Southern Grounds is the primary tenant of The Hub Brooklyn | Jax Daily Record | Jacksonville Daily Record

Southern Grounds & Co. wants to expand to Downtown Brooklyn with a coffee bar and a “seasonal fresh” restaurant concept.

Mark Janasik, owner of Southern Grounds.

Jacksonville-based coffee chain owner Mark Janasik said Oct. 9 that Southern Grounds is partnering with Cronk Duch Architecture to fill both retail space and the kitchen of planned The Hub Brooklyn on Riverside Avenue and Forest Street.

“It’s certainly a picturesque meeting place with the open courtyard design,” said Janasik.

“It’s a place to meet friends, a place for weekend travelers,” he said. “Coming together is a huge part of what The Hub is and part of the Southern Grounds philosophy.”

The restaurant’s menu and courtyard design, which ties the business concepts together, will be similar to the Southern Grounds Neptune Beach location, he said.

Janasik said the restaurant will be quick and casual, with food from local farms with “globally inspired cuisine”.

The owner of the Southern Ground envisions a 1930s-style “ban kitchen” serving cocktails in the bar.

The Downtown Development Review Board approved the final draft at its October 8th meeting at 6-0.

An artist’s impression of the courtyard space in Hub Brooklyn.

The plans presented by developers Joseph Loretta and Cronk Duch show a retail space on three levels and 2,593 square meters of outdoor dining and meeting space.

Architect Joe Cronk told the panel that “the DNA” of Hub Brooklyn is blurring the lines between pedestrian right of way and the feel of an “internal street” of the courtyard.

The second level has 1,318 square meters of event space with a catwalk.

Janasik said the small interior space and emphasis on al fresco dining were intended for the post-coronavirus market.

Plans show that the coffee bar will no longer take up 1,534 square meters. An 854 square meter bar is located diagonally from the café above the covered courtyard.

A third room on the ground floor, which is intended for the kitchen, cooling and toilet facilities, has a total of 1,206 square meters.

Plans show 2,593 square feet of outdoor dining and meeting space.

According to Janasik, Cronk Duch will initially occupy the combined 2,407 square meters in studio rooms on the second and third floors, which could become cowork spaces.

Southern Grounds and Cronk Duch are working on financial details, including a ownership split, Janasik said.

The southwest corner of Riverside Avenue and Forest Street will place Southern Grounds opposite the US $ 145 million headquarters of Fidelity National Information Services Inc., which has more than 1,700 employees. Construction is in progress.

It is also across Forest Street from the 220 Riverside and Vista Brooklyn Apartments.

Superior Construction Company Southeast LLC owns the 0.21 acre site.

Depending on the permit, Southern Grounds expects a construction period of 12 months.

Janasik said Southern Grounds’ growth strategy is to open two stores per year in “unique neighborhoods,” beginning in northeast Florida and moving on to other Florida cities.

The Brooklyn hub will be the company’s fifth location.

The third location in Avondale is nearing completion and a fourth will open in Concourse A at Jacksonville International Airport this fall.

The first locations are in Neptune Beach and San Marco.

Hub Brooklyn is across Forest Street from 220 Apartments Riverside and Vista Brooklyn.

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