Ever since the Jacksonville Landing’s tenants were evicted in spring 2019 and the building razed, there has been a notable decline in pedestrian foot traffic and number of businesses open at night and on weekends in Downtown Jacksonville. A few blocks east, a very needed boost of activity appears to be on the way. For the past couple of months, the owners of 1904 Music Hall and Spliff’s Gastropub have quietly been in the process of further activating their block of Ocean Street between Bay and Forsyth streets in the Elbow, the entertainment district bounded by Main, Liberty, Monroe and Bay streets.
After five years of being located in a 1,200-square foot mid-block storefront, Spliff’s Gastropub will be relocating to a larger, highly visible space at the intersection of Forsyth and Ocean Streets. Occupied during Downtown’s heyday by a Krystal hamburger restaurant and most recently by Azucena Deli, the 1,700-square foot space in the Elbow will allow Spliff’s to roll out an expanded menu featuring hamburgers and weekend brunch items. In addition, the sidewalk will be lined with outdoor seating. A soft reopening is planned for July 28.
When the relocation is complete, the pub’s owners will begin on the conversion of the existing space into a new coffee bar concept called Headroom. According to a recent Jacksonville Business Journal interview, Headroom will open in September and will serve food and coffee until 2 a.m.
The expansion of Spliff’s Gastropub and creation of Headroom aligns with the Downtown Investment Authority’s Targeted Food and Beverage Program. The aim of that program is to encourage the clustering of restaurants and bars within the walkable heart of the historic Downtown core, including the Elbow.
Update by Ennis Davis, AICP. Contact Ennis at email@example.com