#EATUPJAX: Restaurant Openings, Closures, and New Areas within the Native Jacksonville Meals Scene

Longstanding Italian chef and restaurant owner Jerry Moran recently did a good deed for a dying man. His New York-style cheesecake has a lot of fans, and when a customer learned that a Terminal man at the Baptist Hospital was asking about NY cheesecake, they asked Moran if he could help. Moran brought the cheesecake to the hospital by hand. His restaurant, La Cena, was downtown for many years but moved to Murray Hill on Edgewood Avenue a few years ago.

St. Mark’s Square shows the tavern and the empty room next door that becomes Izakaya. Photo by Jill Cruz

The owners of tavern in San Marco use the room next door, which used to be Pure Barre, and transform it into a secondary restaurant area, this time with an Asian kitchen flair. The separate room is called Izakaya. They are starting the expansion this month to convert the space from retail to restaurant and they expect it to be open by spring 2020, if not earlier. We will keep you posted!

Matthews The restaurant in San Marco has been redesigned and reopened after a week of renovations last month. So if you haven’t been in a while, come over and experience your new hoax!

Chomp Chomp on Herschel Street in Avondale, a favorite of many local foodies, closed last summer. We can’t wait to see what Ian Chase will do next. He still owns The Fox to the Shoppes of Avondale, a fantastic and classic place for breakfast / lunch.

#EATUPJAX: Restaurant Openings, Closures and New Locations in the Local Jacksonville Food Scene, Derby House Diner, Derby Benedict (with Lox!)Derby House Diner Derby Benedict (with Lox!)

Derby on Park has changed hands a few times lately and is now passing Derby House Diner. The youngest owners are Chad Munsey and Michael Schmidt, also owners of The Bearded Pig grill restaurant in San Marco. The place has seen some more menu and decor changes, with a new head chef who has experience from Candy Apple Cafe and MLG, Dustin Wigglesworth. The menu is now more modern. So if you’re expecting the same old – not good, not quite. Expect trendy devils eggs, some fantastic salads, and a good mix of surf and turf. Finally a new, reasonably priced American menu (starters mostly under $ 20), lots of gluten-free options, and some diner-type dishes and sandwiches that the old Derby was known for.

Aria kitchenAria kitchen

New to Baymeadows is Aria kitchen, serves Persian and Iranian food.

We just lost India Restaurant so it’s good to know that another new Indian place has come to Baymeadows. JaxMinerva There is a buffet with vegetarian options as well as starters and entrees.

Do you want something new for yourself? Try Peruvian dishes at Flame Pie at 9965 San Jose Boulevard. And yes, there are empanadas.

At Empanada Llama in Mandarin there is something for everyone

Burrito gallery opened another location this summer near St. John’s Town Center in Gateway Village. Expect the same type of menu as the other three locations in Jax, with a full bar.

You could wait Catullos Italian at 1650-2 San Pablo Road South, but we hear it’s worth the wait.

We have lots of beach news for #EatUpJax this month! Some newcomers are moving in and a few classic cars are moving out. Planned hotels coming onto beachfront property have also messed things up. Pier Cantina in Jax Beach has closed, basically so that one Springhill suites The hotel can be built later this year. It was a spot favorite for taco Tuesdays, a decent bar, and amazing views of the beach.

We told you about it ABBQ Opened a few months ago in Atlantic Beach and we’re happy to announce that the Texas-style grill has been well received. You can find her at 461 Atlantic Boulevard in Atlantic Beach.

Jacksonville’s The local plans to open a location in Neptune Beach, in the former 7-Eleven next to Starbucks in downtown Beaches. It’s an English pub style where you can get a good beer and a variety of foods from seafood to ribs.

#EATUPJAX: Restaurant Openings, Closures, and New Locations in the Local Jacksonville Food Scene, Skratch Kitchen Mimosa BarSkratch Kitchen Mimosa Bar

In Jax Beach, Skratch Kitchen Mimosa Bar will take over the old room at Jimmy Hula’s on Beach Boulevard. Not much is known other than that there will be mimosa.

Campeche Bay Cantina in Jax Beach closed in August but the building has already been snapped up by a real estate developer. If you are looking for a space to open a new restaurant, the space can be rented.

Kenny Gilbert just opened a new space at 501 South 8th Street in Fernandina. Gilbert’s underground kitchenwhich will focus on Mediterranean seafood, other Mediterranean cuisine, as well as local artisanal beers

Celebrity boss Mario Batali is no longer involved in national news EatalyThe Italian marketplaces he was the face for officially ended the relationship, although he has not been directly affiliated with the brand since 2017. That year he allegedly groped a guest while drunk. The hearing on the matter lasted in late August and a number of women brought up similar stories. Since the allegations, The Food Network had also canceled plans to relaunch the TV show “Molto Mario”, in which he played the lead role.

Moon over the market at the Jacksonville Farmers Market

November is two months away but we thought we’d give you a hint Moon over the market November 14th at the Jacksonville Farmers Market from 6pm to 8.30pm. The annual ticket tasting is organized by GastroJax, the organization that runs GastroFest. You can find it by searching Moon Over the Market on 904tix.com. It’s a great way to sample some of Jacksonville’s best offerings from a variety of food vendors and genres. If you’ve got an incredible appetite, you can also get samples from the student competition portion of the event, where ProStart Culinary students are mentored by local chefs. So far, the range has included Thai food from the sophisticated Blue Orchid restaurant, Vucca’s for some Italian-Americans from a new food truck, food with products from Front Porch Pickings and the contents of farm bags, soul food from the coastal cuisine of Jazzy’s and Celestia from The Revered Jacksonville Soul Food Chef Celestia Mobley, Floribama Grill from delicious Rite On QUE, Asian Street Food from Jammas Jax Truck, Pie95 Pizza, a favorite that is asked for every year, Bono’s Barbecue and Catering’s popular local chain, the Datil B. Good food truck with St. Augustine flavor and Blue Bamboos of hip Asian cuisine from award-winning chef Dennis Chan. There will likely be more news in the future, but ticket prices are only $ 25 if you get your tickets at 904tix.com before October. Tickets are typically $ 40 per person.

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