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The Soul Food Restaurants of Jacksonville

The origins of soul food, including foods such as okra and rice, are common elements of West African cuisine that were introduced to the Americas as a part of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Soul food, as we know of it today, is a combination of West African foods and meats and vegetables that were readily available to African slaves. Jacksonville's status as a port during the Reconstruction era, led to a large number of freedmen locating to the area for economic opportunity (bringing their cuisine with them) during the late 19th century. Here, traditional afrocentric dishes such as oxtail, chitterlings, ham hocks, collard and turnip greens can be found in numerous establishments ranging from hole-in-the-wall spots to sit-down restaurants. Here's a few places in town worth visiting. If you see a soul food establishment you'd recommend that is not listed, let us know! Read More

The Rise and Decline of Gateway Mall

As more modern facilities are developed across the country, many mid-20th century enclosed shopping malls are in a state of decline due to retailers abandoning these properties for new development. Many of these “dead malls” fail to attract new business and often sit unused for many years until restoration or demolition. Gateway Town Center is a local retail landmark and Jacksonville’s best example of a dead mall still in search for a magical rebirth. Read More

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