Outdoor snack hall, beer garden is coming to Springfield | Jax Daily Record | Jacksonville Daily Record
An outdoor food hall and live music venue, the first of its kind in Jacksonville, are preparing for a soft opening on November 14th in Springfield.
Entrepreneur Evan Metz developed the project he called Alberi on N. Main Street in 1819. It is located on an acre owned by his business partner, Victor Letourneaut, President of the Up-Side Management Company.
It’s across from Strings Sports Brewery on Main Street.
At its soft opening on November 14, Metz said several grocery vendors will be on site and several musicians and comedians will perform from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Metz said the facility may host another event in the coming months, opening all day in early 2021.
“The concept itself is a combination of dining room, beer garden and venue for live music,” said Metz.
For the opening event, Alberi will host several restaurants and breweries in Jacksonville, including the Jax Beach Brunch House, Buchner’s Beer Hall, Khloes Kitchen, La Nota Venezuelan, Twisting Roots and Engine 15 Brewing Company.
He is also in talks with a salesman for a tequila bar.
Alberi on N. Main St. 1819 is across from the Strings Sports Brewery. (Google)
The event, called Nature Wins, is closely linked to the name of the venue, Alberi, which means trees in Italian.
Metz said he was inspired by similar projects in the Northwest, where developers would place multiple stationary structures on an empty lot, similar to a food truck court. The structures could be made from old trailers, wooden huts, or boats.
So far, Alberi will have an old truck on site. Metz searches for aircraft debris to turn a bar and boat into space for a fishmonger. The bed of an 18-wheel truck will serve as the power stage, he said.
He said he did not opt for permanent grocery vendors when the outdoor food hall opened all day in 2021.
He will acquire more structure for vendors to use once he has identified the permanent vendors.
Metz is from Miami. He moved to Oregon for a few years to work in the cannabis industry before returning to Florida in 2019 to look for a place to open Alberi.
Last year, Metz went on a road trip of several months through the southeast to dining rooms, beer gardens and venues for live music.
He chose Jacksonville to get the concept off the ground.
“There are many millennials out there, a growing population, but there haven’t been too many places that really pushed the boundaries of food and drink experiences,” he said. “This is a pretty good opportunity.”
After meeting Springfield Preservation and Revitalization, staying in the neighborhood, and other real estate investments nearby, Springfield seemed like the best place to open up the concept.
Metz owns a piece of land at 1501 N. Main St. which he leases to the Jax Code Academy. He also owns land on Ionia St. 1819 – a warehouse that he plans to convert into a mixed-use estate.
“I love this place,” he said. “I was looking for a place that had this natural character and it has all of that,” he said.
“You have all of these local craft shops that have this incredible character.”
Metz said he hoped in time that Alberi would become a “must see” in town.
“My ultimate goal for the project is to create an experience for Jacksonville that the US has never seen before,” he said. “I really want to create something here in Jacksonville that the city can be proud of.”