Jones also owns the 5,064 square foot Courtyard Building at 200 First Street in Neptune Beach. He and Janasik opened the first Southern Grounds location in a 2,000 square foot space inside the complex in February of 2016. That particular space was previously occupied by Shelby’s Coffee Shoppe, who also operated a now-closed location in the Main Library in Downtown Jacksonville.

The white building on the right is the former Ed Smith Lumber Company. Image courtesy of Florida Memory

These three images courtesy of The Courtyard, depict the conversion of the former lumber yard complex in Neptune Beach into a mixed-use retail and office complex that anchors the south end of the Beaches Town Center.

The Courtyard is particularly relevant to the proposed Avondale location. In 1998, Jones purchased the former Ed Smith Lumber Company complex and began an impressive adaptive reuse of the site. The resulting mixed-use retail and office property now features four, two-story buildings that are connected with a central, outdoor courtyard that features regular programing. Along with Southern Grounds, The Courtyard includes ground-floor retail tenants: Bali Cargo Company, Kyds Children’s Boutique, KMH Home, Boutique Unique, Jaffi’s and Red Daisy. The complex also includes six office spaces located on the second floors.

The Courtyard complex today features four buildings that are home to more than a dozen businesses within the popular Beaches Town Center commercial district

The new Avondale building design will go before the Jacksonville Historic Planning Commission in either the July or August meeting. The proposed Avondale Southern Grounds location would operate seven days a week from 6 am until 10 pm. In addition to coffee, the restaurant will serve a full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu, along with baked goods, and a selection of beer and wine. The operators will not seek any exceptions to serve hard liquor.

Article by Mike Field. Contact Mike at