The $1 billion sale of Firehouse Subs — founded in Jacksonville by two firefighter brothers who then built the popular sandwich shop into a 1,200-plus global chain — topped November restaurant news.
The opening of the much-anticipated luxury furnishing retailer RH Jacksonville, The Gallery at St. Johns Town Center with its upscale rooftop restaurant, wine bar and lush garden dazzled.
Sugar Factory American Brasserie announced it hopes to open its upscale confectionery and restaurant with its elaborate candies and desserts at Markets at Town Center near St. Johns Town Center in early 2022.
Firehouse Subs, the Jacksonville-based restaurant chain founded by Jacksonville firefighters Chris Sorensen and Robin Sorensen more than 25 years ago, is set to be acquired by Restaurant Brands International Inc. in a $1 billion deal. Restaurant Brands International, which also owns Burger King, Popeyes and Tim Hortons, announced the all-cash plan to buy Firehouse Subs from the brothers on Nov. 15. | Read more
RH Jacksonville, The Gallery
Luxury home furnishings retailer RH Jacksonville, The Gallery at St. Johns Town Center opened Nov. 19. Three stories with a rooftop restaurant and park, the store at 4831 Village Shops Way is designed to be a destination — an elegant, memorable destination. It offers visitors not only fine furnishings and unique artwork but a fresh ingredient-driven restaurant. | Read more
Sugar Factory American Brasserie
Sugar Factory American Brasserie, an upscale confectionery and restaurant made popular by celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and 50 Cent released artist renderings of its planned location at Markets at Town Center. Known for its elaborate sweet treats such as the $25, celebrity-endorsed Couture Pops, a $99, 24-scoop ice cream sundae, gourmet milkshakes and desserts, Sugar Factory is expected to open in early Spring 2022. It will replace the former Brio Tuscan Grille, which closed in January 2020, at 4910 Big Island Drive. | Read more
City Rescue Mission Charis Cafe and Thrift Store
The nonprofit City Rescue Mission expanded its Charis Chocolates dessert and catering business into a stand-alone cafe as well as opened a new, larger thrift store Nov. 17 to support its community services. The cafe and thrift store are at 7200 Normandy Blvd. on the city’s Westside in the former Save A Lot store. Proceeds from both help support the mission’s many community services helping the homeless and others in need. The cafe is part of the mission’s life skills training program. | Read more
Southern Grounds & Co.
Southern Grounds & Co., a popular Jacksonville chef-driven restaurant, plans to open its newest restaurant on Jan. 10, in Concourse A at Jacksonville International Airport, owner Mark Janasik told the Times-Union. HMSHost will operate the airport Southern Grounds as part of a licensing agreement. The airport restaurant will be the fourth Southern Grounds & Co. in Jacksonville. Its menu will be identical to its Neptune Beach sister restaurant, he said. | Read more
Hakka Kitchen, formerly known as the House of Leaf and Bean, opened Nov. 16 as a new full-service restaurant offering plant-based Chinese countryside cuisine. The restaurant at 14474 Beach Blvd. evolved from the popular House of Leaf and Bean, founded by Wen Raiti in 2017, who wanted to offer healthy food in a peaceful community space, according to a news release announcing the opening. Raiti is of Hakka descent. Hakka Kitchen pays homage to the Hakka people and their culture. The Hakka are a Chinese ethnicity and descendants of the early Chinese northern dynasties, according to a news release announcing the restaurant.
Ellianos Coffee Company
Ellianos Coffee Company is seeking a Jacksonville building permit for a new, double-sided, stand-alone, drive-thru-only coffeehouse at 8781 Old Kings Road. The estimated construction cost is $263,840 for the 800 square foot kiosk, according to the permit, which is listed as under review. If approved, it will be among at least five either open or coming soon to the Jacksonville area. Based in Lake City, the family-owned specialty coffee company plans | Read more
Publix opened its Northpoint Village Shopping Center on Nov. 11 at 12541 Yellow Bluff Road near New Berlin Road in North Jacksonville. About 49,692 square feet, the grocery and pharmacy anchors the shopping center being developed by International Management Company. | Read More
Burger Fi officials told the Times-Union the craft burger restaurant hopes to open April 1, 2022 in Concourse A at Jacksonville International Airport. It will be the fourth Jacksonville-area BurgerFi. Most of the BurgerFi menu will be offered at the JIA location. One notable exception: custard, officials said. | Read more
St. Johns County issued two separate building permits to Cantina Louie four days apart for interior buildouts of new restaurants. The first on Oct. 21 was for a 4,960 square foot buildout estimated at $653,000 at 465 Florida-13 North in St. Johns. The second on Oct. 25 listed an estimated $692,180 for a 5,300 square foot buildout at the Shoppes of Aberdeen, 3735 Longleaf Pine Parkway in Fruit Cove. Both permits list the same contractor. Cantina Louie currently has 10 locations either already open or coming soon in Florida and North Carolina, its website shows.
Cold Stone Creamery
Cold Stone Creamery opened its fourth Jacksonville restaurant shortly before Thanksgiving at Ortega Park shopping center, 4495 Roosevelt Blvd. in Avondale. The ice cream parlor is among the newest businesses in the former Roosevelt Square, which is being redeveloped into Ortega Park. Cold Stone also has stores in St. Augustine, Yulee and Fruit Cove.
Clean Eatz Jacksonville
Clean Eatz Jacksonville, which describes itself as “a healthy lifestyle restaurant specializing in preparing properly portioned meals” opened its second Jacksonville-area restaurant on Nov. 18. The new restaurant at 4828 West Deer Lake Drive is owned and operated by local father and son, Jerry and Jer Mosiello. The area’s first location is at 661 Blanding Blvd. in Orange Park. It offers snacks, pizza, burgers, salads, sandwiches and more. Clean Eatz says it can accommodate all dietary restrictions and offers the opportunity to have a personal chef prepare every meal at an affordable price.
Southeastern Grocers is building a new 43,613-square-foot Winn-Dixie supermarket and liquor store at Grand Cypress shopping center, 100 Little Cypress Drive in St. Johns. The construction cost is estimated at nearly $4.4 million, according to a St. Johns County building permit issued Oct. 29. The shopping center is being built on the former Bestbet site at Race Track Road and U.S. 1. in northwest St. Johns County.