As Jacksonville’s Downtown Southbank is set to usher in the construction of highrises, apartments, the highly anticipated District project as well as a massive medical complex expansion in 2017, one mobile entrepreneur is looking to seize upon this activity by opening 5 Loaves 2 Fish Café in the Ameris Bank Building.

Fresh off opening the popular 5 Loaves 2 Fish food truck in June of 2014, Chef Toben Stubee and Debbie Stubee are opening a 250-seat riverfront restaurant serving contemporary regional American food this Wednesday Dec 21st, at 1301 RIverplace Blvd. Not only will this be the Southbank’s first new restaurant opening in years, it will be the first new business with public access integrated into the recently renovated Southbank Riverwalk.

On the eve of their opening, Modern Cities sat down with Chef Stubee to talk about his exciting development in the heart of Jacksonville.

Tell us a little about your background.

After growing up in Miami and being exposed to Latin and Carribean cuisines, all of which are packed with bold, fresh flavors, I became interested in pursuing a career in the restaurant industry. Fast forward 25 years, my experiences range from fast food, corporate, fine dining, and private residence chef. I have a bachelors degree from The Culinary Institute of America in Restaurant Operations and was the valedictorian for both the culinary program and business management program. I have worked in restaurants in Miami, New York, Orlando, Jacksonville, and St. Augustine. Locally, I was the chef at Opus 39(St. Augustine-closed), Matthews(San Marco), and I opened Eleven South(Jax Beach) and received “Best New Restaurant” within 6 months of opening. For the six years before opening the truck I had been a private chef for a husband/wife that own a national clothing store. I took the opportunity to open the 5Loaves 2Fish Mobile Kitchen food truck to cook fresh, creative, and inspired foods and be able to interact with customers on a face-to-face basis.

A look inside the new 5 Loaves 2 Fish Café in the Ameris Bank Building. Image Credit: 5 Loaves 2 Fish

The gorgeous new space will have a variety of seating options for business clientele. Image Credit: 5 Loaves 2 Fish

Next: A look at the cuisine offered at 5 Loaves 2 Fish Cafe