The Avenue

1. Operated by Fresh Ministries, Inc., the J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver Center for Community Outreach opened at 616 A. Philip Randolph Boulevard in January 2015. The center provides a community connection to a computer lab, youth programs, employment leads, event space, job training courses and a 6,000 square foot aquaponics facility. 616 A. Philip Randolph Boulevard was built in 1951. Early tenants included the Jacksonville Show Case & Equipment Company and Glidex Corporation Oils.

2. 736 A. Philip Randolph Boulevard was completed in 1953 and was occupied by Mike Brothers Grocery during the 1950s. Today the 2,724 square foot building is occupied by Eva’s 1925 Bar & Grill.

3. 748 A. Philip Randolph Boulevard was completed in 1929 and initially occupied by Eassi Kaleel Grocery. During the mid-1950s, it was occupied by the Givens Brothers Fish and Poultry Company. For many years it was used as a sanctuary for various churches including the Holiness Church and the House of God Saints of Christ Church.

4. This strip of brick storefronts was completed in 1909 at the junction of streetcar lines running down East Union Street and Florida Avenue. Early tenants included a bakery operated by Daniel W. Foster, a pool hall operated by Thomas J. Jackson, a dry good store owned by Morris Herskovitz and a grocery market owned by Philip Ossinsky.

During the 1950s, tenants included the Four Hundred Pool Hall, Wesley’s Beauty Salon, Spot-Rite Cleaners and the Eastside Liquor Store. Still in operation today, Spot Rite Cleaners is one of the oldest continuously operated businesses in the Eastside and on the Avenue.

5. This storefront at the intersection of A. Philip Randolph Boulevard and Union Street was occupied by the Eastside Liquor Store during the mid-20th century. An adjacent building to the right of this structure was the location of William Anthony “Buster” Ford’s Bird Land. Bird Land was a popular live jazz venue established in 1954. Ford expanded his Union Street business with a hotel called Hotel Anthony during the 1960s. Unfortunately, the hotel was destroyed by fire in 1970.

6. The Avenue Grill occupies a storefront at 818 A. Philip Randolph Boulevard. When the building was completed in 1922, early tenants included G. J. Jennings Meats, J. M. Way Barbershop, an office for Dr. Louis H. Myers and a dental practice for Dr. Jeremiah Booner. Dr. Bonner was known in the 1940s for being skillful with gold front teeth crowns.

7. We Make the Shirt is a popular screen printing business at 822 A. Philip Randolph Boulevard. This storefront was built in 1948 and originally occupied by Mason Brothers Dry Goods.

8. A mural of great Eastside residents from the past on the side of 826 A. Philip Randolph Boulevard. This storefront was originally occupied by the HMS Upholstery Company. For many years this was the location of Napoleon “TV-Man” Fussell’s tv and radio repair shop.