, hand-held sushi rolls wrapped in seaweed (instead of a tortilla) that take on the appearance and enjoy the hand-held portability of a burrito. Kazu Sushi Burrito offers a menu with both Hawaiian and Japanese influences, offering fully customizable poke burritos, bowls and salads. Kazu Sushi Burrito expects to open in March 2017.

For more information: http://www.moderncities.com/article/2017-feb-kazu-sushi-burrito-opening-downtown

11. LIVE Bakery and Bar

The Live Bakery and Bar will be opening soon at 327 and 331 East Bay Street. According to the Jax Daily Record, “Owner John Ferra said the bar area would offer seafood, such as oysters and crab legs, and operate more as a sports lounge. He expects to open about 4 p.m. and close late.”. In addition, Live Bakery will be an offshoot a Greek-based bakery operated by Maria Ferra at 5570 Florida Mining Boulevard South. The bakery will specialize in bread and dessert products. The 200 seat restaurant, bar and bakery will employ 15 people when it is completed in six to twelve months.

For more information: https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=549171

12. Tossgreen

Local healthful fast-casual restaurant chain Tossgreen, plans to open a 1,500 square foot restaurant on the ground-floor of the SunTrust Tower in spring 2017. Offering breakfast and lunch, the restaurant will include outdoor seating along Laura Street.

For more information: https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=548927&searchtext=tossgreen

Article by Ennis Davis, AICP. Contact Ennis at edavis@moderncities.com