River City Brewing closes; Sugarfire opens
The closure of Southbank landmark River City Brewing Co. resulted in the closure and opening of restaurants in the Jacksonville area in July. Diners also bid farewell to the Loop Pizza Grill in Neptune Beach after 30 years.
But Sweet Pete’s opened its first restaurant, Fizzies & Fare, offering over 600 flavors of sodas as well as milkshakes, burgers and sweet treats. On the barbecue side, the highly anticipated Sugarfire Smoke House has opened, bringing St. Louis-style barbecue to Northeast Florida.
Here’s a recap.
River City Brewing Co.
After 27 years on the South Shore of Jacksonville, River City Brewing closed for good on July 18 to make way for a 325-unit apartment building and a new restaurant overlooking the St. Johns River. | Read more
Mongolian Marco Polo barbecue and Chinese restaurant
After 32 years, Marco Polo Chinese Restaurant and Mongolian BBQ, 3000 Dunn Ave. on the north side of Jacksonville, has closed permanently, the owner announced July 31 on Facebook. It had previously been closed for renovations due to a fire in the kitchen, according to a previous post on Facebook. | Read more
June recap:Roy’s, bagels, Dreamette and more: restaurant openings, closings in the Jacksonville area
Can summarize:Rooftop Mexican Food, Boiled Peanuts & More: Jacksonville Area Restaurant Openings, Clos
More news on restaurants:The Times-Union’s summer restaurant guide to dining in Jacksonville
The bearded pig
The Bearded Pig BBQ opened in its new location on July 31 at 1808 Kings Ave. in the historic district of San Marco. The restaurant is less than half a mile from its original location at 1224 Kings Ave. | Read more
Fizzies & Fare
Sweet Pete’s new restaurant, soda store and ice cream parlor, Fizzies & Fare, opened July 9 at 400 N. Hogan St. in downtown Jacksonville. The restaurant offers at least 600 flavors of bottled soft drinks and a menu that includes gourmet milkshakes, floats, sundaes, and ice cream cones. | Read more
The Neptune Beach Loop
After 30 years, the Loop Pizza Grill closed in Neptune Beach on July 15. The owner of the restaurant franchise said he is looking for a new location in the neighborhood so it can reopen as soon as possible. | Read more
Sugarfire Smoke House
Sugarfire Smoke House opened on July 26 with a limited menu, limited staff, and reduced hours. The opening of the St. Louis-style barbecue had been delayed because it could not hire and train enough cooks, waiters, cashiers and other employees. The Jacksonville location is the first Sugarfire on the East Coast. | Read more
Seven months after opening, Catullo’s Pizzeria closed in Toon Town near TIAA Bank Field in downtown Jacksonville. Catullo’s Italian, owned by restaurateur brothers Carl and Dave Catullo, remains open at 1650 S. San Pablo Road. | Read more
Tik Tok social media sensation Crumbl Cookies opened its first gourmet cookie store in Northeast Florida on July 9 at 3267 Hodges Blvd. in the Beach Haven neighborhood of Jacksonville. A second Crumbl Cookies store, with a separate franchise owner, is under construction at 11406 San Jose Blvd. in Mandarin. No opening date has been announced for this store. | Read more
Waffle Master Dolly Lama
The Dolly Llama Waffle Master, a Los Angeles-based artisanal waffle and ice cream store, announced on July 20 that a husband and wife team are planning to open a franchise in Ponte Vedra Beach. This will be the first Dolly Llama on the East Coast. The couple hope to open early next year but have yet to finalize the location.
WDs will be Winn-Dixie’s first stand-alone liquor store when it opens in downtown Miramar south of historic San Marco by the holidays. Southeastern Grocers, parent company of Winn-Dixie, released details of the liquor store on July 21. It will feature around 1,700 fine wines as well as premium craft beers and distilled spirits. | Read more
Ruby Beach Brewing Co.
On July 22, owner Mark Vandeloo announced that the Ruby Beach Brewing Co. faucet room will open on August 5 in its new location in downtown Jacksonville. The craft brewery has moved from its original location to Jacksonville Beach. | Read more
Dochi, an artisan donut store specializing in Japanese mochi donuts, plans to open its first permanent store in northeast Florida. It will be adjacent to BENTO Asian Kitchen + Sushi in the downtown markets. The city is considering a July 9 application for a building permit for the construction estimated at $ 175,000, according to records. | Read more
Belgian Sweet House
Belgian Sweet House serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in its new location at 12276 San Jose Blvd. in Mandarin. The restaurant moved July 17 from its old location in Julington Creek, according to its Facebook post. | Read more
Outback St. Augustine Crab Shack
Five years after the destruction of the Outback Crab Shack by Hurricane Matthew, the popular St. Augustine seafood restaurant is back. Sleiman Enterprises, owner of the property, announced on July 22 that the restaurant – established in 1984 – was being rebuilt to reopen in the spring. |Read more
Mexican Grilled Chipotle Yulee
Chipotle Mexican Grill opened its first Yulee restaurant with a “Chipotlane” on June 29th. This is a drive-through pickup lane that allows customers to collect their digital orders without leaving their car. | Read more
Chick-fil-A opened their new restaurant on July 1 at 3814 University Blvd. W. in the Lakewood neighborhood of Jacksonville. He is among at least 20 in the Jacksonville area, according to the company’s website. | Read more