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AMATEUR NIGHT AT THE RITZ A cultural expression exchange in the heart of LaVilla BY LILTERA R. WILLIAMS

THEATRE JACKSONVILLE AND STELLAR FOUNDATION PRESENT

Book and Lyrics by Joe DiPietro | Music by Jimmy Roberts 'LUHFWHGE\/HH+DPE\q0XVLFDO'LUHFWLRQE\/DXUD3HGHQ

DEC. 2 THRU 17, 2011 FRIDAY & SATURDAY AT 8 pm | THURSDAY AT 7:30 pm | SUNDAY AT 2:00 pm BOX OFFICE (904) 396-4425 | www.theatrejax.com SponSored in part by the State of florida, department of State, diviSion of Cultural affairS, the florida CounCil on artS and Culture, the national endowment for the artS, the City of JaCkSonville, and the Cultural CounCil of Greater JaCkSonville, inC.

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NOVEMBER 2011 | eu jacksonville monthly

“I’ll see YOU at the Ritz!” It’s an inviting exclamation of joy for those in the know. At the Ritz, they foster creativity and provide of a platform of expression and promotion for talented locals. EU recently got the chance to speak with the Executive Director of the Ritz Theatre and reigning Amateur Night host, Ms. Carol Alexander, about this spectacular monthly event. She provided details about its development and shared key facts about the theatre’s history and traditions. “I just want this place to be a haven of nurturing and development for the youth, and as they grow old they can learn about culture and art while keeping this place alive,” she proclaimed. The new Ritz Theatre and Museum was constructed in 1999 on the site of the 1929 Ritz Theatre movie house in the historic community of LaVilla, known as the Harlem of the South from the 1920s to the 1960s. The modern facility currently functions with a mission to “research, record and preserve the material and artistic culture of African American life in Northeast Florida and the African Diaspora, and present in an educational or entertaining format, the many facets that make up the historical and cultural legacy of this community.” Modeled after Amateur Night at the Apollo in Harlem, inside a repository of history and a neighborhood hot spot, Amateur Night at the Ritz occurs the first Friday of every month. Auditions are generally held the second Thursday of each month for contestants who either “have talent or don’t have talent,” but are brave enough and possess the desire to put their abilities on display for the local community audience. During the live show they are granted three minutes and 30 seconds to showcase their potential. Adults are judged by the audience with celebratory claps or disinterested boos, and youth contestants are fittingly judged by the judging panel, a combination of community leaders, local members with an interest in the arts, and McDonald’s sponsor representatives. Due to the nonrestrictive age limit, a broad range of performers, including jugglers, singers, rappers, spoken word artists, dancers, and even a light artist who strategically controlled multiple neon sticks, have graced the stage over the years. In the first round, contestants are vying for first, second and third place cash prizes of $100, $50 and $25 respectively. During the semifinals, the prizes rise to $150, $100 and $75, and contestants who are talented enough to make it to the finals have the opportunity to win a first place prize of $500. The neon sign and the wall in front of the box office are the only original components of the former Ritz Theatre, and as a way to preserve the mystique and energy of the past, Ms. Alexander encourages each contestant to “rub the magic,” a rock that was saved from the construction site as the old theatre was being torn down, before taking their place on the stage. Each contestant experiences a transfer of energy from the legacies of historical figures, such as Cab Calloway, Sarah Vaughan, Gloria Lynne and Langston Hughes, who all passed through on their way to other popular hotbeds during the Harlem Renaissance era. Former contestant Larreasha Williams, who sang Beyonce’s “1 + 1” in the September 2, 2011 showcase, found out about Amateur Night a week prior to the audition date when she saw an advertisement on a McDonald’s coupon. When asked what she hoped to gain from the experience, she jokingly responded, “I just wanted to have a good time and enjoy myself and see if I really had a fighting chance to be the next headliner of a future worldwide tour.” Larreasha now participates in open mic nights around the city to improve her craft and to gain more notoriety. She hopes to join the ranks of other former contestants who have gone on to demonstrate their talent outside of Jacksonville, including a young teenager who currently has his own show in a hotel in Japan and a dancer who traveled with the popular circus act Cirque du Soleil. Two former Amateur Night contestants have also performed live at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem. Ms. Alexander strongly believes that “Young people need to be able to develop a sense of who they are by recognizing how important it is to preserve and enlighten,” and she continues to amplify the passion that she developed for African American culture while growing up in Philadelphia. “I breathe it, I talk it, I think it, I wear it,” she stated. The strategic programming and vision set in place at the Ritz Theatre and Museum highlights the richness of our diverse community and serves as a foundation for locals to celebrate, communicate and cultivate that richness for years to come. Amateur Night tickets are affordably priced at $5.50 and usually sell out the Wednesday before each show. For more information about Amateur Night or any other event held at the Ritz Theatre and Museum, call 632-5555 or visit www.ritzjacksonville.com.


eco events November The Beaches Local Food Network has workshops going on at the community garden in Jarboe Park all month. Information on the free children’s workshops, including “Bees and Honey” on November 12, can be found at www.beacheslocalfoodnetwork.web.officelive. com/ChildrensGarden.aspx. Information on the adult workshops, including the $12 “Introduction to Permaculture” at 10 am on November 15 and the $35 “Growing Mushrooms” at 12 pm on November 15, is at www.beacheslocalfoodnetwork. web.officelive.com/happenings.aspx. You must pre-register for the adult workshops. Update on Urban Agriculture If you missed the October 6 Urban Agriculture Forum, watch it in its entirety here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaQ a1VQGtG4&feature=youtu.be November The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of St. Augustine will host an environmental film series. The 7 pm screenings include The Turning Point on November 3 and Forks Over Knives on November 10. A $5 donation is requested to cover the cost of the screening. For more information, call 461-3541. November 3 Florida Coastal School of Law and Jacksonville University host the 13th Annual Northeast Florida Environmental Summit: Economics, Ethics and the Environment. Some really interesting speakers will be on hand to discuss environmental issues. Registration is required. Visit www.fcsl.edu/content/northeastflorida-environmental-summit for more information and to register. November 5 Come out to the 2nd Annual Northeast Florida Veg Fest sponsored by Girls Gone Green and the Northeast Florida Vegetarian Society. The festival will feature healthy and sustainable foods, cooking demonstrations, live music, informed speakers and movie screenings. The area’s best organic, green, animal-friendly and wellness businesses and nonprofits will come together from 10 am to 5 pm in Riverside Park to celebrate this planet and all it has to offer. Check it out at www.nfvegfest-com.doodlekit.com/home. November 5 KYV Farm and Yoga Den are partnering to present Free Range Yoga! Join them at KYV in Switzerland at 10:30 am for an hour of all-levels-appropriate al fresco yoga followed by the opportunity to buy fresh, organic veggies. Proceeds benefit Slow Food First Coast, so bring cash ($10 for KYV farm share members, $15 for nonmembers) or check made out to Slow Food First Coast. Also bring your yoga mat, a towel and water. Contact Dawn Hutchins at 534-4252 for more information. Directions to the farm can be found at www.kyvfarm.com and information about Yoga Den is at www.yoga-den.com. November 6- 12 National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week would be a great time to donate to local shelters. “Donate” doesn’t just mean money either, although that is very helpful. Shelters are always in need of things like bedding, food, cleaning supplies, office supplies and your time. Contact shelters like First Coast No More Homeless Pets (www.fcnmhp.org) and the Jacksonville Humane Society (www.jaxhumane.org), tell them you appreciate the work they do and find out how you can help. November 8 Join the North Florida Land Trust for “Cocktails and Tapas,” a presentation and

BY ANNA RABHAN

On the River BY KELLY SAVAGE

Since it is November, the month of Thanksgiving, I thought I would take a moment to pause and give thanks to our beautiful river. At St. Johns Riverkeeper, we work hard to fight the big issues facing our river every day. We want to ensure it is healthy and a vibrant part of our city and state for generations to come. I think it is important to also take stock and remember all the good things our river brings to us, so here is brief list. I am thankful for: fundraiser at the Sawgrass Marriott Magnolia Terrace from 6- 8 pm. Learn about and support the Trust’s plan for creating a Conservation Resource Center adjacent to the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve in Ponte Vedra. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at www.conservationresourcecenter.com. November 15 Ever wanted to check out a farmto-table dinner event but been discouraged by the price? Several local, organic farms and the Floridian restaurant are partnering to present a four-course meal, with the option to purchase wine or beer, for only $25 for the vegetarian dinner or $35 for the meat option. There will be seatings at 6 and 8 pm, and proceeds benefit Slow Food First Coast. Prices increase $5 after November 8, so reserve your seats by calling the Floridian at 829-0655. For more information, contact the Floridian or Dawn Hutchins at 534-4252. November 17 Florida is being invaded! No, not the English, French or Spanish this time- invasive plant species are harming our environment. Learn about a new “bad boy” plant in the Jacksonville area and how to report it and other harmful plants. The Florida Native Plant Society, Ixia Chapter, will meet at 6:30 pm at the Regency Square Library. The program will include “Tamarix Biology and Identification,” by Ixia member Jessica Spencer, and “Citizen Science using EDDMapS: Florida’s Invasive Species Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System,” presented by Ixia member Pete Johnson. The meeting is free and open to the public. Visit www.ixia.fnpschapters. org or call 655-2550 for additional information. November 19 The Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens hosts its very popular $10 Yoga Under the Trees from 10-11 am. Bring your mat! For more information about this and other Arboretum events, contact director@jacksonvillearboretum. org. November 21 Buzz on over to the Duval County Agricultural Center on McDuff Avenue from 7- 8:30 pm. The Jacksonville Beekeepers Association will host a discussion on beekeeping practices. Visit www.jaxbees.com for all the information! December 3 & 4 In partnership with Environmental Concern, Inc., the North Florida Land Trust is offering two full-day workshops on wetlands at its headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach. “WOW! The Wonders of Wetlands” ($45) and “POW! The Planning of Wetlands” ($50) are excellent courses for students, volunteers, educators, home schoolers and property owners who want to consider restoration of wetlands. They are offering $5 off the total when you register for both workshops, and several teacher scholarships are available. To register, contact Environmental Concern at 410-745-9620 or www.wetland.org. For information, contact Susan Sanger at wow@ wetland.org.

Parks Did you know we have the largest park system in the United States? Yet another reason we are lucky to live on the First Coast. Make a point to get out there and explore! The St. Johns Riverkeeper has created the Get Your Feet Wet guidebook packed with information about the river, activities for families, and 50 of the best parks from Palatka to Mayport. I personally drove to each park and recorded the amenities, wildlife, access and important information like whether or not the park had restrooms! Many local shops carry our book, or you can order it online at www. stjohnsriverkeeper.org/the-river/guidebook. You can also download the Get Your Feet Wet iPhone App. This free app was created by a local company, Nautical Guides, LLC. You will be able to see what parks you are close to no matter where you are in the area! Water Access Want to paddle in the marsh? Go fishing from land or on a boat? Take a walk with spectacular river views? Take a swim? Again, we are lucky we can do all of the above in one city! It can be overwhelming to find new spots, and I am sure you are like me and tend to frequent the same ones. Once every six months or so, I make a list of at least two new places I want to check out and make a point of getting there. We made it easy on our website, listing all the access points and parks on a google map at www.stjohnsriverkeeper.org/the-river/access-and-recreation. Wildlife Viewing Since we have a diverse, unique landscape, we also have a diverse and unique stock of wildlife. It is pretty amazing that you can see dolphins, alligators and egrets in the same city as urban animals like squirrels and pigeons. I have found if I sit quietly just about anywhere, some creature will show itself. People Who Care Our river faces a lot of challenges but has also come a long way. St. Johns Riverkeeper (SJRK) was formed 11 years ago by a group of people who cared enough to take charge and create a nonprofit whose mission would be focused on protecting the river. Since then, SJRK has fought against water withdrawals and point-source pollution from JEA, GeorgiaPacific and others. We have also worked with other groups in our state to get more protection against nutrient pollution and has provided education and outreach opportunities to the public and schools. It is amazing what a small group can do with the support of the public, government officials and local businesses. Thank you to all who care! River Report Since 2008, we have had a report that documents the health of the river. Thanks to scientists from Jacksonville University, University of North Florida and Valdosta University, we can begin to work toward a clean and healthy river. You can look at a brief overview, which was made into a easy-to-read brochure, or view the entire detailed report at www.sjrreport.com. So take a good look at our city and picture what it would be like without the St. Johns River. Impossible to picture, isn’t it? Be thankful for it and for people who fight for it every day.

Upcoming River Events River Boat Trip Saturday, November 5, 10 am- noon Come aboard with us and learn all about the St. Johns River as we head into the Ortega River! Boat leaves from Friendship Fountain. Suggested donation: $15 Adults, $5 Children (under 12). Reservations required: 256-7613 or kelly@stjohnsriverkeeper.org. Black Creek Outfitters PINT NIGHT to benefit the St. Johns Riverkeeper Friday, November 11, 6- 9 pm Purchase your pint glass at Black Creek Outfitters before the event or the evening of for only $10, which ALL goes to the Riverkeeper. This price includes one free fill-up from the guys at Intuition Ale Works who will be at Black Creek for the party. Have a good night enjoying live local music, beer and hors d’oeuvres. 10th Annual Oyster Roast Friday, November 18, 7 pm; Garden Club of Jacksonville, 1005 Riverside Avenue Join us for live music, a silent auction, fabulous food by Pastiche and succulent oysters! Tickets are $125 each or $75 for ages 35 and under. Proceeds from the event help fund our effective advocacy, outreach and education programs. Buy tickets on our website: www.stjohnsriverkeeper.org/how-to-help/2011-oyster-roast. Oyster Roast After-Party Walkers on King Street, 10 pm After enjoying lovely oysters and beautiful views of the river at our annual Oyster Roast, join the Riverkeeper’s young professionals group, Rising Tides, for a free after-party!

Please email listings for consideration to anna@eujacksonville.com by the 15th of each month.

eujacksonville.com | NOVEMber 2011

25


JACKSONVILLE

ARTSONVILLE 2012 CoRK Art District • Jim Draper • Sun-Ray Cinema • Director Gus Cooper • Wicked returns to Jacksonville

free monthly guide to entertainment & more | january 2012 | eujacksonville.com


CREATIVE CIRCUITRY

photo by jaime eason

Local Singer Shoni BY LILTERA R. WILLIAMS Most performers have dreams of making it big, and eventually move to popular cities to gain more notoriety, but local artist Shoni seems to be satisfied with the creative niche she’s establishing in the comfort of Jacksonville’s familiarity. In three words, Shoni describes herself as genuine, spirited and colorful, which is illustrative of the accomplished songstress who double majored in English and Photojournalism at the University of Florida. After graduating in May 2010, she began to display her talents during live performances at open mic venues. Shoni is quickly making her mark on the Jacksonville artistic scene, evolving from singing at local bars three years ago to being solicited as an exclusive street act in the Riverside Arts Market showcase on November 12, 2011. Of the performance she says, “This was many firsts for me: I’d never played outside, nor in the daylight, nor for a large number of people. What I liked about the atmosphere there is that people could sit down with a bowl of bisque or let their kids play for a bit as they sat down to hear you play. A few close friends also came to support, so that warm familiarity mixed with the cool air, the river, and this natural sedative that hits me when I begin to sing made for an incredible experience. It pulled me from my comfort zone, and you can’t grow unless you allow that to happen.” Shoni’s distinctive, acoustic performance style is a fusion of “airy, soulful vocals and glimmery guitar riffs” blended with her vivacious personality to emit the combination of unique melodies that is her self-described ethereal sound. Her favored rendition of the popular classic ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ is delivered with raw, pure emotion that deeply captivates listeners. Inspired by the elements of freedom and expression, Shoni studies the techniques utilized by fellow performers, borrowing key strategies to use as motivation for continuing to pursue her dream. “Seeing someone on stage exude high levels of passion,” says Shoni, “makes me want to be on that stage.” When she’s not performing, Shoni spends her time working as a Quality Control Editor and conducting freelance photo shoots. She also actively participates in charity showcases for Harvest of Hope, a nonprofit organization based in Gainesville that aids migrant farm workers and their families. Shoni will continue to actively support the workers who contribute to and sustain the lives of everyone who shops in a grocery store or a local market by showcasing her talents in a live benefit concert on February 19th at Jack Rabbits in San Marco. While diligently working on her demo, tentatively scheduled to be released in early 2012, Shoni strives daily to reach her ultimate goal of “working hard to present something interesting and heartfelt, something that hasn’t quite been done yet.” Experience this budding artist’s potential for yourself. Visit her fan pages at www.facebook. com/shonisings and www.reverbnation.com/shonisings for original acoustic song versions and details about upcoming performances and appearances.

28

JANUARY 2012 | eu jacksonville monthly


and

    

Invite You To An Advance Screening

  

          

   

50 Years Later Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens Replanting the Seed of Jacksonville’s Culture by Liltera Williams

Stop By And Register To Win Your Complimentary Pass For Two

acobs JJewelers

Jacksonville's Finest Name in Jewelry Since 1890

204 Laura Street • 356-1655

WH ILE QUAN TITIES LAST • LIMIT ONE PASS PER PER SON • N O PUR CH ASE NEC ESSARY•FIR ST C OME, FIRST SERVED

OPENS NATIONWIDE FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16

20

DECemBER 2011 | eu jacksonville monthly

The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens celebrated 50 years of art, gardens and education by hosting its 50th Anniversary Community Celebration in honor of the Museum and its legacy on Friday, November 11. The event featured fun and exciting entertainment, including gallery activities, artmaking, scavenger hunts, artist demonstrations, and a live radio broadcast by Lite 96.1. Visitors were encouraged to leave recommendations for future improvements near the wishing tree and were also invited to print their names on the donation wall. Anniversary toasts, followed by an evening concert in the gardens featuring the University of North Florida Jazz Ensemble, were key highlights of the celebration. The Cummer opened 50 years ago on November 10, 1961, when art collector, garden enthusiast and civic leader Ninah Cummer donated an art collection that consisted of more than 60 works. Cummer also donated a riverfront home that she owned with her husband, Arthur, to create an art museum that would represent “a center of beauty and culture for the benefit of all people.â€? As avid volunteers and community advocates, Mr. and Mrs. Cummer dedicated their lives to philanthropic efforts that would improve the condition and appearance of local Jacksonville surroundings. Although the displays change often, the Art Connection space frequently showcases exhibits that allow you to learn about and experience the garden, embodying the desires of Mr. and Mrs. Cummer, with interactive education that pulls together information about the art they collected. Ongoing construction was completed just this past year. The Tudor Room, an exhibit featuring antique pieces from the original Cummer home, was restored, museum galleries were renovated, the Wark Collection of Early Meissen Porcelain was reinstalled, and the Eugene Savage paintings, which are a recent addition to the Museum’s collection, were revealed for the first time after undergoing extensive conservation work. “We will continue to bring diverse art from different time periods and cultures of the world to the community as a means for growth and advancement, while aiming to use museum displays as a tool for civic engagement,â€? said Museum Director Hope McMath. Future additions and improvements include restoration of the Olmsted Garden that belonged to the Cummer family, an additional historic garden that extends the riverfront property, remodeling of the old Woman’s Club building as a major social center and place for public programs such as member events, concerts, poetry readings and films, major beautification of the entire Riverside Avenue property entrance, including the parking lots across the street, and a possible addition of cafĂŠ seating on the front lawn. “We are working towards becoming more open to the public through educational outreach and partnering with community organizations that may seem untraditional for a museum, such as medical facilities, local universities, and organizations like the St. Johns Riverkeeper, whose mission is to preserve the natural assets of the St. Johns River, which is also an important element to the Cummer’s existence,â€? McMath said. The comprehensive list of restorative amendments will position the Cummer Museum as “an important concept within Jacksonville, while still building on the legacy of the Cummer family, donors, partners, and future generations.â€? A special emphasis will be placed on programs like the Weaver Academy of Art, which reaches thousands of children in Jacksonville’s urban core, and VSA initiatives that will serve unprecedented numbers of adults and children with disabilities. As the Cummer embarks on a renewed mission to “engage and inspire through the arts, gardens and education,â€? a vision of bigger and better public sculpture gardens, an infinitely creative art collection, greater community participation, and technological expansion beyond the Jacksonville area is guaranteed to be unveiled fifty years from now. The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is committed to engage and inspire through the arts, gardens and education. A permanent collection of nearly 5,000 objects and historic gardens on a riverfront campus offers more than 109,000 annual visitors a truly unique experience on the First Coast. For more information on future events at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, call 3566857.


and

    

Invite You To An Advance Screening

  

          

   

50 Years Later Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens Replanting the Seed of Jacksonville’s Culture by Liltera Williams

Stop By And Register To Win Your Complimentary Pass For Two

acobs JJewelers

Jacksonville's Finest Name in Jewelry Since 1890

204 Laura Street • 356-1655

WH ILE QUAN TITIES LAST • LIMIT ONE PASS PER PER SON • N O PUR CH ASE NEC ESSARY•FIR ST C OME, FIRST SERVED

OPENS NATIONWIDE FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16

20

DECemBER 2011 | eu jacksonville monthly

The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens celebrated 50 years of art, gardens and education by hosting its 50th Anniversary Community Celebration in honor of the Museum and its legacy on Friday, November 11. The event featured fun and exciting entertainment, including gallery activities, artmaking, scavenger hunts, artist demonstrations, and a live radio broadcast by Lite 96.1. Visitors were encouraged to leave recommendations for future improvements near the wishing tree and were also invited to print their names on the donation wall. Anniversary toasts, followed by an evening concert in the gardens featuring the University of North Florida Jazz Ensemble, were key highlights of the celebration. The Cummer opened 50 years ago on November 10, 1961, when art collector, garden enthusiast and civic leader Ninah Cummer donated an art collection that consisted of more than 60 works. Cummer also donated a riverfront home that she owned with her husband, Arthur, to create an art museum that would represent “a center of beauty and culture for the benefit of all people.â€? As avid volunteers and community advocates, Mr. and Mrs. Cummer dedicated their lives to philanthropic efforts that would improve the condition and appearance of local Jacksonville surroundings. Although the displays change often, the Art Connection space frequently showcases exhibits that allow you to learn about and experience the garden, embodying the desires of Mr. and Mrs. Cummer, with interactive education that pulls together information about the art they collected. Ongoing construction was completed just this past year. The Tudor Room, an exhibit featuring antique pieces from the original Cummer home, was restored, museum galleries were renovated, the Wark Collection of Early Meissen Porcelain was reinstalled, and the Eugene Savage paintings, which are a recent addition to the Museum’s collection, were revealed for the first time after undergoing extensive conservation work. “We will continue to bring diverse art from different time periods and cultures of the world to the community as a means for growth and advancement, while aiming to use museum displays as a tool for civic engagement,â€? said Museum Director Hope McMath. Future additions and improvements include restoration of the Olmsted Garden that belonged to the Cummer family, an additional historic garden that extends the riverfront property, remodeling of the old Woman’s Club building as a major social center and place for public programs such as member events, concerts, poetry readings and films, major beautification of the entire Riverside Avenue property entrance, including the parking lots across the street, and a possible addition of cafĂŠ seating on the front lawn. “We are working towards becoming more open to the public through educational outreach and partnering with community organizations that may seem untraditional for a museum, such as medical facilities, local universities, and organizations like the St. Johns Riverkeeper, whose mission is to preserve the natural assets of the St. Johns River, which is also an important element to the Cummer’s existence,â€? McMath said. The comprehensive list of restorative amendments will position the Cummer Museum as “an important concept within Jacksonville, while still building on the legacy of the Cummer family, donors, partners, and future generations.â€? A special emphasis will be placed on programs like the Weaver Academy of Art, which reaches thousands of children in Jacksonville’s urban core, and VSA initiatives that will serve unprecedented numbers of adults and children with disabilities. As the Cummer embarks on a renewed mission to “engage and inspire through the arts, gardens and education,â€? a vision of bigger and better public sculpture gardens, an infinitely creative art collection, greater community participation, and technological expansion beyond the Jacksonville area is guaranteed to be unveiled fifty years from now. The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is committed to engage and inspire through the arts, gardens and education. A permanent collection of nearly 5,000 objects and historic gardens on a riverfront campus offers more than 109,000 annual visitors a truly unique experience on the First Coast. For more information on future events at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, call 3566857.


22 communitynews

the recorder · august 9, 2012

Talking shop with Web.com CEO David Brown Liltera R. Williams The Recorder Web.com is an innovative website design company that constantly aims to accomplish one main goal: Help small businesses succeed online. A haven of resourcefulness and independent opportunities, Web.com is notably the fastest growing online marketing company that focuses on assisting this specific market of prospering businesses. Not only does the company aim to foster an environment of infinite growth for its employees, it also allows them the opportunity to recognize the potential in their individual talents and gifts.

Web.com and the PGA Tour In June, PGA Tour Commissioner

Tim Finchem and Web.com CEO David Brown announced a 10year agreement making Web.com the new umbrella sponsor of the former NationDavid Brown wide Tour. The Web.com Tour will continue to identify and transition players who are ready to compete and win on the PGA Tour. It currently awards membership to the 25 leading money winners at the end of the season. Beginning in 2013, however, the importance of the Web.com Tour will further increase when the new qualifying structure for the PGA Tour expands

that number to 50. In addition to the umbrella sponsorship, Web.com also became an official marketing partner of the PGA Tour, Web.com Tour and Champions Tour. Web.com will also enhance each Web.com Tour community through charitable outreach. In 2011 the Web. com Tour (formerly the Nationwide Tour) raised $7.35 million for charity, pushing its cumulative total since inception in 1990 to $75 million.

Sitting down with David Brown As a full-time Quality Control Editor and aspiring entrepreneur, I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing Web.com’s mission firsthand. I was recently granted permission to conduct a one-on-one interview with the company’s CEO and Ponte Vedra Beach resident David Brown. “How are we going to help them if they don’t know who we are?” was the question he asked himself after much influence from his family and close colleagues while struggling with the decision to take the company public in 2005. Despite his former reluctance to permit media coverage, Brown willingly shared his thoughts surrounding the company’s current and future goals, and even provided candid advice for those who desire to pursue a career beyond corporate constraints. Recorder: Why do you think it’s so important for small businesses to maintain an effective online presence? Brown: In today’s environment with so many consumers searching for information online, learning about current events, and shopping, everyone spends their time on their mobile phone or on their computer and, therefore, if you’re trying to survive and get mindshare amongst that population that’s online, you need to be online. The next part of the equation, which makes it difficult, is that just being online isn’t good enough, because you want to actually get found in searches. That means your online presence has to be better than your competitors’. Also, once they come to your site you want them to convert into a lead or a sale. So, you’ve got to have done a higher level of preparation in your online presence. I think it’s not only critical to be there, but now you need to be there in an effective way. Recorder: How was the PGA Tour deal arranged and secured? What are the specific benefits of the partnership? Brown: As you know the PGA Tour is headquartered in Ponte Vedra and Web.com is headquartered here in

Photo submitted by Liltera R. Williams

Web.com CEO and the author at an event at the company’s headquarters in Jacksonville.

Jacksonville. I knew that they were looking for a new sponsor and they became familiar with us as a company and got very excited about the alignment of what we try to do — which is help small businesses succeed online — and with what they do — which is help young professional golfers achieve their full potential and make the PGA Tour. We also both have a strong desire to help the communities we operate in and we both see our jobs and our businesses as a mission. So, that alignment really made it possible for us to do the deal. What I see us getting from it is name recognition, and not just name recognition but positive name recognition. The PGA Tour is so highly regarded and when people think of our name I want them to think well of us. I want them to think we stand for something good and then, of course, I want the reality to be there. The second thing we’re going to get is an opportunity to help in a much broader way. If I had to try to figure out how to reach 100 markets in the United States so that we could help those markets and help the communities and the charities, this is the single easiest way to unlock the door to the biggest markets in the United States. This is going to allow Web.com to help charities all across the country, as well as small businesses. So, I think that’s a major opportunity. The final thing is we’re planning on sending a team into every Web.com Tour and ultimately every PGA Tour and Champions Tour event to help small businesses conduct educational seminars and to help them understand what it takes to be successful. We’re See Brown on Page 23

communitynews 23

the recorder · august 9, 2012

Brown

Continued from 22

not charging for it, it’s just one of our ways to help small businesses survive and become stronger in this merging online marketplace. It’s the quickest and easiest platform for us to reach all these markets and I’m super excited about it. Recorder: Explain Web.com’s production tier. How are the websites developed and maintained from beginning to end? Brown: Well, we use an unusual process. We basically apply all the steps it takes to build a website, from gathering information and coming up with a concept, to copywriting, designing, optimizing and quality control, and we create a manufacturing process. Then, we hire people that have special gifts in each of those areas. We plug them into the part of the process where their skills and their strengths are most evident and I like that for two reasons. It serves the customer in the most efficient way. We have a very efficient process, but the reason I really love it is because it serves our employees. They get to use their gift or skill in the way that it was intended to be used. They don’t have to be great in all areas. They can be great in the area where they have their greatest strength and then they can grow in the organization. That’s one of the reasons why our company exists, to create an opportunity for the gifts and skills of people to come out. Recorder: What are your primary responsibilities as the CEO? Brown: My primary responsibility is to be focused on the culture of the company, to make sure that it’s a good place for our employees to work and that we’re customer focused. I have a lot of technical things that I do each day. I talk to investors and analysts and I manage the senior management team, but when I really think about what’s important to me, it has to do with the culture of the company. Are we being honest? Do we have integrity? Is there genuineness within our company? I look for the places where we aren’t genuine. I don’t see them all. It’s not perfect, but that’s my mission here, to do what it is we say we’re going to do. When you look at our values, I realize those are great values to have as a company and I know we fail at them each day, but my job each day coming in is to try harder to make sure that we live up to them. Recorder: How dedicated are you to customer satisfaction and meeting the customer’s expectations? Brown: We exist to serve. That’s the most important thing. That’s what I believe my mission in life is, whether

Photo submitted by the PGA Tour

Bill Calfee (left), President of the Web.com Tour; golfer Luke List; David Brown, Chairman, President & CEO of Web.com; golfer Casey Wittenberg and golfer Andres Gonzales. List, Wittenberg and Gonzales are three of the four leading money winners on the Web.com Tour.

it’s a customer or an employee. Each day I take a number of calls directly from customers. I always take them first. I have an escalation team now that always does the research and reports back to me. Each and every customer complaint that comes back to me, I know that it’s been resolved and that we satisfied the customer or died trying. So, I would tell you that I’m very focused and I follow one simple rule: at the end of the day did we treat the customer the way I would want to be treated — and if we didn’t, then make it right. Recorder: How much has the company’s revenue increased over the years and what were the particular improvements that directly affected the company’s financial success? Brown: Well, it’s been a fun ride here. We’ve been acquisitive, acquiring a number of companies and we’ve also grown just because people have referred customers to us and our marketing plans. We were approximately a $30 million revenue company in 2005 when we went public. This year we’ll probably be in the range of $500 million. We had about 50,000 customers in 2005 and this year we’ll probably have about 3 million, so in the seven years that we’ve been a public company that gives you a sense of the growth rate. I’m not sure what those multiples are, but they’re big multiples. I think the opportunity is as great in growth as it’s been the last seven years because the market is finally getting serious about using the Internet and going online to grow their business.

So, the future is probably brighter for our company going forward than it has been in the rearview mirror. Recorder: What advice would you give to small business owners? Brown: Get help. It’s a very difficult environment to navigate and stay current and to really get value. It’s very easy to have a website, but it’s very difficult to have a website that beats the competition and gets your ranking higher and keeps it there, and then exploits Facebook or mobile or other forms of social media. I think finding a trusted partner is the best advice that I could give someone and just realize that like everything else in life, it’s not static so you’ve got to constantly improve. That’s why I think help is so important. Recorder: What is your ultimate goal for the company’s growth and expansion? Five years from now?

Ten years from now? Brown: This is going to sound odd, but I don’t have any ultimate goals other than to help as many people as possible and do it in the most genuine way possible. I don’t feel constrained by a 5- or 10-year customer or revenue plan. I think the opportunity is great and my constraint is will we actually do a genuine job of serving the market. I hope that if it’s possible to get from 3 million to 5 million, or 5 million to 7 million or 10 million, then I would feel like we’ve helped a lot of people and really served well. That’s how I think about the business and everything else takes care of itself when you genuinely serve well. If you have the interest of your customer at heart and you work hard, and surround yourself with good people, you all of a sudden have a really good business and that’s what we do here. We put those pieces together in order to have a really good business.


26 Sports

The Recorder · October 25, 2012

Pineau, 10, shakes up North Face 5K Kelly Hould The Recorder Sam Pineau, 10, of Ponte Vedra Beach placed first overall in the North Face Endurance Challenge Southeast Regional 5K this month in Atlanta. That’s not first in his age group, mind you. That’s first in the race. His time for the 5K was 24:18.9, which means he ran at an average pace of 7:51 per mile. That time wouldn’t necessarily win a 5K on flat ground, but the North Face Endurance Challenge features rough, uphill terrain. “I just wanted to not fall,” Sam said, recalling the rocks, downed trees and other hazards on the course. Earlier in different events on the same course, Sam’s mother, Bonnie, had watched other runners coming off the course with cut knees and bloody arms. “I thought, ‘Oh no… what have we signed up for?’” Bonnie said. Sam is the son of racers Bonnie and Ben Pineau—both runners—and the brother of young runner Sophie. But for now, Sam just runs for run. He’s participated in other 5K races such as the Matanzas 5K, where he placed first in his age group—but for now he is too young to run cross country at his school. Sam plays other sports like soccer, and was recognized as the Storm

Photo provided by Bonnie Pineau

player of the year for U9 last year. “I just like running—and Dad runs, Sophie runs,” Sam said. “It’s challenging.” Bonnie agrees: it’s a family thing. Sam’s father and sister also ran the 5K

that day, while Bonnie ran a 10K the day before (placing in the top 5 in her category) and Ben ran a marathon the day before (placing second in his category and in the top 20 overall). Despite a strong background and a family encouraging him, everyone was shocked by Sam’s win. “Everyone said, ‘you won’t believe it—Sam won!’” Bonnie said. “I thought he must have just won his age group.” Sam was honored in a ceremony after the race, and got to meet some running stars, including Hal Koerner, winner of the previous day’s 50-mile race and one of the racers featured in “Unbreakable” about the 100-mile Western States race. Sam’s technique for running the 5K included trying to “not go too fast, not sprint through the whole thing.” The technique of alternating intensity throughout the race is popular with many racers at all levels. “I’ll think about it usually and switch to go faster, then a bit slower and then faster,” Sam said. Bonnie hopes that Sam’s running and healthy lifestyle will help influence his friends and peers. “He tries to focus on being healthy and staying well,” she said.

Steven Mencia has made an impact in just his first season for the Chestnut Hill College (Pa.) golf team. The Ponte Vedra resident posted the lowest scoring average on the team through three fall tournaments. Mencia averaged 76 strokes in the two events he competed, more than four better than his nearest teammate. “I’m very blessed,” he said. The freshman has done well despite rebounding from biceps tendonitis and a labrum injury suffered from playing basketball at the beginning of the summer. “It wasn’t a smart injury,” he said, noting that he had intense physical therapy for five weeks to be ready for the college season. He said the shoulder is not sore when he swings but is sore after he BOXLEITNER continues on Page 27

FUNK continues on Page 27

Barbara Boxleitner Special to The Recorder

904-285-8831

Liltera R. Williams Special to The Recorder When Fred Funk started playing golf at age 10, he immediately knew that it was something he wanted to be involved with for the rest of his life, and age is just a number when considering his professional stats. At 56, he is one of the oldest active players still racking up accolades. Funk has won eight titles on the PGA Tour and now eight times on the Champions Tour. He recently birdied his final hole to win the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn on the Champions Tour by one shot over Duffy Waldorf on Oct. 14. He finished at 15-under par, posting rounds of 6-under 66 on Friday and Saturday and a 3-under par 69 on Sunday. Funk describes his golfing technique as “very basic fundamentals. No pitches or loops, just a simple strategy.” A strategy that he likely perfected when he served as the Head Men’s Golf Coach at University of Maryland from 1982-1988. The Ponte Vedra Beach resident headed into the Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open presented by Planters this past weekend with high hopes of successfully teeing up on the Web. com Tour that took place at the Dye’s Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass. The event was Funk’s first start in a Web. com Tour. Although he was aiming to advance further, he fell short of becoming the seventh player to win an event on the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour, and Web.com Tour. “That would be pretty cool, a nice little feather in the cap, but I’m really out here just to play. I’d love to win but I just aim to play well,” Funk said before heading into Thursday’s opening. University of Georgia graduate Russell Henley was crowned the winner, his third official victory and second Web.com Tour. Funk was still excited to compete along with future young stars in his own backyard, as well as support the tournament’s charitable efforts. One-hundred percent of ticket sales were donated to local charities, and Funk was personally invited by Web.com Tour President and close friend, Bill Calfee, to build publicity around the event.

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Funk uses success to multiply community efforts


Sports 27

The Recorder · October 25, 2012

Funk

Continued from 26

Funk prides himself on giving back to the community, with assistance from his growing fanbase, affectionately referred to as “Funk’s Punks”. His most notable contribution was sparked when he met JT Townsend, a high school football player who was injured during his senior year on the field. “JT really affected me a lot and I was just happy that the community was able to rally around the cause and give him a chance to have a normal chance at life. He’s just a great, uplifting guy,” Funk said. JT is also grateful for Funk’s contributions to help improve his health and allow him to live more comfortably. In response to his personal relationship

with Funk he said, “Fred is definitely someone that my family and I love and adore deeply. We are so blessed to have him in our lives, not only as a person but as a great and loyal friend.” There’s certainly no “par-fect” way to measure Funk’s generosity. He is just happy that his success allows him to give back. His numbers, in this case, are always a hole-in-one. Naming his 2005 Players Championship win as the greatest accomplishment in his career so far, Funk also won the Insperity Championship in Houston earlier this year. He leads the Champions Tour in driving accuracy and will enter this year’s AT&T Championship in San Antonio, hoping to become the first player to win Champions Tour events in two major cities in Texas in the same year.

Send us news about local athletes! Email pvrecorder@opcfla.com or call (904) 285-8831.

Photo provided by Barbara Boxleitner

Ponte Vedra resident Steven Mencia is a freshman at Chestnut Hill College (Pa.) where he posted the lowest scoring average on the team through three fall tournaments.

Boxleitner Continued from 26

completes rounds. “I put ice on it, and I’m fine,” he said. Chestnut Hill head coach Eric McNamee is pleased with Mencia’s contributions. “Steven has many unique skills, including a strong passion for golf, he wears his heart on his sleeve and has high expectations of himself to help the team succeed,” McNamee wrote in an email. “The other team members will learn from his example and heart.” Mencia was a medalist at the Richard Stockton College Invitational, carding a 76. He said he made a 6-foot putt on the last hole to win. He tied for sixth in Chestnut Hill’s tournament, again leading the team. Mencia said he hasn’t had anything worse than a double bogey, though he said the key to his success has been hitting the fairways to get a good start on each hole. He said his putting has been strong, especially given that he’s not familiar

with the courses. “They’ve got very strategic pin placement. The greens are two-tiered and three-tiered,” he said. “The greens are a lot faster. They’re very difficult to read. It’s just getting the hang of it.” McNamee said he is looking forward to having Mencia for four years. “Without a doubt, he currently has the most potential on the team to be a leader and a top player in Division II golf,” he said. “With that said, he will need to focus on his attitude, his golf maturity and his ability to be a leader to reach these goals that are very much within possibility.”

More men’s golf Fleming Island High graduate Brady Hollenbacher of Mount Olive College (N.C.) shot a 232 (77-82-73) to tie for 23rd in the Jay Jennison Memorial. He was second among Mount Olive’s golfers. Send updates about area athletes to Barbara Boxleitner at BKLE3@aol.com.

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THE IGIVE Silencing the DreamKillerz BY LILTERA R. WILLIAMS

The IGive is an accomplished independent spoken word artist, hip hop emcee, host and motivational speaker who aims to spread love through his passionate delivery of inspiring and motivational self-composed lyrics. He has mastered the skill of combining poetic elements with hip hop culture and soulful vibes to create his own genre of music that seeks to uplift fans and listeners with positive messages. “I want my music to pervade the senses with joy, thought-provoking inspiration, soul, and dance,” he declared. That goal doesn’t appear to be too far from his reach. Three songs from The IGive’s first official album, Rhythm & Poetry, held positions in the Top 10 hip hop/rap category on www.cdbaby.com for several weeks in 2010, and two of its singles received airplay on three different radio stations. The IGive hopes to surpass those accomplishments with his second studio album, DreamKillerz, a personal testimony dedicated to silencing the disbelievers and circumstances that aim to kill his dream of becoming “a voice that testifies to tenacious nature within the seat of the human soul that possesses the capacity to do good, be happy, and love genuinely and continuously.” As co-host of The Cypher Open Mic Poetry & Soul, Northeast Florida’s top biweekly open mic spoken word event, The IGive frequently relishes in the positive atmosphere of encouraging hopefuls who are brave enough to share their talents with strangers. EU recently got the chance to speak with The IGive about his musical evolution. EU: How long have you been performing and how did you get started? The IGive: I really began to take form around 2007 when I had a switch go off that this was attainable. I began hitting up the Imperial for the old Hip Hop Hell shows and Shantytown. I was also well received at spoken word open mic venues such as Soul Release at Boomtown and the old 9th & Main Café to perfect my craft as a lyricist until I was able to get original beats.

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EU: How did you get involved with the spoken word poetry scene here in Jacksonville? IG: I got a hit on MySpace about this event called Soul Release. I was received very warmly and fell in love with poetry ever since. About a year later I was asked to host another prominent poetry event called The Cypher, and it’s been a marriage ever since. EU: I recall you previously defining yourself as a “Spiricist.” Do you think your message is more effective when classified as a poet or hip hop artist? IG: It depends on what the audience at the venue is more accustomed to. Either way you get the same package. My fans call me a lyricist, not a poet or a rapper, and I think I’ll stick with that. EU: Which musical genre would you place yourself in when categorizing your sound? IG: I personally consider myself to be my own original unique brand of hip hop that blends soul music, spoken word, and any element I’m in the mood for from R&B, rock, gospel, pop, dance, whatever. I like the backronym R.A.P. or R&P (Rhythm & Poetry), which is also the title my first CD. If I could turn The Roots, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Jill Scott, Common, Prince and James Brown into one definitive sound I’d say, “Yeah, that’s me!” EU: When and how was GiveLove Entertainment developed? What other artists are associated with the label? IG: GiveLove Records, LLC, aka GiveLove Entertainment, is contrived of me, my brother from another mother, DJ Monsta, poet Kia Flow, and my R&B sister Takara Houston, along with supportive “family” members like Aja Jackson, Ryshina Wallace, Lori Sever, Kinshasa Cason, Michael and Leroy Robinson, and Felicia Toliver. We have a beautiful list of friends and affiliates who have assisted GiveLove to bring to the city of Jacksonville the best in urban entertainment from poets like Reformed Butterfly and Love Reigns, bands like Free Quincy and EvenStill, singers like Monica Monet and Dove Hagan, and emcees like Mr. Al Pete, Venny Dapadon, Francis and many more. GiveLove is both a record label and entertainment company and was started to, at first, build a hub and support system to facilitate my music through and expanded to be a solid foundation for young and talented artists to professionally express their artistic talents. We’ve produced thus far two CDs: my own, Rhythm & Poetry, and Reformed Butterfly’s self-titled debut CD. I am releasing my second CD, DreamKillerz, under GiveLove Records, LLC, in association with SouthStyle Productions Music Group headed up by Rod Thornton. EU: What is the significance of your alias, The IGive? IG: “The IGive” is symbolic of my perceived mission in this world, to give what God has given me to the people of the world in hopes that it makes them and this world a better place. I started out rapping under the moniker 4-Eyez and I took the “four eyes” to mean “I give my heart, I give my mind, I give my body, and I give my soul.” As I came into my own, I embraced “The IGive” as a symbol of love, peace, and hip hop for music lovers everywhere. The IGive will be releasing his sophomore album, DreamKillerz, on GiveLove Records, LLC, in concert fashion on Friday, December 16 at Murray Hill Theatre. With production by SouthStyle Productions Music Group and featured performances and appearances by Joy Dennis, DJ and emcee, Mr. Al Pete, Monica Monet, Stillwater, and more. Purchase your ticket and get a free copy of The IGive’s DreamKillerz CD upon arrival on the night of the concert. Tickets are now available at www.murrayhilltheatre.com. For more info, call 234-8896. For more information on The IGive, visit www.youtube.com/igive4life, www.reverbnation. com/theigive and www.facebook.com/theigive.

eujacksonville.com | DECEMBER 2011

29


4

localheroes

the recorder · may 3, 2012

Injured as a teen, Townsend keeps fighting spirit Liltera R. Williams Special to The Recorder “Wake up Max,” J.T. Townsend ordered in a polite monotone manner. The Dell computer screen emerged from hibernation as Max quickly responded and waited for J.T.’s next command. The Multimedia Max Home System is a voice-activated computer program that allows J.T. to control every electronic component in his sports-decorated bedroom, including lights, appliances, the TV and caller ID for incoming telephone calls. “I’m still going to use it when I start walking again,” J.T. confessed while showcasing a sly smile. It’s that type of optimism and unwavering faith that makes him such an inspiration. He was both humble and appreciative when sharing the details of his story.

J.T.’s story J.T. received a scholarship to attend Episcopal High School in 2003. On October 8, 2004, he suffered a spinal cord injury after tackling the running back in a game against Bishop Kenny High School. As the captain of the football team, he shuffled the responsibilities on both offense and defense as a wide receiver and strong safety, respectively. He vividly recalled the details of the Friday night lights incident. “I tackled the running back and then I fell to the ground. When I tried to get up, I couldn’t push myself up. The trainers came out and they asked me what was wrong and I just repeated, ‘I can’t get up, I can’t get up.’ Later on, I started to lose my breath and then I just went unconscious.”

Photo Provided by Liltera R. Williams

Townsend and the author show off T-shirts supporting each other’s endeavors.

Photo provided by the J.T. Townsend Family

J.T. Townsend was injured during a football game in 2004, confining him to a wheelchair. However, he is determined to walk again and become more self-sufficient.

J.T. was quickly transported to Shands Hospital. He woke up hours later, connected to a ventilator and other medical tubes that assisted in keeping him alive. The doctors told J.T.’s family that he might not live to see another day, but four weeks later he was able to talk, and eight months later he became eligible for Diaphragmatic Pacing System surgery, a device that would allow him to breathe on his own.

While at Episcopal, J.T. received many awards and recognition, including The Episcopal High School Foundation Award for Excellence of Character and the Best Athlete of the Episcopal High School Class of 2005. J.T.’s football and basketball jerseys were also retired in 2009 at a special ceremony for his contributions on the football and basketball teams. He is now a senior at the Universi-

ty of North Florida majoring in Sports Management. Before the incident, J.T. had plans to accept a football scholarship to attend Florida State University. However, he truly understands that everything happens for a reason.

Finding his meaning J.T. constantly emphasizes that his incident was not an accident. He believes that he was chosen by God to carry out a mission to help others. The support from various strangers on the First Coast and professional golfer Fred Funk, who held a golf tournament

What: The Bad Habit Par-Tee to benefit the JT Townsend Foundation Where: Nippers Beach Grille 2309 Beach Boulevard, Jacksonville Beach (904) 247-3300 Time: 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 8 Enjoy a private party during one of the greatest weeks of the year in Ponte Vedra: THE PLAYERS. Bohemian Buffet from 6:30 to 9:30 and a signature cocktail will be yours while you listen to the sounds of PILI PILI and vote for the craziest golf pants contest. Players from the Jacksonville Jaguars, pro golfers and “Funk’s Punks” will all be on hand. Tickets are $50 and on sale at Nippers.


localheroes 5

the recorder · may 3, 2012

as a fundraiser to build the wheelchair accessible home that J.T. and his family currently reside in, motivated him to develop his own platform for giving back. The J.T. Townsend Foundation was officially established in April 2011 with a mission to better the lives of children and adults with disabilities on the First Coast by providing financial assistance, adaptive equipment, and research funding while fusing the resources, finances and spirit of those with disabilities to take their next first step. So far, the foundation has collected enough funds to purchase necessary equipment for the following recipients: Luther Delp (Easy Stand Glider), Harold Banks (Forearm Crutches), Nate Cunningham (Rifton Dynamic Stander), Zachary Fellin (Pool Heater) and Jack Hutchinson (Rifton Shower Chair).

J.T. Townsend and THE PLAYERS On May 8, the foundation will host The Bad Habit Par-Tee Benefit to raise more funds for future recipients. Tickets can be purchased online at www.J.T.townsendfoundation.org or by donating $35 or at Nippers Beach Grille. Call (904) 716-4947 for more information.

J.T. looks ahead These days, the word “can’t” is no longer a part of J.T.’s vocabulary. He aims to live a normal life by maintaining his independence and participating in regular activities, such as going to the mall and the movies and cheering on his favorite teams at sporting events. Although J.T. is not yet able to move limbs on his own, he has miraculously regained feeling all over, an advancement that doctors did not expect at this

Photo Provided by the J.T. Townsend Foundation

J.T. Townsend laughs with Jack Hutchinson. The J.T. Townsend Foundation was established last year to provide assistance to children and adults with disabilities and has been able to provide equipment and financial assistance to several individuals in Northeast Florida.

stage in his recovery process. In addition, J.T. attends physical therapy sessions every Friday and is able to be extracted from his wheelchair with the assistance of a Hoyer lift. A magnetic mouth stick also assists him with operating his laptop and cell phone, granting him the privilege of rekindling relationships with old friends on Facebook and sending text messages. When J.T. graduates from UNF in the fall, he plans to utilize his sports management degree while working behind the scenes and handling everyday operations for a professional football, basketball, or baseball team. He also plans to continue expanding the efforts of his foundation to help as many people as possible.

family and friends, and the mentality of not giving up and still believing that one day I will walk again.” J.T. encourages anyone else who has experienced a similar circumstance to never lose hope. “Don’t let your disability hold you back from continuing life because life does go on. There are resources out there that will allow you to continue to pursue your career and just live life in general,” he stated. J.T. was injured in the midst of pursuing what he loved doing since he was 7 years old. If he had the opportunity to reverse the effects of that life-changing

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Plans tabled for new assisted living facility in Ponte Vedra Beach. Page 5

GIVING BACK

Fabulous local holiday home tour benefits JT Townsend Foundation Page 26

November 21, 2012

Volume 42, No. 46

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TABLE TALK: France meets First Coast at Bistro de Leon. Page 34

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Kelly Hould/The Recorder

The preschoolers of Christ Episcopal Day School in Ponte Vedra Beach presented songs about Florida and Thanksgiving at their yearly performance. For more photos, see Page 22.

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26 Community News

The Recorder · November 21, 2012

GIVING BACK ONCE AGAIN

Harbour Island Holiday Open House benefits JT Townsend Foundation and the community.

Liltera R. Williams/Sepcial to The Recorder

Lynda and Richard Masulli will hold the second Harbour Island Open House to benefit the JT Townsend Foundation. The open house features a holiday tour of their Harbour Island home, which is decorated with numerous Christmas trees and other holiday items.

Liltera R. Williams The Recorder

Tree photos provided by the Masulli family

Radko tree

Christmas always seems to come early for the Masullis. Actually — it hardly ever ends. As avid ornament collectors and tree connoisseurs for the past 17 years, Richard and Lynda Masulli have dedicated a good part of their time to collecting the finest in Christmas decorations. The loving couple relocated from New Jersey to the Ponte Vedra area and began collecting Christopher Radko ornaments in 1995; however, Richard probably had no idea he would become so involved when his wife began requesting the ornaments as gifts from others for her birthday each year. He is now the avid ornament collector, while Lynda focuses on enhancements for the trees and other holiday displays that can be seen throughout their spacious Harbour Island home.

My first tour proved to be an interesting adventure, as the Masullis led me on a magical journey of ornaments galore. I was first invited into the kitchen for a brief introduction of a 4-foot Wisconsin Balsam tree by Milaegers that was decorated with Patricia Breen Gingerbread coloration ornaments. The Masullis began collecting Breen ornaments in 2005, and ornaments from this designer appear most frequently along the tour. The JTTF Christmas Tree Tourbegan as a result of the Masullis’ involvement with the JT Townsend Foundation. JT attended Episcopal High School with their godson. An incident on the football field caused JT to become confined to a wheelchair. Fred Funk and other members of the community rallied to provide for JT and in Dec. 2006, they presented JT and his family with a wheelchair-accessible home. The Ma-


Community News 27

The Recorder · November 21, 2012

Russian Santa tree

Shiny Brite tree

Breen Holly and Poinsettia tree

sullis were part of the team that helped outfit the home and fittingly provided a decorated Christmas tree done in JT’s favorite FSU colors. When JT formed the JT Townsend Foundation in 2010, in order to give back to the community that had helped him so much, he invited the Masullis to become board members. “We love JT’s contagious spirit, as well as his desire to offer inspiration and hope to others,” Lynda said. This is the second year the event is taking place, and the Foundation hopes to gain even more recognition this time around. “This event extends way beyond the material act of giving. It’s about believing and dedicating yourself to helping others,” Lynda said. Most of the tree ornaments are hand blown and painted in Poland. The colGIVING BACK continues on Page 29

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28 Community News

The Recorder · November 21, 2012

Above: Mistletoe tree Left: Gingerbread tree

Photos provided by the Masulli family

Breen Red and Green tree

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Community News 29

The Recorder · November 21, 2012

Giving Back Continued from 27

lection also includes German pieces, such as the Ino Schaller papier mache candy containers made from the original Schaller family chocolate molds. The Masullis started decorating in early October to prepare for this year’s open house event. On Nov. 29, JT and the members of the JT Townsend Foundation will hold what has quickly become their largest fundraising event of the year. Guests will be able to kick off the holidays and enjoy the 27 exquisitely decorated Christmas trees on display. Tickets to the event are $25, and all proceeds will be donated to JTTF. Everyone attending will receive a printed guide as they tour the 9,500-squarefoot home, browsing the uniquely decorated Christmas trees, adorned with over 2500 total ornaments. Volunteers will explain the theme and origin of the individual trees, which range from 2’ to 12’. There is a 2’ wispy Bee Tree decorated with amber lights that rests in the downstairs powder room and the 7-foot Black Tinsel White House tree next to the theater snack bar upstairs that has the whole collection of annual White House ornaments, started by President Ronald Reagan in 1981. The 27th tree, affectionately labeled as the JT tree, sits on the piano downstairs and is decorated with exclusive JT Gives Back ornaments, handcrafted and designed in Poland by MIA. The 2012 ornament is available in either white or red glitter and there are a few of last year’s 2011 ornaments with FSU colors available. The JT Give Back ornaments can be purchased on the official JTTF website, at Gregory’s Jewelers or the TPC Sawgrass Pro Shop for $50. The Foundation will also host a gala that same evening, which is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Tickets for the gala are on sale now for $100. Guests will be greeted with champagne and light hors d’oeuvres and desserts will also be offered. Since 2010, The JT Townsend Foun-

Kevin L. Neal, D.D.S.

Provided by the Masulli family

Mark Roberts tree

dation has helped over 20 children and adults with disabilities. Last year, the event raised over $15,000. “This is such a beautiful event for sharing and giving back. I’m just glad I have the opportunity to help others,” JT said.

JTTF Christmas Tree Tour

121 Bristol Place in Marsh Landing’s Harbour Island Daytime Open House, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; tickets, $25 Evening gala, 7 p.m.; tickets , $100 For more information, visit www.JTGivesBack.org or call (904) 716-4947.

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20 Community News

The Recorder · December 5, 2013

JTTF Christmas Tree Tour keeps legacy alive Remarkable tradition continues in memory of founder JT Townsend. Liltera R. Williams Special to The Recorder Now in its third year, the JT Townsend Foundation Christmas Tree Tour continues, and it’s bigger and brighter. In the Masulli household, the reason for the season is always clear — simply believing. For the past 17 years, the enthusiastic couple has collected ornaments to adorn the mini to largesized trees that are placed on display throughout their Ponte Vedra home to contribute to a worthy cause. After relocating from New Jersey in 1995, the Masullis started a tradition that would soon become a meaningful and beneficial ritual of getting others in the spirit of giving back. That was ultimately JT’s mission, the founder and orchestrator of JTTF. After he suddenly passed away in June, the overall consensus was that his work must continue. And so far, it has. The most remarkable quality about JT, other than his humbleness, was his contagious smile. I can vividly recall last year’s tour when he arrived to greet me. As he was ushered from his wheelchair-accessible van into the Masulli home, he followed us from the 4’ Wisconsin Balsam tree in the kitchen past the “JT tree” that rested atop the piano downstairs. During the brief pause, noticing but not acknowledging my obvious fascination, he turned to me and said, “Isn’t this house amazing?” The Masulli home is beyond amazing. Taking up 9,500 square feet of space in the Harbour Island Marsh Landing subdivision, it’s truly an exquisite sight. In preparation for the 2013 tour, decorating began the second week in October and took about three weeks to complete. Forty new ornaments have been added to the Patricia Breen collection, with a number of them done in gold to further complement the traditional red and green Christmas colors. Three of those designs are highlighted inside of living room candle holders. A new limited edition JT Gives Back ornament was also created and is only available in 200 numbered pieces. Hand blown and hand painted by Mia in her studio in Krakow, Poland, the ornament depicts a 6 ½” Santa with a traditional red coat and white glitter poinsettias. “Live Like JT 1987-2013” is displayed on the bottom. “JT personally selected this mold and coloration and of the three we had done, this was his favorite. After he (passed away), we asked the

Liltera R. Williams/Special to The Recorder

A limited edition Christmas ornament was created this year to honor founder JT Townsend. Only 100 pieces were produced with this color combination, featuring JT’s favorite color..

designer to produce 100 pieces of a commemorative version. It’s the same mold, painted in full purple glitter. Purple was JT’s favorite color,” said the Masullis. The evening and daytime tours, ornament sales and the sale of items in the JT Christmas Shoppes, continues to be the largest fundraising activity for the JT Townsend Foundation, providing a significant percentage of

the funding that has been raised to assist those with disabilities. To date, the foundation has helped 89 families with $191,000 in adaptive equipment, financial assistance and spinal cord injury research. The 2013 Christmas tour setup is the same as last year’s and the inaugural year. However, the event will be held on a Saturday instead of a weekday, December 7th, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00

p.m., at the Masulli residence: 121 Bristol Place, in hopes of attracting more visitors. Tickets for the tree tour are $25 and can be purchased via the official JTTF website www.jttownsendfoundation.org. The signature ornaments and unique single and double door swags can be purchased online as well. For those who are unable to JT TOWNSEND continues on Page 37


Community News 37

The Recorder · December 5, 2013

JT Townsend Continued from 20

attend to see the 27 differently themed Christmas Trees decorated with 2,500 hand blown, hand painted Holiday ornaments from Europe in person, donations are accepted year-round. The Masullis, along with JTTF Board Chair, Judi Zitiello, and JT’s family are determined not to let his efforts while living be forgotten. It is often said that JT accomplished more in 26 years than most people do in a lifetime. As quoted on the JTTF magnet that sticks to my fridge, “You have to have a strong mind, believe in God, keep the faith and live every day like it’s your last.” Indeed. JT’s legacy will surely prevail as we all strive to live the way that he did by selflessly giving back, even after the holidays. Please support this year’s JTTF Christmas Tree Tour in honor of his memory.

Send us your news! Photos by Liltera R. Williams/Special to The Recorder

Special edition ornaments can be purchased online this year at www.jttownsendfoundation.org.

The JT Gives Back ornament this year depicts Santa in a traditional red coat and is only available in 200 numbered pieces.

Email kelly@opcfla.com.


5

The Recorder · June 13, 2013

Townsend Continued from 4

sisted 60 families on the First Coast. As a close friend, I was blessed to be able to witness JT’s strength during a few one-on-one visits. He was fueled by the negativity surrounding his condition — constantly wanting to prove people wrong. And he did, on numerous occasions. JT personally taught me how to believe, how to never give up and how to walk in my purpose. Many others learned a lot from JT as well. My newsfeed on Facebook was filled with condolences on the morning of June 5,when the media made the announcement of JT’s passing. He inspired a whole community, even those he had never even met. But there was one special person who he was directly inspiring to keep the faith, John Marcus, a 27 year-old Jacksonville native who was paralyzed after being involved in a car accident on December 12, 2003. John and JT met six years ago at a Jacksonville Jaguars game, exchanged stories and formed an instant connection. John remembers reaching out to JT just a few weeks ago. He told him that he was thinking about giving up and wasn’t sure if he would ever be able to walk again. John recalls JT telling him, “You can’t give up because you inspire me to keep going.” Now that JT is no longer with us, John hopes to help carry on JT’s legacy by volunteering with the JTTF and possibly starting his own foundation someday. “JT taught me that you can accomplish anything you put your mind to,” he said, “and when you start something try to finish it. As we grow closer to accepting the fact that JT has physically departed, we will never lose sight of the powerful example he set. He would want us all to move forward; to continue dreaming and accomplishing individual goals. JT was looking forward to watching his favorite NBA team, the Miami Heat, win their next championship and becoming a Jaguars employee this upcoming season. Most of his dreams had already come true. On Monday, I received the following message from one of JT’s family members on a Facebook status update: “On behalf of JT, thanks for all the love and support. Thank you for attending the memorial service. Remember, you did not say goodbye — you said see you later.” See you later, JT. I hope we make you proud. Please visit www.jttownsendfoundation.org/ to find out more about the JT Townsend Foundation and help fulfill JT’s vision of giving back to First Coast families.

Townsend Family photos

JT Townsend with his favorite basketball player Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat.

John Marcus with JT.

JT wearing his favorite number FSU style.

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4 Editorial & Opinion

The Recorder · June 13, 2013

Live like JT: Gone but never forgotten “If you want a role model, look at JT Townsend’s life.” – Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown

Liltera R. Williams Special to The Recorder There is not much solace that can be found in a final farewell. Although my dear friend and local hero, JT Townsend, was taken away from us much too soon on the late evening of June 4, he served his purpose — and exceeded all expectations. When I first heard the news, I was devastated, left wondering why his life would end so early after he had made many successful strides, but then I remembered something JT said to me the first time I interviewed him for the Recorder: “Everything happens for a reason.” He was always optimistic, always grateful and always smiling. So, a memorial service that was frequently referred to as a “celebration” was more than appropriate for a job well done. Many sentiments were shared during the 90-minute celebration of JT’s life, with two hours reserved beforehand for the viewing. The JT Townsend Mass Choir, assembled in less than 24 hours and orchestrated by local music director Chris Epps, sang three selections: “Yes Jesus Loves Me,” “Awesome God” and “Total Praise” as guests continued to fill the UNF arena. Host Nick Loren maintained the order of service by introducing a few board members from the JT Townsend Foundation, including Board Chairwoman Judy Zitiello who informed those in attendance of JT’s early decision to become an organ donor. “Even after his death he continues to give,” she said. JT’s nurse also delivered a moment of reflection and serenaded us all with “One Hallelujah,” a song that she wrote, which was inspired by JT’s unwavering spirit. Though many of the musical moments were memorable, Maurice Griffin’s beautiful rendition of “Hear Us” seemed to capture everyone the most. He encouraged the audience to sing along as mourning easily transformed into worshipping, just as JT would have it. Despite everything he endured, JT never lost his faith. He continued to press on and truly lived life to the fullest. Jerry “JT” Townsend Jr. was born on February 7, 1987, to mother Carmen and father Jerry Townsend Sr. As a young boy, he quickly fell in love

Townsend Family

JT Townsend graduated from the University of North Florida in April with a degree in Sports Management. He was slated to begin working with Jacksonville Jaguars this season as a graphic designer.

with sports and was offered an athletic scholarship to play college football at Florida State University, but he suffered a spinal cord injury during his senior year of high school. Most people are already familiar with JT’s story post-incident; and his accomplishments were often publicly noted. They include, but are not limited to: The Episcopal High School Foundation Award for Excellence of Character, Best

Athlete of Episcopal High School 2005, Four-Year Bright Futures Scholarship and the City of Jacksonville HandsOn Willing and Able Award. JT graduated from high school on time and even had his football and basketball jerseys retired in 2009. Soon after his recovery, JT enrolled as a student at the University of North Florida to study Sports Management. He received his Bachelor of Science degree

on April 26. In 2011, he founded the JT Townsend Foundation, which strives to “better the lives of children and adults with disabilities on the First Coast by providing financial assistance, adaptive equipment, and research funding.” In just two short years, the foundation has raised close to $150,000 and has asTOWNSEND continues on Page 5


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—by Liltera R. Williams & Renee Robarge; photo by Bradley Stookey

A

t only six stories, downtown Jacksonville’s oldest “high rise” is no skyscraper by any means. But, opened in May 1902, the Dyal-Upchurch Building, 6 E. Bay St., was the business district’s tallest edifice constructed immediately after the Great Fire of 1901 razed more than 2,000 buildings. Commissioned by Benjamin Dyal and Frank Upchurch, co-owners of a Georgia lumber and investment firm, the 45,000-square-foot building was designed by famed architect Henry Klutho. The interior is a contemporary design, in stark contrast to its brick and limestone façade. On January 22, the building was awarded to The Jacksonville Bank for a mere $100 after previous owner, Cameron Kuhn, defaulted on several loans. In March, A. Duda & Sons, Inc., a real estate company based in Oviedo, bought the DyalUpchurch from the bank for $3.73 million. Viera, a subsidiary of Duda, oversees management while CB Richard Ellis is assisting in leasing. There is about 18,400 square feet of unoccupied space on the first, second and fourth floors—roughly half the entire building. “Because of its historic legacy, we will use caution with all improvement items,” says Scott Miller, Viera’s vice president of sales. “We plan to keep the building long term.” #

Floors 1 & 6 On Ideas, Inc. On Ideas Inc. is an advertising, marketing and public relations agency that provides service to clients in North America and Europe. Major clients include Winn-Dixie Stores, First Federal Bank of Charleston, Catlin Insurance and Halifax Health. • Tenant since: 2005 • Number of Employees: 42 • CEO: Tom Bolling

1st Floor In years past, the ground floor was occupied by retail and dining businesses. At present there are none. Courthouse Annex Home of the State Attorney’s office.

According to the book Jacksonville’s Architectural Heritage, the Dyal-Upchurch is not a true skyscraper because its brick outer walls are load-bearing.

30

Jacksonville Magazine’s 904 * May/June 2009


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3rd Floor Southeast Legal Copy, Ltd. Also known as Ethic Document Solutions, Southeast Legal Copy is a copy and imaging company that specializes in litigation and document support. • Tenant since: 1997 • Number of Employees: 20 • Regional Manager: Brian Vogt

6th Floor The top floor was added during construction of the building in 1901, due to a throng of renter inquiries.

Reportedly, more than 1 million bricks were used in its construction. An official count has never been taken.

5th Floor Edwards Cohen Edwards Cohen is a commercial, real estate and corporate law firm whose clients include the Mayo Clinic, the Duval County School Board and JEA. According to its website, the firm developed an unprecedented $1.75 billion in financing for hurricane response, which proved vital to Florida’s recovery efforts from the 2005 hurricane season. • Tenant since: 2003 • Number of employees: 14 • President: David Edwards

4th Floor Empty

3rd Floor Securities Research Securities Research Inc. is a full-service discount stock brokerage firm with nine offices in Florida, Connecticut and Virginia. • Tenant since: 1983 • Number of Employees: 2 • Branch Manager: Steve Ford

3rd Floor Harris Brown, P.A. A law firm that has specialized in insurance defense and personal injury for about 30 years. • Tenant since: 2005 • Number of Employees: 11 • President: Harris Brown

ge

eet Brid

Main Str

May/June 2009 * Jacksonville Magazine’s 904

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controller for Watson Realty Corp., which has 225 full-time employees. “It’s painful to change providers, but if they want to keep your business, they will have to remain competitive. It’s always a good thing to do.” • Employee Wellness Programs: In

addition to offering multiple plans, LBPs and HSAs, a few local businesses are taking a complementary approach by promoting wellness among employees. Every dollar spent on preventive care saves an estimated $2 to $3 in medical costs over the long term, according to global consulting firm Watson Wyatt. “Wellness is a big opportunity for businesses to provide incentives for employees to be healthy,” says Bob Baldwin, senior vice president of community development for the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce. “If we are going to fight the premium cost, we have to lower the insurance cost by making sure we have a well workforce.” Baptist Health has always offered a variety of health services for its staff, including an onsite fitness center, a smoking cessation program and nutritional counseling. “Healthy for Life,” its wellness program, is different because it’s a comprehensive approach that encourages employees to use all of those services. “It’s a holistic approach to wellness that emphasizes the spiritual, emotional and physical aspects,” says Beth Mehaffey, Baptist’s vice president of human resources. “That in turn will lead to lower health care costs for the organization and employees.” Since the program began in February of last year, an estimated 50 percent of Baptist’s nearly 8,000 employees have participated. It might be too early to measure how this

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program impacts the bottom line, but within a few years, Baptist will be able to evaluate the results. Haskell, a local design-build firm, has developed a strong relationship with Baptist Health in creating its own wellness program. “We want to do what’s best for the organization and the employees,” says David Thaeler, Haskell’s vice president of human resources. “Staying healthy means our employees are able to come to work and focus on doing work every day.” Haskell employees (of which there are nearly 1,000) earn points for making healthy choices and redeem them for a variety of prizes. While this is a new program, Thaeler has heard several success stories, including one employee who earned enough points for a $500 gift certificate.

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With so many factors involved, providing healthcare is a complicated decision process with escalating costs. What all these options mean for employers is an increased responsibility to work with health insurance companies to educate themselves and their employees. Only then can employers navigate health insurance in more costefficient ways. #

Open Sesame T

The key to any hospital in town. —by Liltera R. WIlliams here used to be a key that unlocked a “physicians only” entrance located either on the side or the very back of every hospital in Jacksonville, allowing doctors to reach their patients while on call. In 1987, Dr. Douglas W. Johnson, an oncologist, received a copy of that key when he moved to Jacksonville. He kept it safely clipped on his side for easy access. As the city grew, the Duval County Medical Society incorporated a new, more secure entry system about 10 years ago. For in-patient consults, Johnson and other docs now use electronic cards uniquely designed for each hospital in Jacksonville. Still, Johnson sometimes finds himself reflecting on what that “sick” key represented. “My gold ordinary Russwin key stamped ‘do not duplicate’ has been on my key-ring for 22 years, and remains there even today,” he says. “It’s a reminder of simpler times, medical collegiality, and community cohesion of years gone by.” # March/April 2009 * Jacksonville Magazine’s 904

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THANK YOU North Florida Hotel & Lod ging Association honors so me of its own with the inaugu ral Rose Awards. EVERY PERSON PL AYS THE ROLE OF CUSTOM ER IN HIS OR HER DAILY circumstance or occasion LIFE, no matter the . Especially while stayin g at a hotel or dining at be greeted, ser ved and com a restaurant, we expect plimented by random str to In a fancy form of role rev angers—it is their job to please, after all. ersal, the region’s best ho spi tal those who wanted to sho ity employees recently we w appreciation for their re catered to by commitment to great cus employers. The purpose: tomer ser vice—their To recognize that excell ent customer ser vice ma The North Florida Hotel kes their business shine & Lodging Association (N . FHLA) presented the ina of Ser vice Excellence (RO ugural Recognition SE) Awards on February 5. Seventy-five nominatio were submitted, and 17 ns from 32 companies individuals received top honors at a red-carpet aff Jacksonville Hotel. On the air hosted at the Omni following pages, we highli ght those whose job is to put others first.

AND THE WINNERS ARE…

Mayor’s Award

James “Slim” Allen Server, University Club Age: 49 • HOMETOWN: Jacksonville • ON THE JOB: 27 years A native of Jacksonville who is known by many as “Slim,” James has been perfecting his knack for fine-dining service for close to 27 years. He’s fluctuated back and forth from cook to bartender, but says he’s found his niche as a server. James has received more than 1,300 positive guest comment cards.

Best Customer Service, Airline Agent

Marian Hahn Airport Operations Crew Member, JetBlue Airways AGE: Undisclosed • HOMETOWN: Plainfield, New Jersey • ON THE JOB: 21/2 years Marian is a woman described by customers as understanding and sensitive to the needs of others. Her employer says she delivers service in the most professional and caring manner, upholding two of JetBlue Airways’ five values—caring and leadership.

48

Jacksonville Magazine’s 904 * March/April 2009


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Words by Liltera Williams

COME AGAIN Best Bartender

okey

Best Guest Service, Concierge

Hugh Thompson

Lydia Cobbert

Bartender, One Ocean Resort Hotel & Spa

Senior Team Leader for Jacksonville Ambassador, Downtown Vision Inc.

AGE: 42 • HOMETOWN: Beaumont, Texas • ON THE JOB: 9 years Hugh “is the meaning of guest service,” says his supervisor. Hugh says he sincerely loves his job and vowed that winning $100 million dollars would not make him quit. He says he never forgets a name or face and forms a meaningful, ongoing relationship with each returning guest.

• Photos by Bradley Sto

AGE: 46 • HOMETOWN: Green Cove Springs • ON THE JOB: 7 years According to her supervisor, Lydia has the utmost enthusiasm about Jacksonville and will go to great lengths to show visitors what a great city it is. Like all city ambassadors should, she approaches visitors with an inviting smile and assists them with information and directions pertaining to their destination—but she does it with extra pizzazz.

Best Customer Service, Car Rental Agent

Jovan Williams Best Server, Fast Food

Dan Patel Owner, Great Wraps AGE: 42 • HOMETOWN: Jacksonville • ON THE JOB: 12 years Dan has been putting in double the work for almost 12 years as both owner and wrap-maker at Great Wraps. Dan says that he believes producing great food helps to attract customers, who frequently compliment him on the restaurant’s cleanliness and fast, friendly service.

Supervisor, Thrifty Rent A Car (Airport JAX) AGE: 28 • HOMETOWN: Cincinnati, Ohio • ON THE JOB: 41/2 years Jovan steps up when needed and puts in that extra effort to make sure the job is done right and fast, says his boss. He recently assisted with a timesensitive car rental for the escort of a fallen U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant, which made a lasting impression on the officer’s family.

Best Guest Service, Front Desk

Alicia Bennett Front Desk Agent, Omni Jacksonville Hotel AGE: 25 • HOMETOWN: Jacksonville • ON THE JOB: 21/2 years Alicia says she treats guests how she wants to be treated and goes out of her way to make them feel special. On her way to becoming the front-office manager at the Omni, she plans to stick with hospitality until she completes the necessary requirements to become a dental hygienist.

March/April 2009 * Jacksonville Magazine’s 904

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Best Guest Service, Valet Best Room Attendant/ Engineer

Turinesh Negari Mid-level Engineer, Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront

Best Guest Service, Bell Attendant

Phil “From Jacksonville” Patterson Doorman, Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront AGE: 50 • HOMETOWN: Norfolk, Virginia • ON THE JOB: 4 years A guy who “doesn’t mind being kind,” Phil is known for the unique greetings he offers to visitors and guests. He is described by his supervisor as “the statue of positive energy,” because he is rarely seen without a smile on his face.

50

AGE: 52 • HOMETOWN: Wollega, Ethiopia • ON THE JOB: 2 years Praised for her exceptional attendance, performance and positive guest feedback, Turinesh’s heavy accent often causes guests to ask her where she’s from. She was born in Africa, but now calls Jacksonville home. At work, “I do everything,” she says. She says she tries to make each guest feel important and valued. She was recently promoted and is the hotel’s first female engineer.

Jacksonville Magazine’s 904 * March/April 2009

Bobby Flautt Valet Parker, Parking Management Services AGE: 24 • HOMETOWN: Jacksonville • ON THE JOB: 21/2 years Bobby inspires his fellow associates by being a great leader who always has a smile to give and an ear to lend, his boss says. He continues to impress his boss, upper-level hotel management, and (most importantly) the customers with his friendly greetings and detailed knowledge about the city.

Best Food Service, Kitchen Staff

Best Customer Service, Best Support Agent-Airline

Denise Jordan

Francois Beuse

Head Chef, Genesis Café & Catering

Volunteer Airport Ambassador and Lost & Found Coordinator, Jacksonville Aviation Authority

AGE: 43 • HOMETOWN: New Orleans • ON THE JOB: 5 years Denise was promoted to head chef after the unexpected death of the owner’s husband, Johnnie Jones. Owner Cindy Jones says that without Denise’s willingness and dedication, “the café would not be where it is today.” Denise says she tries her best to keep Johnnie’s memory alive by showcasing everything he taught her.

AGE: 61 • HOMETOWN: Martinique • ON THE JOB: 3 years Though his day usually begins at 4:30 AM and doesn’t end until 5:30 PM, Francois insists that he doesn’t mind the long hours because he is doing what he loves. He thanks travelers for visiting the city and always extends a warm welcome when they return.


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Visiting Jax?

Best Server, Restaurant

Best Behind the Scenes

Edward Darragjati

Darrell Marshall

Head Server, Benny’s Steak & Seafood

Receiving Agent, Crowne Plaza Jacksonville Riverfront

AGE: 39 • HOMETOWN: Albania • ON THE JOB: 5 years Edward was born and raised in Albania and came to the United States speaking little English. While working at Benny’s, he became infatuated with the idea of meeting new people and quickly adapted to his new surroundings. Edward is now the top server and, according to his boss, is loved by his coworkers and customers for his positive attitude.

Best Server, Banquets/Catering

Donna Gail Ray Banquet Server, Holiday Inn Airport AGE: 66 • HOMETOWN: Douglas, Georgia • ON THE JOB: 13 years A woman who has spent most of her life catering to the needs of others, Donna has worked in the hospitality industry for almost 50 years. She helps in each department of the hotel when needed and provides a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere for all, her boss says.

AGE: 44 • HOMETOWN: Bronx, New York • ON THE JOB: 3 years Darrell is described by his boss as “a man of many uniforms.” He cooks and preps breakfast, handles incoming packages and assists with any other behindthe-scenes duty. “There is no such thing as ‘It’s not my job,’” he says. Darrell has been instrumental in starting up a Green Team for the Crowne Plaza and is a leading member of the hotel’s Brand Champion Team.

Jacksonville certainly is no Vegas, but it’s not Chugwater, Monta na (population 234), either. According to Visit Jacksonville, the city ’s tourism bureau , more than 4.1 million travelers visited Duval County in 2007, spending $2.4 bill ion locally. That same year, there were 122 ,300 employed in the hospitality industry. Interesting tidbit: Northeast Florida had the largest percentage of business tra velers over any other region in the state at 31 percent.

Best Server, Upscale/Fine Dining Restaurant

Best Driver, Ground Transportation

Henrietta Wilson Server, Ponte Vedra Inn & Club AGE: “Oh goodness, please don’t ask me that.” • HOMETOWN: Jacksonville • ON THE JOB: 33 years Henrietta is a self-proclaimed “people person” who enjoys making her guests feel like VIPs. She says her Southern charm makes her a guest and member favorite. It is the ultimate compliment to her that customers ask to have her as their server or to work one of their functions.

David Bragg Driver, Terry Transportation and Airport Shuttle AGE: 43 • HOMETOWN: Savannah, Georgia • ON THE JOB: 3 years David must ensure on-time pick-up of individuals, groups, families and corporate executives on their way to catch a plane or arriving in town. He prides himself on his service to people and does not mind starting his workday as early as 3 AM.

March/April 2009 * Jacksonville Magazine’s 904

51


4

localheroes

the recorder · may 3, 2012

Injured as a teen, Townsend keeps fighting spirit Liltera R. Williams Special to The Recorder “Wake up Max,” J.T. Townsend ordered in a polite monotone manner. The Dell computer screen emerged from hibernation as Max quickly responded and waited for J.T.’s next command. The Multimedia Max Home System is a voice-activated computer program that allows J.T. to control every electronic component in his sports-decorated bedroom, including lights, appliances, the TV and caller ID for incoming telephone calls. “I’m still going to use it when I start walking again,” J.T. confessed while showcasing a sly smile. It’s that type of optimism and unwavering faith that makes him such an inspiration. He was both humble and appreciative when sharing the details of his story.

J.T.’s story J.T. received a scholarship to attend Episcopal High School in 2003. On October 8, 2004, he suffered a spinal cord injury after tackling the running back in a game against Bishop Kenny High School. As the captain of the football team, he shuffled the responsibilities on both offense and defense as a wide receiver and strong safety, respectively. He vividly recalled the details of the Friday night lights incident. “I tackled the running back and then I fell to the ground. When I tried to get up, I couldn’t push myself up. The trainers came out and they asked me what was wrong and I just repeated, ‘I can’t get up, I can’t get up.’ Later on, I started to lose my breath and then I just went unconscious.”

Photo Provided by Liltera R. Williams

Townsend and the author show off T-shirts supporting each other’s endeavors.

Photo provided by the J.T. Townsend Family

J.T. Townsend was injured during a football game in 2004, confining him to a wheelchair. However, he is determined to walk again and become more self-sufficient.

J.T. was quickly transported to Shands Hospital. He woke up hours later, connected to a ventilator and other medical tubes that assisted in keeping him alive. The doctors told J.T.’s family that he might not live to see another day, but four weeks later he was able to talk, and eight months later he became eligible for Diaphragmatic Pacing System surgery, a device that would allow him to breathe on his own.

While at Episcopal, J.T. received many awards and recognition, including The Episcopal High School Foundation Award for Excellence of Character and the Best Athlete of the Episcopal High School Class of 2005. J.T.’s football and basketball jerseys were also retired in 2009 at a special ceremony for his contributions on the football and basketball teams. He is now a senior at the Universi-

ty of North Florida majoring in Sports Management. Before the incident, J.T. had plans to accept a football scholarship to attend Florida State University. However, he truly understands that everything happens for a reason.

Finding his meaning J.T. constantly emphasizes that his incident was not an accident. He believes that he was chosen by God to carry out a mission to help others. The support from various strangers on the First Coast and professional golfer Fred Funk, who held a golf tournament

What: The Bad Habit Par-Tee to benefit the JT Townsend Foundation Where: Nippers Beach Grille 2309 Beach Boulevard, Jacksonville Beach (904) 247-3300 Time: 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 8 Enjoy a private party during one of the greatest weeks of the year in Ponte Vedra: THE PLAYERS. Bohemian Buffet from 6:30 to 9:30 and a signature cocktail will be yours while you listen to the sounds of PILI PILI and vote for the craziest golf pants contest. Players from the Jacksonville Jaguars, pro golfers and “Funk’s Punks” will all be on hand. Tickets are $50 and on sale at Nippers.


localheroes 5

the recorder · may 3, 2012

as a fundraiser to build the wheelchair accessible home that J.T. and his family currently reside in, motivated him to develop his own platform for giving back. The J.T. Townsend Foundation was officially established in April 2011 with a mission to better the lives of children and adults with disabilities on the First Coast by providing financial assistance, adaptive equipment, and research funding while fusing the resources, finances and spirit of those with disabilities to take their next first step. So far, the foundation has collected enough funds to purchase necessary equipment for the following recipients: Luther Delp (Easy Stand Glider), Harold Banks (Forearm Crutches), Nate Cunningham (Rifton Dynamic Stander), Zachary Fellin (Pool Heater) and Jack Hutchinson (Rifton Shower Chair).

J.T. Townsend and THE PLAYERS On May 8, the foundation will host The Bad Habit Par-Tee Benefit to raise more funds for future recipients. Tickets can be purchased online at www.J.T.townsendfoundation.org or by donating $35 or at Nippers Beach Grille. Call (904) 716-4947 for more information.

J.T. looks ahead These days, the word “can’t” is no longer a part of J.T.’s vocabulary. He aims to live a normal life by maintaining his independence and participating in regular activities, such as going to the mall and the movies and cheering on his favorite teams at sporting events. Although J.T. is not yet able to move limbs on his own, he has miraculously regained feeling all over, an advancement that doctors did not expect at this

Photo Provided by the J.T. Townsend Foundation

J.T. Townsend laughs with Jack Hutchinson. The J.T. Townsend Foundation was established last year to provide assistance to children and adults with disabilities and has been able to provide equipment and financial assistance to several individuals in Northeast Florida.

stage in his recovery process. In addition, J.T. attends physical therapy sessions every Friday and is able to be extracted from his wheelchair with the assistance of a Hoyer lift. A magnetic mouth stick also assists him with operating his laptop and cell phone, granting him the privilege of rekindling relationships with old friends on Facebook and sending text messages. When J.T. graduates from UNF in the fall, he plans to utilize his sports management degree while working behind the scenes and handling everyday operations for a professional football, basketball, or baseball team. He also plans to continue expanding the efforts of his foundation to help as many people as possible.

family and friends, and the mentality of not giving up and still believing that one day I will walk again.” J.T. encourages anyone else who has experienced a similar circumstance to never lose hope. “Don’t let your disability hold you back from continuing life because life does go on. There are resources out there that will allow you to continue to pursue your career and just live life in general,” he stated. J.T. was injured in the midst of pursuing what he loved doing since he was 7 years old. If he had the opportunity to reverse the effects of that life-changing

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Ponte Vedra Inn & Club major makeover mission BY LILTERA R. WILLIAMS

O

fficially established in 1928, The Ponte Vedra Inn & Club has evolved into a haven of relaxation for residents and visitors alike. Eight decades of offering resort life experiences on Florida’s Northeast shore and providing seaside lodging options has positioned the establishment as one of the top vacation spots in the area. The former unusual, old-fashioned village quickly gained notoriety as the newest attraction on Ponte Vedra Beach, with guests traveling from as far as Michigan, Rhode Island and Connecticut. Over the years, the Inn & Club has improved its core foundation, performing frequent remodels of buildings and key elements of hotel convenience. The antique, resort-style structure is currently undergoing a $2.6 million makeover that involves complete renovations of the oceanfront Florida and Georgia Guest Houses. The plan to create an enhanced guest experience with fresh, new interior design features in order to complement the resort’s luxurious environment entered the development stages just before Thanksgiving. Chosen for their quality of work and previous success in producing original and innovative results, both Fisher Koppenhafer Architecture and Interior Design and Sisler Johnston Interior Design are responsible for devising the decorative changes. Fisher Koppenhafer Architecture and Interior Design is in charge of upgrading the interior spaces of the two hotel buildings with new layouts, luxurious materials, finishes and fixtures that will showcase a more contemporary setting. Koppenhafer has previously designed numerous projects at the Inn & Club resort, including The Spa at Ponte Vedra Inn & Club and Island House resort rooms. Interior specifications and selections, including furnishings, decor, wall coverings, window treatments, carpeting, counter-

12 APRIL • MAY 2012 | FIRST COAST REGISTER

tops, lighting and decorative hardware will be handled by Sisler Johnston Interior Design. “The redesign will bring a fresh and luxurious ambiance to the Florida House and the Georgia House at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, and is in keeping with the resort’s Five-Diamond Award status,” said Judith Sisler Johnston. Previously at the Florida and Georgia guest houses, Sisler Johnston Interior Design completed the installation of six premier oceanfront guest suites. The firm has also completed the design of the Island House and the redesign of the Summer House, Atlantic House, Beach House, Ocean House and Peyton House. Additionally, Johnston was the original interior designer of the Peyton House when it opened in 1986. For 10 consecutive years, The Ponte Vedra Inn & Club has impressively maintained its Five-Diamond Award ranking, the highest hospitality honor awarded by the American Automobile Association. While aiming to provide an extraordinary experience for each guest, The Ponte Vedra Inn & Club faithfully adheres to the requirements and conditions set in place by AAA, offering the ultimate in luxury within first-class accommodations, with a keen focus on cleanliness, comfort, security, and safety. “It requires not only the facilities to be at the top level of the luxury category, but it also requires that the level of service is there to complement the facilities. In our particular case, we’ve been very fortunate to have been chosen as one of the top resorts in North America by AAA and we very proudly offer that level of service to our guests,” said Fred Cozby, director of lodging at the Inn & Club. The establishment’s amenities include: meticulous attention to detail in landscaping, extraordinary and unique architectural features, automatic valet parking, limited edition campus art, enhanced bedding and preservation of frames, creative


artisan pieces, multiple architectural and design features in the ceilings, custom lighting with unique qualities of illumination, outstanding dining opportunities, unique pool environments, and first-class, sanitary rest rooms. Annual property inspections and updates are conducted every year, and various sections of the property are chosen for renovations and upgrades based on a random rotation schedule. The current renovation project involving the Florida and Georgia Guest Houses will highlight the campus style environment and freestanding hotel buildings that are situated along the oceanfront. These particular Guest Houses are located right in the center of the property, directly across the street from the historic Inn building. “One of the goals of this project was to better tie the building across the street into our two guest houses and into the core of the historic Inn building that was rebuilt and redesigned in the year 2000,” said Cozby. “The circle right in the center of the property leads to the historic Inn building. There’s also a large fountain directly in the center of Ponte Vedra Boulevard in front of the Inn. Our goal is to tie the Florida and Georgia Houses more closely into the entire circle,” he continued. The two buildings were originally built in 1968 and 1969 and have undergone regular renovations through the course of the years, but this is the first major redesign since they were constructed in the late ’60s and early ’70s. Renovations are expected to be completed in April.

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Women in Business 21

The Recorder · March 7, 2013

First-time author strives to keep hope alive for young offenders Liltera R. Williams Special to The Recorder In a room filled with close to 100 supporters at Three Layers Cafe, which is nestled in the center of historic Springfield, first-time Author Renata A. Hannans spoke passionately about her nonfiction book “P.S. Never Give Up Hope.” The book chronicles the lives of 10 current and former youthful offenders as they candidly share details of the mistakes, consequences and regrets surrounding the irreversible crimes they committed. A project that was two years in the making proved to be a worthy effort as the author fought back tears to express the severity of a recurring epidemic that affects many juveniles worldwide. She later declared the purpose of her mission by stating, “My goal is to spread awareness and make kids think of the consequences of their actions.” Hannans also made it very clear that

she does not condone juvenile crime. Instead, she hopes to bring more attention to the harsh punishments placed upon youthful offenders who may not fully understand the consequences of a respective sentence. “Are you the same person you were when you were a teenager?” she asked the crowd. As a member of the crowd, I did not only get to witness the delivery of such a powerful speech, I actually had the privilege of assisting the author throughout the entire process. We met at a Starbucks last summer. At that point, she had only composed an introduction and two of the 10 chapters, and presented me with one of the letters she had received from a subject in the book. Over the course of seven months, we worked together to decipher hundreds of letters that included firsthand AUTHOR continues on Page 23

C

hat with any one of the four sisters who own and manage Culhane’s Irish Pub, and she will tell you they’ve achieved the “American Dream.” Lynda, Michelle, Mary Jane, and Aine’s fascinating story dates back to a childhood in Ireland, where they experienced an almost magical upbringing, working alongside their parents on the family farm. There, they developed a genuine love for the land, orangic, quality food, Irish traditions and hard work – a mix of lessons and passions that are paying off today. Their authentic Irish restaurant is one of the most-talked about establishments in its industry. Since opening its doors in 2005, Culhane’s has captured the attention of both everyday diners and culinary critics. It landed a coveted spot on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” and has been covered by local reporters fascinated by the pub’s distinctive menu and entertainment options. The Guinness Stew (as seen in photo above) will be featured in Guy Fieri’s new cookbook this Father’s Day. The cook book is bigger than his Triple D show! Secret house spices and plenty of Guinness bring a fresh twist to Irish favorites such as Bangers and Mash, Shepherd’s Pie, and Arthur’s Fish and Chips. Other savory delights are the pub’s famous Blarney Lamb Sliders and the hearty Dingle Fish Pie, which are “comfort foods” gone gourmet. The sisters would like to acknowledge Chrissy for her hard work and dedication! Chef Chrissy is –CHEF CHRISSY SCHNEIDER wearing the green chef jacket.

967 Atlantic Blvd. | Atlantic Beach, FL 32233

904.249.9595 www.CulhanesIrishPub.com

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Shore Décor & Fabulous Finds! Sidney Cardel’s, Shore Decor and Fabulous Finds is owned and operated by mother/daughter duo,

Cathy Thomasson Hartford & Cara Murphy With a double major in Fashion Merchandising and Fashion Design from Florida State University, Cathy Thomasson Hartford always knew she wanted to own her own store. Through the encouragement, trust and support of her dear friend and business partner, Sidney Cardel’s opened its door in October of 2011. She was a key account sales rep in the home, decorative accessory and gift industry for 20+ years prior to opening her store. Her knowledge of sales, customer service, product and design trends serve her well as a storeowner.  Cara Murphy is the Manager, Marketing Director and Trollbeads Expert at Sidney Cardel’s.  After graduating from Florida State University with a degree in Studio Art and Art History, she thrives on the freedom to be creative and share her artistic background throughout the store.  She is the eye behind the merchandising and visual displays at Sidney Cardel’s. She is a freelance writer and photographer as well as a commissioned artist. A native beach girl, you can often find her in the ocean or riding her skateboard down 1st Street.  Sidney Cardel’s carries various lines including slip covered furniture, Old Gringo Boots, Trollbeads, decorative accessories, jewelry and kitchen accessories. They also have design services available.  Located in Jax Beach at 412 2nd St South. Visit them on Facebook and Twitter and follow them on Instagram. Check out their website, www.sidneycardels.com

412 2nd Street South • Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250 Phone: 904.372.4000 • www.sidneycardels.com

3219 Atlantic Boulevard Jacksonville, Florida 32207 Tel. 904.634.8991 JanetEJohnsonLaw.com Janet Johnson, in practice since 1994 , is committed to aggressively defending people accused in all criminal matters. She is a member of the Florida Bar and the Colorado Bar, as well as the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and is on the faculty of the FACDL “Blood, Breath & Tears” annual DUI seminar. Ms. Johnson has appeared as a commentator on First Coast News, CNN, HLN, Fox News, TruTV and The Wall Street Journal Radio Network. She has received an AV Preeminent rating by MartindaleHubbell, the highest ranking possible from her peers. SERVES DUVAL, ST. JOHNS, NASSAU AND CLAY COUNTIES.

The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written informtation about our qualifications and experience.


Women in Business 23

The Recorder · March 7, 2013

Author Continued from 21

accounts of life before and during prison. With crimes that range from drug abuse to robbery to murder, every teenage subject in the book was sentenced as an adult. The book serves as a form of redemption for the condemned criminals. It allows them to humbly and truthfully share their side of the story to prevent others from making the same mistakes. The author/editor partnership that I developed with Hannans required long periods of research. We spent one weekend at the Jacksonville Public Library downtown searching for supporting news articles of crimes that occurred more than 20 years ago. I also visited with her at her home to study the incoming letters that continued to flow from each youthful offender with whom she corresponded. In November, we traveled to the Mayo Correctional Institution to visit an inmate serving 40 years for felony murder, an eye-opening experience for me, but familiar territory for Hannans. She had already traveled to various prisons to meet with every other subject in the book. “The movement has only just begun.

Provided by Liltera Williams

First Coast resident Renata Hannans teamed with Liltera Williams on her recently-released book.

Selling books is great but saving lives is better,” Hannans told me. A native of Jacksonville, she maintains an avid interest in criminal law. The journey to spreading hope started when Hannans began working as a case manager at a local Jacksonville high school. In addition, she has assisted Oscar-win-

ning attorney Patrick McGuinness with many cases as a pro bono intern. McGuinness supported Hannans at the signing and she publicly addressed him as her mentor. Ron Davis, the father of slain teen Jordan Davis, was also in attendance. His son was not a youthful offender, but was sadly mistaken as a

Beaches local celebrates Dental Health Month On Feb. 24, Shreena Patel of Beaches Orthodontics celebrated Dental Health Month with a visit to The Bolles School Ponte Vedra Beach campus to help educate students about taking care of their teeth. All five of the students at left are current patients of Patel. Provided by Mark Berman

criminal based on his appearance. Hannans plans to speak publicly about her message as much as possible and will also begin filming a documentary featuring live video messages from subjects in the book. “P.S. Never Give Up Hope” enables readers to truly appreciate the importance of good decision-making. The book is available for purchase at www. psnevergiveuphope.com.

Sawgrass Continued from 20

growth,” said Miller. “Ponte Vedra is a very welcoming environment, with top-notch golf courses and pristine beaches, and I look forward to spreading the word to leisure, group and business travelers alike.” A native of New Orleans, Miller earned a Bachelor of Liberal Arts Degree from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. She currently resides in Ponte Vedra, Florida.

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LET’S EAT

dining

the Guide Restaurant Directories Kitchen Gadget of the Month $10 & 100 Words Neighborhood Find Wine & A Movie Restaurant News

BRADLEY STOOKEY

* * * * * *

Phil Mickelson’s Lobster Ravioli at Nineteen at TPC Sawgrass

JACKSONVILLE MAGAZINE: MAY 2009

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nightlife Cuba Libre

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OPEN TILL 2 A.M.

LIVE MUSIC

DJ & DANCING

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GOOD FOR GROUPS

32 BARS, NIGHTCLUBS & MUSIC VENUES Bay Street Dive Bar 331 E. Bay St., Downtown, 359-9090. Occasional live music, rock & roll, full bar. Bo’s Coral Reef 201 Fifth Ave. N., Jacksonville Beach, 246-9874. Live music nightly, local acts like Too Many Shoes, DJ dance music on weekends. Burrito Gallery & Bar 21 E. Adams St., Downtown,598-2922. DJs, live music, full bar and separate restaurant bar, outdoor patio. The Comedy Zone Ramada Inn Mandarin, I-295 and San Jose Blvd., Mandarin, 292-4242. Headliners such as Ralphie May and Doug Benson, dinner buffet. Cuba Libre Havana-Jax, 2578 Atlantic Blvd., St. Nicholas, 399-0609. DJ Latin, salsa and merengue music, dance lessons Thursdays, Cuban cuisine.

Monkey’s Uncle 10601 San Jose Blvd., Mandarin, 260-1349. Various acoustic, country, rock performers on weekends, karaoke. Ocean Club 401 First St., Jacksonville Beach, 242-8884. DJ dance club, house, Top 40, reggae, old wave, ‘70s disco, hip-hop and more. Palace Saloon 117 Centre St., Fernandina Beach, 491-3332. Historic bar presents live bands during the week and DJ dance music on weekends. Pete’s Bar 117 1st St., Neptune Beach, 249-9158. A Beaches tradition for 75 years, pool tables, full bar and cold beer.

Fionn MacCool’s Irish Pub 333 1st St. N., Jacksonville Beach, 242-9499. A slice of the Emerald Isle at the Beaches, late night eats, Irish music.

The Pearl 1101 N. Main St., Downtown, 791-4449. DJ dance music, “enchanted forest” theme.

Fuel 1037 Park St., Riverside, 425-3835. Various acoustic acts, open mic and spoken word, coffee and beer.

Ragtime Tavern 207 Atlantic Blvd., Atlantic Beach, 241-7877. Mainstay of the Beaches music scene. Hosts blues, jazz and rock acts Wednesday-Sunday.

Freebird Live 200 First St. N., Jacksonville Beach, 246-2473. Live local rock bands, regional acts, touring bands.

The Ritz 139 3rd. Ave., Jacksonville Beach, 246-2255. DJ dance music nightly, funk, ‘80s pop, alternative, etc.

Island Girl Cigar Bar 7860 Gate Pkwy., Ste. 115, Southside, 854-6060. Live entertainment in an upscale tropical lounge, happy hour specials. The Ivy Ultra Bar 113 E. Bay St., Downtown, 356-9200. Downtown hipster lounge. The Lemon Bar Neptune Beach, 246-2175. Trendy watering hole located oceanside behind the Sea Horse Oceanfront Inn. The London Bridge 100 E. Adams St., Downtown, 359-0001. Blues bands, DJ, open mic night on Tuesday.

JACKSONVILLE MAGAZINE: MAY 2009

Mill Top Tavern 19 1/2 St. George St., St. Augustine, 829-2329. Acoustic musicians, blue grass bands nightly.

Crazy Horse 1241 Blanding Blvd., Orange Park, 213-0606. Three dance clubs under one roof, country, disco and hip-hop DJs.

Harmonious Monks 10550 Old St. Augustine Rd., Mandarin, 880-3040. Singing servers every Thursday-Saturday, karaoke, dancing encouraged.

76

Metro 2929 Plum St., Riverside, 388-8719. Female impersonation revues every Wednesday through Sunday, karaoke, multiple bars and dance floors.

The Roadhouse 231 Blanding Blvd., Orange Park, 264-0611. Long-time Orange Park pub presents local and regional rock bands Thursday-Saturday. Square One 1974 San Marco Blvd., San Marco, 306-9004. Jazz and R&B, DJ dance music and Sex and the City nights on Thursday. Plush 845 University Blvd. N., Arlington, 743-1845. Dance club with DJ spinning house, hip-hop, and Top 40 music. Tera Nova 8206 Philips Hwy., Baymeadows, 733-8085. Posh upscale club, dress code enforced.

Mark’s Downtown 315 E. Bay St. Ste. 101, Downtown, 355-5099.Retro-modern décor, full bar, DJ dance music, casual chic dress code.

The Twisted Martini Jacksonville Landing, Downtown, 353-8464; DJ dance music, salsa and disco nights, tapas menu.

Maverick’s Upstairs at The Jacksonville Landing, Downtown, 356-1110. Rock n’honky tonk, country music acts.

West Inn Cantina 3644 St. Johns Ave., Avondale, 389-1131. Open mic nights, rock and acoustic acts. *J

BRADLEY STOOKEY

The Atlantic 333 1st St. N., Jacksonville Beach, 249-3338. DJ old wave, ‘80s retro, pop and house music.


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FRED SEELY

Par for the Course

review

Southwestern Blackened Ahi Tuna Salad

TPC Sawgrass clubhouse has fine eats, too.

I

f you build a $44 million clubhouse, it better have a good place to eat, huh? If it doesn’t, there will be one sore commissioner on your case (and probably a few pro golfers who actually own the place), so the folks who run Nineteen at TPC Sawgrass (Ponte Vedra Beach, 273-3235) are on their toes, fingers and every other extremity to make sure you and your $15 hamburger are comfy. The House That Finchem Built—the $33 million, 77,000-square-foot behemoth that came in reportedly at about $10 million more—is a monument to the excesses of life, or at least life before those nasty congressmen started poking into corporate spending. PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem wanted a memorial to his reign and he built one, a glitzy faux Flagler College-like Mediterranean edifice on an artificial hill overlooking the famous golf course that hosts The Players Championship every May. Nineteen is half the building’s midsection, two rooms of dining plus a 10-table porch overlooking the 18th hole. Except for tournament week and special occasions like very, very expensive weddings, it’s open to you and me for breakfast, lunch and dinner. How many other public restaurants can there be that are guarded by a gate? To get there, go through either entrance on TPC Boulevard or Solana Road to the PGA Tour complex. Don’t let the gate intimidate you; just tell the guard that you’re going to the clubhouse to eat. Turn at the PGA Tour headquarters and the clubhouse is a quarter-mile ahead. There’s a big parking lot, but you’ll have an uphill walk, so drop off passengers at the main entrance. Nineteen is part sports bar, part fine dining,

and the two somehow don’t collide. The big screen TVs are there, and the bar can be raucous, but the big main room holds the noise well and the adjacent members-only room has a River Club-like quietness. The food is wonderful and plentiful. The PGA Tour has a national network of clubs and it has lots of chefs, and it took the best from the best for this one. The big kitchen is built to handle huge gatherings, such as Finchem’s annual reception during the golf tournament, and serving a few hundred meals in an hour or so isn’t any harder than a two-foot putt. The service is the result of scouting the area’s best restaurants for the best waitstaff. Everyone smiles and really, really wants you to enjoy your experience. Disney? Good comparison. But not as many kids. Yes, it’s an experience with Rolex clocks on the wall, premium brands in the well, real silver on the buffet line and leather-bound menus. ‘Tis said that the Commish ordered the best and, when he found something better, sent through a change order. The prices compare with the area’s ritziest and top out at a $42 entrée (veal Oscar) in the members-only room. Other dinner entrées run in the $20-$30 range with a good selection. You really have to look hard to find the minus-

es in Nineteen. OK, here’s a few: There’s no view from the inside dining area due to curtains, and one wonders why the entire south wall wasn’t one big window; don’t expect perfect neighbors—on a recent Friday, a group of genteel Vicar’s Landing ladies were next to a foursome of sweaty, beer-swilling golfers settling bets. You can handle those, of course (unless you’re one of those genteel ladies). Plus, you’re in a grand building with lots of artwork and a great shop, the atmosphere is stunning from every side and you can wander around the immediate area. Yes, you may see a Tour pro or two (on a recent day, both Jim Furyk and Mark McCumber were dining) and Finchem and his gimlet eye are frequent visitors. OK, the hamburger is about the same (and twice the price) as the one you’ll get down the street at Cruiser’s, and you have to ask for ranch dressing with your fries. But this is the big league, folks, and you won’t forget it after you dine there. *J Nineteen at TPC Sawgrass is open daily from 7 AM to 9 PM. Reservations are recommended, especially if you want to sit outside. For more information or a peek at the menu, go to www.tpc.com/sawgrass.

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* POSTED ONLINE 24/7 AT JACKSONVILLEMAG.COM *

GUIDE TO THE GUIDE:

$ — $10 or less

L– Lunch; D– Dinner; SB– Sunday Brunch; O– Outdoor Seating; VP– Valet Parking; *– Cocktail Lounge/Bar; = – Live Entertainment; BR– Private Banquet Room; FB– Full Bar; B/W– Beer & Wine Only; RA– Reservations Accepted; RS– Reservations Suggested; TO– Takeout; AX– American Express; DS– Discover; V– Visa; MC– MasterCard; ALL– All major credit cards

$$ — $11 to $20 $$$ — $21 to $30 $$$$ — $31 or above

These $ categories are based upon the average cost of a dinner entrée excluding drinks, desserts and/or gratuities.

NOTE: Some restaurant entrée prices do not include a` la carte sides or salad. All phone numbers are in the (904) area code. Dining guide can be viewed online at jacksonvillemag.com. The Guide does not represent a complete listing of Jacksonville area restaurants. Listings are reserved for Jacksonville Magazine clients and friends.

RESTAURANT DIRECTORY & FOOD NEWS EDITOR’S NOTE: Menu items mentioned in the following listings are subject to change, as are any prices posted or details about each restaurant.

AMERICAN Aqua Grill 950 Sawgrass Village, Ponte Vedra

Beach (285-3017; www.aquagrill.net). Featuring lakeside patio seating, private banquet facilities, aged Angus steaks, fresh seafood including live Maine lobster, chicken, pasta and vegetarian dishes. Private banquet room and a bar area with large screen TV. Casual. L, D, FB, *, RA, RS, O, BR, TO, ! , $$$, ALL.

Barbara Jean’s 15 S. Roscoe Blvd., Ponte Vedra (280-7522); 960030 Gateway Blvd., Amelia Island (277-3700). The crab cakes are famous,

but don’t overlook the homemade breads— pumpkin, sweet jalapeño corn bread and wheat rolls. She-crab soup, 15 veggies prepared daily and the “chocolate stuff” are crowd pleasers, too. Breakfast served on weekends and holidays. L, D, FB, O, TO, ! , $$, ALL.

Blackstone Grille 112 Bartram Oaks Walk, Julington Creek (287-0766; blackstone-grille.com).

Serving a variety of meat and seafood entrées such as pan-seared sea bass, filet mignon au poivre and scallop and shrimp Newburg. Sunday brunch buffet. Private dining room. Upscale. L, D, SB, FB, *, RS, O, BR, TO, !, $$$, ALL.

b.b.’s 1019 Hendricks Ave., San Marco (306-

0100). There’s a definite buzz about this hip

San Marco bistro. Its upscale comfort food, which includes prosciutto-wrapped pork chops or mushroom triangoli ravioli (specials change daily) with to-die-for desserts, have patrons—a mixed bag of hipster yuppies, soccer moms out on the town and moneyed empty nesters—lining up. Casual. L, D, BW, TO, ! , $$, ALL.

Biscottis 3556 St. Johns Ave., Avondale (387-

2060; www.biscottis.net). One of the few places

where you can be seated between a Red Hat Society member and a purple-haired creative director, this Avondale institution specializes in innovative updates on old favorites like meatloaf served with apricot marinara sauce and duck confit pizza (dinner specials change daily). Local painters display their works in the dining room, but the real works of art are in the dessert case. Casual. B, L, D, SB, BW, O, TO, !, $$, ALL.

The Brick Restaurant 3585 St. Johns Ave.,

Avondale (387-0606). Food might be the main

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attraction (regulars swear by the grilled salmon salad, Kobe beef burger and prime rib), but it’s not the only thing that draws guests into The Brick. Outdoor seating, live music (usually of the groovy, jazzy variety) and a happening bar also make it an Avondale hotspot. Casual. L, D, SB, FB, *, O, RA, TO, ! , =, $$, ALL.

Café Nola 333 N. Laura St., Downtown (366-

6911, x231). Inside the Museum of Contem-

porary Art Jacksonville, this chic eatery serves food that rivals its artwork, with dishes like spicy salmon soba, coconut and curry chicken, grilled asparagus and blueberry salad with goat cheese and toasted Georgia pecans. Wine tastings every Thursday. Upscale. L, D, RA, TO, !, $$, ALL.

Chew Restaurant 117 W. Adams St.,

Downtown (355-3793). Downtown hotspot serves

an innovative menu featuring twists on favorites like mac and cheese gratin, apple and goat cheese salad, fried green tomato BLT, short rib sliders and full service Lavazza espresso. Loose leaf tea selection. L, D, B/W, TO, ! , $$, ALL.

hundred beers to choose from, the home of the monster German wiener caters to worker bees on lunch break and neighborhood denizens at “beerthirty.” Casual. L, D, B/W, O (except 992 Beach Blvd.), TO, = (San Marco only), $, ALL.

The Grape 10281 Midtown Pkwy., Suite 119, St. Johns Town Center (642-7111). Hip wine boutique and eatery serving lamb chops, steak sandwiches, brie quesadilla and chocolate fondue. L, D, wine only, RA, O, TO, =, ! , $$, ALL.

Heirlooms Bistro 104 Bartram Oaks Walk, Ste. 101, Julington Creek (230-3999). This trendy

eatery presents an innovative menu featuring golden lobster bisque, citrus-scented salmon filet, 12 oz. New York strip, Thai BBQ pork

* Wine & A Movie *

Cobblestones at the Creek 108 Julington

Plaza Dr., Julington Creek (230-6744). Innovative

menu features “Creek” chips, signature fusion filet, spice blanket grouper and mini indulgences for dessert. Upscale yet casual. D, SB, FB, *, RA, O, BR, VP, TO, =, ! , $$, ALL.

Cruiser’s Grill 319 23rd Ave. S., Jacksonville Beach (270-0356); 832 Hwy. A1A N., Ponte Vedra Beach (273-5446); 3 St. George St., St. Augustine (824-6993). Famed for its enormous orders of

cheddar cheese fries, Cruiser’s is a casual and family-friendly burger and sandwich joint that also serves Tex-Mex favorites like quesadillas and tacos. Save room for a HäagenDazs milkshake. L, D, B/W, O, TO, ! , $, ALL.

Eleven South Bistro 216 11th Ave. S.,

Jacksonville Beach (241-1112). Upscale eatery

earns high marks for its extensive wine list, mesquite wood grill and outdoor patio. Seafood martini, lobster “mac and cheese,” red wine braised short ribs, and Colorado rack of lamb highlight the menu. L, D, FB, *, RA, RS, O, BR, VP, TO, =, ! , $$$$, ALL.

European Street Four locations: 992 Beach Blvd., (249-3001; www.europeanstcafe.com); 5500 Beach Blvd., (398-1717); 2753 Park St., (384-9999); 1704 San Marco Blvd., (398-9500). With more

than 100 salads and deli sandwiches and another

Corie and Paul Bratter are young newlyweds who have just moved in together. She’s a free spirit and he’s not, living on the sixth floor of a tinier than tiny brownstone apartment. When Corie becomes aggravated with Paul’s dull ways and demands a divorce, he goes on a drunken rage and runs Barefoot in the Park to prove his spontaneity. Based on Neil Simon’s play, this 1967 classic stars Jane Fonda and Robert Redford as the 20-something couple. A passionate film like this calls for a refreshing summer salad wine such as Mulderbosch’s Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé ($13) a bright and clear pomegranate-colored blend of strawberries, cherries and peaches capped off with actual roses. According to the South African vintner known for its sauvignon blanc, this pink cab goes well with seared tuna, vegetable spring rolls and asparagus quiche. *J —by Liltera R. Williams


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chops and chocolate soufflé. D, FB, RA, TO, $$, ALL.

Heirlooms, A Culinary Cafe and Market 9545 San Jose Blvd., San Jose (880-2291; www.heirloomsinc.com). Establishment offers a

little bit of everything—catering, takeout market and dine-in breakfast and lunch. BBQ duck wonton, Brentwood pot roast sandwich, rock shrimp burrito and eggplant parmesan on the menu. L, D, B/W, RA, O, TO, ! , $$, ALL.

The Hilltop 2030 Wells Rd., Orange Park (2725959). A true Orange Park landmark, the Hilltop

serves classic American fare like prime rib, stuffed grouper and shrimp and scallops New Orleans. Seven banquet rooms and a piano bar. D, FB, *, RA, BR, TO, =, ! , $$, ALL.

Creative Cuisine • Weekend Brunch • Live Music • Full Bar 3585 St. Johns Avenue, in the Shoppes of Avondale • 387.0606

Juliette’s Bistro Omni Jacksonville Hotel, 245 Water St., Downtown (355-6664). Offering casual dining in an upscale environment. Serving fresh seafood and hand-cut Buckhead beef. Open air atrium. Upscale. B, L, D, FB, *, RA, VP, TO, ! , $$$, ALL.

McAlister’s Deli 9700 Deerlake Ct., Southside (564-2377; mcalistersdeli.com); 1615 Hwy. 220, No. 180, Orange Park (278-6055). Quick-serve

and casual dining presented in a family-friendly atmosphere. Menu offers dozens of sandwiches, enormous baked potatoes with toppings, salads, soups and sweets. And don’t forget to try their famous sweet tea. L, D, O, TO, $, ALL.

Metro Diner 3302 Hendricks Ave., San Marco (398-3701). The interior atmosphere is reminis-

cent of the art deco era, with black and silver vintage bar stools overlooking an open kitchen where cooks flip pancakes and burgers. Don’t forget to check the blackboard for breakfast and lunch specials. B, L, SB, O, BR, TO, ALL, $.

Mojo Bar-B-Que 1607 University Blvd. W., Lakewood (732-7200, mojobbq.com); 1500 Beach Blvd., Jacksonville Beach (247-6636); 1810 Town Center Blvd., Orange Park (264-0636).

Specializing in Southern-style BBQ, Mojo is a casual, down-home kind of place featuring favorites like North Carolina pork shoulder, Texas beef brisket, Delta catfish and buttermilk fried chicken. Full catering services, live music (Beaches only). Beer and wine only at Lakewood location. L, D, FB, *, TO, ! , $$, ALL.

O.C. White’s Seafood & Spirits 118 Avenida Menendez, St. Augustine (824-0808). Dine upstairs, on the balcony or in the tropical courtyard of a building dating back to 1790. Maryland crab cakes, coconut shrimp, grouper and bruschetta round out an extensive menu. The restaurant’s White Room is suitable for receptions and other special events. L, D, SB, FB, *, RA, O, BR, TO, =, ! , $$, ALL.

_ PLAE 80 Amelia Village Cir., Amelia Island (277-

2132). Surprisingly trendy for conservative Amelia Island, this “adult contemporary” restaurant caters to People who like to Laugh And Eat (P-L-A-E, get it?). Customer favorites include grilled shrimp with mustard vinaigrette, pistachio encrusted lamb loin and tuna tartare with avocado wasabi. Upscale. D, FB, *, RA, O, BR, =, ! , $$$, AX, MC, V.

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Quick Guide Select North Florida Restaurants listed by Neighborhood

The Reef 4100 Coastal Hwy. A1A, St. Augustine (824-8008). Casual oceanside dining serving

shrimp egg rolls, crab cakes, herbed tuna, Louisiana smoked pork chops and daily specials. Also noteworthy, every table has an ocean view. L, D, SB, FB, *, RA, O, BR, TO, =, !, $$, ALL.

River City Brewing Company 835 Museum Cir., Southbank (398-2299; rivercitybrew.com). It

3-Course Prix Fixe Menu* Sunday ~ Thursday, 5pm ~ 7pm

$29 join us! *includes choice of soup or salad, seven signature entrée entr e selections & dessert

904-398-1949

1440 San Marco Blvd.

www.BistroX.com

ROMANTIC

MUSIC

OPEN AFTER MIDNIGHT

LUNCH, TOO

LARGE PARTIES WELCOME

OUTDOOR SEATING

wouldn’t matter if RCBC served salisbury steak, TV dinners and stale corn chips: Folks would still flock to the riverfront restaurant for the view alone. Fortunately, the menu, which includes jambalaya, jumbo roasted Mayport shrimp and roasted prime rib, and the over-the-top Sunday brunch buffet are also “see-worthy.” Microbrewery. L, D, SB, FB, *, RA, RS, O, BR, VP, TO, =, ! , $$$, ALL. s

Sterlings 3551 St. Johns Ave., Avondale (387CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED

RESERVATIONS

TAKE OUT

LIQUOR LICENSE

FINE DINING

BUSINESS MEETINGS

Amelia Island/Fernandina Beach Barbara Jean’s 960030 Gateway Blvd. • 277-3700 Beech Street Grill 801 Beech St. • 277-3662

0700). Upscale neighborhood landmark serving a diverse menu including New Zealand rack of lamb, Szechuan tuna, soft-shell crab, fried green tomatoes and veal. Two private banquet rooms. Courtyard patio dining. L, D, SB, FB, *, =, RA, RS, O, BR, TO, ! , $$$$, ALL.

Stonewood Grill & Tavern 3832 Baymeadows Rd., Baymeadows (739-7206); 950 Marsh Landing Pkwy., Ponte Vedra Beach (285-2311). Serving

Emerald Bay crab cakes, oak-grilled citrus salmon, herb-encrusted lamb, pork Adirondack and oak-grilled filet mignon. Reserve wine list. D, FB, *, TO, ! , $$$, ALL.

Urban Flats 330 A1A N., Ponte Vedra Beach (280-5515; www.urbanflats.net). Casual but cut-

Bonito Grill & Sushi 614 Centre St. • 261-0508

* $10 & 100 Words *

Brett’s Waterway Café 1 S. Front St. • 261-2660 Moon River Pizza 925 S. 14th St. • 321-3400 Pablo’s Mexican Restaurant 12 N. 2nd St. • 261-0049 _ PL AE 80 Amelia Village Cir. • 277-2132 Salt Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island • 277-1100 Arlington/Regency European Street Cafe 5500 Beach Blvd. • 398-1717 Avondale/Riverside/Westside 13 Gypsies 887 Stockton St. • 389-0330 Al’s Pizza 1620 Margaret St. #210 • 388-8384 Biscottis 3556 St. Johns Ave. • 387-2060 The Brick Restaurant 3585 St. Johns Ave. • 387-0606 The Casbah 3628 St. Johns Ave. • 981-9966 Espeto Brazilian Steakhouse 4000 St. Johns Ave. • 388-4884 European Street Cafe 2753 Park St. • 384-9999 Fu Hao Bistro 1001 Park St. 798-8686 Hovan Mediterranean 2005-1 Park St. • 381-9394

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continued…

Celebrating its one-year anniversary this month, the Fickle Pickle (7860 Gate Pkwy., 620-8075) serves breakfast and lunch seven days a week. The quaint oneroom restaurant is über-casual: Guests order at the counter and eat at the 10 or so tables in the room. The menu is just as simple— though vast—with a wide selection of breakfast sandwiches and 19 specialty subs, whose names are as interesting as the diner’s. Among our favorites are the WholeLotta Goodness and the Smothered Bird. For lunch recently, we had the Rajun Cajun (a variation of the turkey sandwich) and soda. And, of course, each meal comes with a pickle. Check: $8.11. *J —by Holli Welch


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ting-edge bistro style menu featuring signature “flats,” small plates, salads and “flatwiches.” More than 20 wines by-the-glass and more than 70 by-the-bottle. Full bar. L, D, FB, *, O, TO, =, ! , $$, ALL.

CONTINENTAL Beech Street Grill 801 Beech St., Fernandina

Beach (277-3662). Located in a restored 19th century home in historic Fernandina Beach, this fine dining establishment caters to guests seeking comfort in their cuisine with entrées like grilled tenderloin of beef with apple-smoked bacon and sautéed lobster and crab Savannah over linguine. Upscale. D, FB, RA, RS, BR, TO, =, ! , $$$, ALL.

Bistro Aix & Lounge 1440 San Marco Blvd.,

San Marco (398-1949; www.bistrox.com). Arguably the hippest restaurant in town, San Marco’s Bistro Aix (pronounced “X,” FYI) is stylish, yet unpretentious, in both décor and menu. The Mediterranean and French-inspired fare includes grilled lamb T-bone and oak-fired fish “Aixoise.” If you can find a seat at the glowing martini bar, you won’t even mind a wait for a table. L, D, FB, *, O, BR, TO, ! , $$, ALL.

Brett’s Waterway Café Fernandina Harbor Marina at the foot of Centre St., Fernandina Beach (261-2660). Serving an eclectic mix of Southern

regional cusine with an emphasis on local seafood and aged beef. Wine Spectator award-winner for four years. Seasonal outdoor seating. Casual. L, D, FB, *, RA, O, BR, TP, =, !, $$$, ALL.

Collage Restaurant 60 Hypolita St., St.

Augustine (829-0055). Located in the cozy building that formerly held La Parisienne, this new eatery offers a menu laced with local seafood, beef tenderloin with Vidalia and gorgonzola sauce, New York strip with black pepper molasses glaze and rack of lamb. Upscale. L, D, B/W, RA, RS, TO, ! , $$$, ALL.

Open for Lunch & Dinner, Tuesday-Sunday

TOP 25

Restaura

nt

HAPPY HOUR Tues.-Sat. 3 -7pm Now Accepting Reservations for Mother’s Day & Father’s Day

Dwight’s Bistro 1527 Penman Rd., Jacksonville

Beach (241-4496; www.dwightsbistro.com). Petite Mediterranean-style bistro, chef-owned and operated for over 10 years, serving fresh ravioli and pasta, “world famous” crab cakes, grilled quail, filet mignon, veal and lamb. D, B/W, RS, $$$, AX, MC, V.

Matthew’s at San Marco 2107 Hendricks

Ave., San Marco (396-9922). As the only AAA Four Diamond and Mobil Four Star-winning restaurant in North Florida, Matthew’s has established itself as the go-to restaurant for culinary creativity and contemporary elegance, not to mention 450 wine selections. Upscale. D, B/W, RA, RR, BR, TO, ! , $$$, ALL.

The Melting Pot 7860 Gate Parkway, Southside

(642-4900). “Dip into something different,” is the catch phrase at this popular fondue franchise. Most diners approach meals as group efforts, sharing courses in the traditional fondue style. Highlights include aged cheeses, boutique wines, seafood, steak and warm chocolate for dessert. D, FB, *, BR, RA, $$$, ALL.

North Beach Bistro 725 Atlantic Blvd., Atlantic

Beach (372-4105). Chic Beaches eatery features unique cocktails and extensive wine list, serving dishes like osso buco with mushroom and truffle

“ Top 25 Restaurant ” – Jacksonville Magazine, 2008

Voted Jacksonville’s “Best Mediterranean Restaurant” – WJXT Channel 4 Hot List

“Gold Star ” Restaurant – Arbus Magazine

Daily Chef’s Specials • Extensive Wine List & Full Bar • Patio Seating Available Free WiFi Internet Access • Gift Cards • Party Platters • Special Events

13475 Atlantic Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32225 Located behind Fresh Market in Harbour Village Shopping Center (904) 221-7066 • www.ZaitoonGrill.com JACKSONVILLE MAGAZINE: MAY 2009

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JL Trent’s 4553 120th St. • 908-4202; 8968 103rd St. • 908-8355 Moon River Pizza 1176-2 Edgewood Ave., S. • 389-4442 Mossfire Grill 1537 Margaret St. • 355-4434 O’Brothers Irish Pub 1521 Margaret St. • 854-9300 Okinawa 4403 Roosevelt Blvd. • 388-8708 Pastiche 4260 Herschel St. • 387-6213 Restaurant Orsay 3630 Park St. • 381-0909 The Row Restaurant 1521 Riverside Ave. • 354-5080 Sake House 824 Lomax St. • 301-1188 Sterlings 3551 St. Johns Ave. • 387-0700 Sushi Café 2025 Riverside Ave. • 384-2888 West Inn Cantina 3644 St. Johns Ave. • 389-1131 Jacksonville’s Beaches Al’s Pizza 303 Atlantic Blvd. • 249-0002 Billy’s Boathouse Grill 2321 Beach Blvd. • 241-9771 Cruiser’s Grill 319 23rd Ave. S. • 270-0356 Dwight’s Bistro 1527 Penman Rd. • 241-4496 Eleven South Bistro 216 11th Ave. S. • 241-1112 European Street Cafe 992 Beach Blvd. • 249-3001 Giovanni’s 1161 Beach Blvd. • 249-7787 Mezza Luna 110 1st. St. • 246-5100 Mojo Kitchen 1500 Beach Blvd.• 247-6636 North Beach Bistro 725 Atlantic Blvd. • 372-4105 Ocean 60 60 Ocean Blvd. • 247-0060 TacoLu Baja Mexicana 1183 Beach Blvd. • 249-TACOS Tento Churrascaria 528 First St. N. • 246-1580 Thai Room 1286 S. Third St. • 249-8444 Turtle Island Natural Foods 363 Atlantic Blvd. • 247-6400 Downtown/Northside Café Nola 117 W. Adams St. • 355-3793 Chew Restaurant 117 W. Adams St. • 355-3793 JL Trent’s 8299 W. Beaver St., #3 • 781-8410 Juliette’s Bistro 245 Water St. • 731-4815 Intracoastal West Al’s Pizza 14286 Beach Blvd. • 223-0991 Crab Cake Factory 1396 Beach Blvd. • 249-4776

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risotto, slow-braised Angus short ribs and risotto croquettes. Catering available. Casual. D, FB, *, RS, TO, ! , $$$, ALL.

Ocean 60 60 Ocean Blvd., Atlantic Beach (2470060). Chef-owned, CIA-certified restaurant

serving shrimp and goat cheese spadini, Costa Rican shrimp ceviche, seafood chowder, whole fried fish and veal Montrachet. Upscale. Martini room with live music Wed-Sat. D, FB, *, RS, TO, =, ! , $$$, ALL.

Opus 39 Restaurant & Food Gallery 39 Cordova St., St. Augustine (824-0402, www.opus39.com). Menu changes frequently at

this Oldest City fine dining landmark, but expect dishes such as pan-seared scallops with parmigian gnocchi and grilled beef tenderloin. Five-course tasting menu changes daily. Over 500 boutique wines, available by the glass, bottle or retail purchase. D, RA, RS, O, ! , $$$$, ALL.

The Row Restaurant 1521 Riverside Ave.,

Riverside (354-5080). Cuisine at the Riverdale

Inn’s on-site restaurant is Continental with a Southern flair with entrées like grey grouper topped with fried oysters and grilled center-cut pork chops with mango dried cherry chutney. Upscale. B, D, FB, *, RA, RS, O, BR, TO, ! , $$$, ALL.

Salt 4750 Amelia Island Pkwy., The Ritz-Carlton,

Amelia Island (277-1100). Patrons can expect a

seasonally driven menu and a weekly tasting menu. Sample of starter items might include appetizers such as Hawaiian tuna tartare with tomato water and homemade avocado sorbet, and marinated peekeytoe crab with mango and caviar. Desserts range from vanilla crème brulée foam with pineapple carpaccio to piña colada sorbet to vanilla froth-topped tiramisu. Ocean view. D, SB, FB, RS, VP, ! , $$$$, ALL.

Wine Cellar 1314 Prudential Dr., Southbank

(398-8989, winecellarjax.com). A lot has changed in the neighborhood since Wine Cellar opened its doors in 1974. A Jacksonville Magazine Top 25 restaurant, it remains a choice spot for business lunches. The menu is Continental with a flair for things like jumbo lump crab cakes, salmon burgers, homemade parmesan zucchini fries and beef tenderloin. Not surprisingly, the wine list is tops and the décor matches its European roots. L, D, RA, RS, FB, O, BR, $$$, ALL.

CUBAN Havana-Jax Café 2578 Atlantic Blvd., San Marco (399-0609). For more than a decade, Havana-Jax

has been the place for authentic Cuban food (think arroz con pollo, ropa vieja, Cuban sandwiches, black bean soup) in Northeast Florida. Guests are also treated to the “Cuban dining experience,” which we can only assume means friendly service, large portions and not laughing at customers when they try to remember their high school Spanish vocabulary. L, D, FB, *, BR, =, !, $$, ALL.

FRENCH Pastiche 4260 Herschel St., Avondale (387-6213; continued…

that varies with the seasons. The covered patio in the garden is great for lunch. Try the sweet potato fries. Casual. L, D, B/W, RS, O, BR, TO, =, ! , $$$, ALL.

Restaurant Orsay 3630 Park St., Avondale (381-0909; restaurantorsay.com). New bistro

serves a variety of French favorites including croque madame, steak tartare, mussels frites, coq au vin and house-made pates. Upscale. D, SB, FB, RS, TO, ! , $$$, ALL.

FUSION/GLOBAL 95 Cordova 95 Cordova St., Casa Monica Hotel, St. Augustine (827-1888). This Morocco-themed

restaurant located in the lobby of the Casa Monica Hotel also combines American, Asian, Mediterranean and Caribbean influences. The decadent six-course tasting menu is a favorite with adventurous diners. B, L, D, SB, FB, *, RA, RS, O, BR, VP, TO, =, ! , $$$, ALL.

Blue Bamboo 3820 Southside Blvd., Southside (646-1478; www.bluebamboojacksonville.com).

Innovative menu features miso-marinated salmon, lemongrass crab cakes, Cantonese orange duck, Ahi tuna salad and Mandarin orange cake. Wine lounge. Patio dining. Casual. L, D, B/W, RA, O, BR, TO, ! , $$, ALL.

Bonito Grill & Sushi 614 Centre St., Fernandina Beach (261-0508). Featuring a fusion of American and Asian cuisine. Serving broiled Chilean sea bass with red miso rub, soba noodles with sautéed seafood, and Long Island duck with wasabi teriyaki. L, D, FB, *, RA, RS, TO, ! , $$$, AX, MC, V.

Fu Hao Bistro 1001 Park St., Riverside (7988686). This new, inexpensive eatery offers a

wide variety of tasty Asian cuisine. Featured menu items include glazed walnut shrimp, crispy whole fish, phoenix on the summit, Thai-style Chilean sea bass, and pad Thai. Casual. L, D, BW, (liquor license), RA, TO, !, $$, ALL

Roy’s 2400-101 S. 3rd St., Jacksonville Beach (241-7697). Roy Yamaguchi’s Hawaiian fusion cuisine blends seafood with European sauces and bold Asian spices, creating innovative dishes such as yellow-fin Ahi poketini, hibachi-style grilled salmon and slow-braised short ribs. Upscale. D, BR, VP, FB, *, RS, ! , $$$$, ALL.

GREEK/MEDITERRANEAN Athens Café 6271 St. Augustine Rd., Suite 7, Southside (733-1199). Menu features authentic Greek dishes, rack of lamb, rack of veal, whole snapper, chicken and seafood entrées. À la carte food and wine menu. Family, L, D, B/W, RA, BR, TO, !, $$, ALL.

Hovan Mediterranean 2005-1 Park St., Riverside (381-9394). Casual and quick in the

midst of the bustling Five Points shopping district. Serving gyro sandwiches, falafel, hummus, chicken kabobs and Hovan rolls. Pet-friendly with outdoor seating. L, D, B/W, O, TO, !, $, ALL.

Mediterranea 3877 Baymeadows Rd.,

mypastiche.com). Chef-owned Avondale charmer

Baymeadows (731-2898; greek-restaurant.com).

features French-influenced American cuisine

The family-run restaurant serves all the Greek


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The Hilltop

classics—souvlaki, spinach pie, moussaka and veal medallions. Seafood choices include fried calamari, mussels marinara and grouper. Greek. L, D, B/W, RA, O, BR, TO, !, $$$, ALL.

Orange Park, FL

Zaitoon Mediterranean Grill 13475 Atlantic Blvd., Ste. 40, Intracoastal West (221-7066; www.zaitoongrill.com). Extensive menu reflects

the rich, regional diversity of the Mediterranean and features dishes such as beef kebabs, Sicilian chicken, spanikopita, falafel, tabouli and baba ghannouj. Large parties welcome. Inside the Harbour Village Shopping Center. L, D, FB, RA, O, TO, =, !, $$, ALL.

HEALTHFUL/ORGANIC Healthy Way Cafe St. Johns Town Center, Suite 185 (642-2951, www.healthycafe.com). Organic food is the calling card here. Roasted veggie wraps, organic fruit salad, Mediterranean sandwiches, and an organic banana split. Plus, beer and wine, full-service bar, smoothies—all organic, of course. L, D, B/W, RA, O, VP, TO, =, !, $, ALL.

The Hilltop is a Beautiful Victorian Mansion Nestled Among Towering Trees and Surrounded by Gorgeous Gardens with Sparkling Fountains

Native Sun Natural Foods Market 11030 Baymeadows Rd. (260-2791); 10000 San Jose Blvd. (260-6950; www.nativesunjax.com). Certified

* Neighborhood Find *

Rehearsal Dinners • Bridal Showers • Company Meetings • Outdoor Garden Weddings • Wedding Receptions up to 500 Guests

2030 WELLS RD., ORANGE PARK, FL 32073 • (904) 272-5959 • WWW.HILLTOP-CLUB.COM

It en h W

Comes to Great

,

Sus a n hi O R o e r l l! e’ W The Bungalow on Park (2782 Park St., 374-1066) looks exactly as the name sounds. The cozy restaurant has low ceilings and white wood-trimmed windows. Doubling as an art gallery, the dining room’s walls are adorned with photographs, paintings and drawings by local artists—something nice to look at while you eat. Regular menu items include a mushroom-swiss burger ($6) with a choice of homemade sides (we recommend the potato salad and sweet potato fries) and fettuccine ($14). On a recent visit, we had the tofu salad ($7.50) and fresh-squeezed limeade ($3.50). With a decent helping of browned tofu atop mixed greens, the salad is a good choice for vegetarians (and the limeade was made with sparkling water). Look for daily specials and a two-for-one happy hour. The Bungalow is closed on Mondays and open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Friday, for brunch and dinner on the weekend. Check: $14

*J

—by Katie Erba

Serving the best sushi in Jacksonville, featuring the freshest ingredients & an innovative menu. GIFT CARDS AVAILABLE

The Hardest Working

O’Brothers

Voted Best Japanese Cuisine by Jacksonville Magazine

Voted Best of Jax by Folio Weekly

In The Pub Business 2025 Riverside Avenue

1521 Margaret St. in 5 Points

854-9300

www.obrotherspub.com

904.384.2888 www.sushicafejax.com

Near 5 Points in the Publix Shopping Center Mon.- Thur. 11AM-10 PM Fri. & Sat. 11AM -11PM • Sun. 12-10 PM All major credit cards accepted

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Pepper’s Mexican Grill & Cantina 13475 Atlantic Blvd. • 221-2300

organic supermarket with full deli and hot bar serving rotisserie chicken, vegan sushi, crab cakes, dumplings, wraps, salads, soups and more. Market offers fresh organic produce, meat and seafood, baked goods and smoothies, with indoor and outdoor seating and party platters.

Zaitoon Mediterranean 13475 Atlantic Blvd. • 221-7066

Modern American Fusion Cuisine

Lakewood/San Jose Athens Café 6271 St. Augustine Rd. • 733-1199

Turtle Island Natural Foods 363 Atlantic

Mojo Bar-B-Que 1607 University Blvd., W. • 732-7200

Blvd., Atlantic Beach (247-6400; turtleislandfoods.com).

Fresh, fabulous food is served at this full-service, organic market. With quick lunches and special event catering, Turtle Island offers upscale healthy eats. Seafood, poultry, vegan, raw and gluten-free selections. Organic produce, wine, beer, cheeses, dips, bulk foods. L, D, B/W, O, TO, $, ALL.

Native Sun 10000 San Jose Blvd. • 260-6950 Mandarin/Julington Creek Al’s Pizza 11190 San Jose Blvd. • 260-4115 Blackstone Grille 112 Bartram Oaks Walk • 287-0766

INDIAN India’s Restaurant 9802-8 Baymeadows Rd.

The Blue Crab 3057 Julington Creek Rd. • 260-2722

(620-0777). The lunch buffet is a favorite at

this family-run staple of the Baymeadows dining scene. The menu is both mild and spicy, featuring traditional dishes like lamb korma, fish vindaloo, shrimp bhoona and chicken tikka masala. Casual. L, D, B/W, RA, BR, TO, !, $$, ALL.

Cobblestones 108 Julington Plaza Dr. • 230-6744 Don Juan’s 12373 San Jose Blvd. • 268-8722

Join Us For Our Mother’s Day Buffet

Heirlooms Bistro 104 Bartram Oaks Walk • 230-3999

LUNCH • DINNER • SUNDAY BRUNCH

Heirlooms, A Culinary Cafe & Market 9545 San Jose Blvd. • 880-2291

PRIVATE DINING & CATERING AVAILABLE 112 BARTRAM OAKS WALK, STE. 102 JACKSONVILLE, FL 32259 (904) 287-0766 WWW.BLACKSTONEGRILLE.COM

ITALIAN Al’s Pizza 303 Atlantic Blvd., Atlantic Beach (249-0002; www.alspizza.com) plus five other area locations. Al’s is casual with a menu chock-full

Tree Steakhouse 11362-1 San Jose Blvd. • 262-0006

of pizza, calzones and pasta dishes. But its slick and funky atmosphere, not to mention

Orange Park The Hilltop 2030 Wells Rd. • 272-5959

* Kitchen Gadget *

Mojo Smokehouse 11810 Town Center Blvd. • 264-0636 Thai Garden 10 Blanding Blvd. • 272-8434 Whitey’s Fish Camp 2032 CR 220 • 269-4198 Ponte Vedra Beach Al’s Pizza 635 A1A N. • 543-1494 Aqua Grill 950 Sawgrass Village • 285-3017 Barbara Jean’s 15 S. Roscoe Blvd. • 280-7522

Margaritas, Sizzling Fajitas & Fresh Fish Tacos 13475 Atlantic Blvd. (Harbour Village) (904) 221-2300

Cruiser’s Grill 832 Hwy. A1A N. • 273-5446 Galangal 145 Hildon Rd. • 827-1150 Lulu’s Waterfront Grille 301 N. Roscoe Blvd. • 285-0139 Pusser’s Bar & Grille 816 A1A N. • 280-7766 Restaurant Medure 818 N. A1A • 543-3797 Ruth’s Chris Steak House 814 A1A N. • 285-0014 Stonewood Grill & Tavern Marsh Landing Pkwy. @ JTB • 285-2311 Urban Flats 330 A1A N. • 280-5515

10920 Baymeadows Rd., Ste.103

b.b.’s 1019 Hendricks Ave. • 306-0100

www.broadwayfl.com

Bistro Aix & Lounge 1440 San Marco Blvd. • 398-1949

519-8000

HOURS: Sun -Thur 11am - 2 am; Fri & Sat 11am - 4 am Dine In, Take Out, Delivery & Catering Available

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San Marco/Southbank

Next to Publix at 9A & Baymeadows

JACKSONVILLE MAGAZINE: MAY 2009

Chart House 1501 Riverplace Blvd. • 398-3353

continued…

Hot or cold, tea can be enjoyed year-round, but in the spring and summer, nothing beats a refreshing glass of ice tea. The Bodum Ceylon Ice Tea Jug—a clear plastic pitcher equipped with a filter that keeps whole tea leaves from spilling into your glass—takes brewing to a new level. Place tea leaves or bags into the filter compartment, pour in hot water and refrigerate. Available in 50 oz. ($20) and 102 oz. ($30), the jug can also be used to infuse other beverages with fruit or herbal flavors. *J —by Liltera R. Williams


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unexpected dishes like mussels in wine and garlic butter sauce, also make it a favorite with foodies who normally wouldn’t dine at a pizza joint. Casual. L, D, B/W, O, TO, ! , $, ALL.

Broadway Ristorante & Pizzeria 10920 Baymeadows Rd., Suite 103, Baymeadows (5198000, broadwayfl.com). Huge menu is laced with

all your Italian faves including hand-tossed pizzas baked in a brick oven, calzones, strombolis, penne a la vodka, antipasta and more. Open until 2 AM and later. L, D, B/W, RA, O, TO, !, $, ALL.

Gelato Classico 530-3 SR 13 N., Fruit Cove

(230-8608). More than 30 flavors of gelato and

sorbet are served on fine porcelain dessertware, as are the various New York-style pastries. O, TO, ! , $, ALL.

Giovanni’s 1161 Beach Blvd., Jacksonville Beach

(249-7787). Traditional to contemporary Italian including entrées like spaghetti with a tomato, saffron seafood stew of clams, mussels, shrimp, squid and scallops. D, FB, *, RA, RS, BR, VP, =, ! , $$$, AX, MC, V.

Luigi’s Italian Restaurant 5912 University Blvd., W., Southside (731-0338). Serving

Jacksonville since 1975 with traditional Italian dinners, lasagna, eggplant parmigiana, chicken parmigiana, pizza, meatball cheese sub. Family. L, D, B/W, TO, ! , $$, ALL.

Mezza Luna Restaurant 110 1st St., Neptune Beach (249-5573). Serving chianti-braised short

ribs, Mayport shrimp and artisinal grits, lemongrass champagne-poached halibut as well as

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daily specials. Kids can make their own pizza. Casual yet upscale. D, FB, *, RA, RS, O, TO, !, $$$, ALL.

Moon River Pizza 1176-2 Edgewood Ave., S.

(389-4442); 925 S. 14th St., Fernandina Beach (321-3400). Serving pizzas, calzones, salads

and breadsticks. Variety of beer and wine by the bottle and glass. L, D, B/W, TO, ! , $, D, MC, V.

Sorrento 6937 St. Augustine Rd., San Jose (636-

9196). Menu highlighted by Neopolitan cuisine

including snapper Francese, veal Positano supreme, sausage and peppers, chicken scallopini, eggplant parmigiana and tiramisu. D, B/W, RA, TO, ! , $$, ALL.

JAPANESE Crazy Sushi 4320 Deerwood Lake Pkwy., #202,

Southside (998-9797). Serving hibachi steak, shrimp tempura, chicken katsu, tuna tataki and the “Love Boat.” Casual. L, D, B/W, RA, RS, BR, TO, ! , $$, ALL.

Sake House 824 Lomax St. and 1507 Margaret St., Riverside (301-1188); Sake House II 1478 Riverplace Blvd., San Marco (306-2188).

San Marco and Five Points receive an infusion of Japanese flavors with a lengthy sushi menu, shrimp tempura, grilled steak and a sushi bar. Casual and upscale. L, D, B/W, RA, RS, O, BR, TO, =, ! , $$, ALL.

Sushi Café 2025 Riverside Ave., Riverside (3842888; sushicafejax.com). Given its name, there

is no confusion as to what’s served at this

Riverside eatery. The sushi list includes a handful of locally-inspired rolls like the Jax (a California roll with eel) and the Jaguar (eel and avocado deep-fried). The menu also includes hibachi, tempura, katsu and teppan meals. L, D, B/W, O, $$, ALL.

Wasabi Japanese Steakhouse 10206 River Coast Dr., St. Johns Town Center (997-6528; wasabi-steakhouse.com). Swanky steakhouse

specializes in hibachi-style cooking and sushi. Early bird specials are popular. L, D, FB, *, RA, O, TO, ! , $$$, ALL.

MEXICAN/SOUTHWESTERN Burrito Gallery 21 E. Adams St., Downtown

(598-2922). The secret to getting a table for lunch at the popular Downtown eatery? Arrive early. The restaurant and art gallery offers the TexMex standards—tacos, taco salads, quesadillas, nachos, burritos, chili and deli wraps. Dine inside or out for lunch or dinner. Happy hour runs Wednesday through Saturday. L, D, FB, *, O, BR, TO, ! , $, ALL.

Cantina Laredo 10282 Bistro Dr., St. Johns

Town Center (997-6110; cantinalaredo.com). The

Town Center eatery specializes in fresh fish, beef fajitas, tacos al carbon, grilled ribeye steak, chicken enchiladas and shrimp flautas. Upscale. L, D, SB, FB, *, RS, O, BR, TO, ! , $$, ALL.

Don Juan’s Restaurant 12373 San Jose Blvd., Mandarin (268-8722; donjuansjax.com).

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European Street Cafe 1704 San Marco Blvd. • 398-9500 Havana Jax Cafe 2578 Atlantic Blvd. • 399-0609 Matthew’s at San Marco 2107 Hendricks Ave. • 396-9922 Metro Diner 3302 Hendricks Ave. • 398-3701 Morton’s, The Steakhouse 1510 Riverplace Dr. • 399-3933 River City Brewing 835 Museum Cir. • 398-2299 Ruth’s Chris Steak House 1201 Riverplace Dr. • 396-6200 Sake House II 1478 Riverplace Blvd. • 306-2188 Thai Bistro San Marco 1974 San Marco Blvd. • 338-0269 Wine Cellar 1314 Prudential Dr. • 398-8989 Southside/Baymeadows/Town Center Blue Bamboo 3820 Southside Blvd. • 646-1478 Broadway Ristorante 10920 Baymeadows Rd. • 579-8000 Cantina Laredo St. Johns Town Center • 997-6110 The Capital Grille St. Johns Town Center • 997-9233 Crazy Sushi 4320 Deerwood Lake Pkwy. • 998-9797 Healthy Way Cafe St. Johns Town Center • 642-2951 India’s Restaurant 9802-8 Baymeadows Rd. • 620-0777 Lemongrass Restaurant 9846 Old Baymeadows Rd. • 645-9911 Luigi’s Italian Restaurant 5912 University Blvd. • 731-0338 The Melting Pot 7860 Gate Pkwy. • 642-4900 McAlister’s Deli 9700 Deer Lake Ct. • 564-2377 Mitchell’s Fish Market St. Johns Town Center • 645-3474 Native Sun 11030 Baymeadows Rd. • 260-2791 Sangria House 4320 Deerwood Lake Pkwy. • 646-2977 Stonewood Grill & Tavern 3832 Baymeadows Rd. • 739-7206 Wasabi Japanese Steakhouse St. Johns Town Center • 997-6528 St. Augustine 95 Cordova 95 Cordova St. • 827-1888 Cap’s On the Water 4325 Myrtle St. • 824-8794 Collage Restaurant 60 Hypolita St. • 829-0055 Cruiser’s Grill 3 St. George St. • 824-6993 O.C. White’s 118 Avenida Menendez. • 824-0808 Opus 39 39 Cordova St. • 824-0402 The Reef 4100 Coastal Hwy. • 824-8008 The Tasting Room 25 Cuna St. • 810-2400

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The menu at this family-owned sit-down restaurant features all the Mexican standards—fajitas, chimichangas and carne asada—but the twofor-one happy hour specials are a real treat. Patio area. Casual. L, D, FB, O, BR, TO, =, ! , $$, ALL.

Mossfire Grill 1537 Margaret St., Riverside (3554434). New American and Southwestern cuisine

come together at this Five Points fave famous for its blackened tuna tacos, homemade crab cakes and the fattest burritos this side of the Pecos. The upstairs lounge houses the city’s only tequila bar. L, D, FB, *, O, BR, TO, =, !, $$, V, MC, AX.

Pablo’s Mexican Restaurant 12 N. 2nd St., Fernandina Beach (261-0049). Downtown

Fernandina’s dining scene gets some needed spice with a menu packed with dishes like carne tampiqueña, enchiladas, fajitas, fish tacos and tortilla soup. L, D, FB, *, RA, O, BR, TO, ! , $$, ALL.

Pepper’s Mexican Grill & Cantina 13475

Atlantic Blvd., Jacksonville (221-2300). Authentic

Mexican cuisine with a family-friendly atmosphere. And, they have great nachos. The fish tacos are a signature item, as are the appropriately sizzling fajita skillets. Serving wine and beer and take-out service. L,D, FB, TO, $$, ALL.

TacoLu Baja Mexicana 1183 Beach Blvd.

(249-TACOS). Offering a blend of Baja-style cui-

sine in a casual sit-down eatery, this beaches restaurant offers a new twist on the traditional taco. But, what really sets it apart from the pack is its selection of over 50 types of tequila. L, D, SB, FB, *, O, TO, ! , $, ALL.

West Inn Cantina 3644 St. Johns Ave.,

Avondale (389-1131). Neighborhood hangout

serves South-of-the-Border flavors like honey lime chicken, shrimp fiesta with peppers and onions, fajitas, steaks and seafood. Outside heated patio. L, D, FB, *, O, TO, =, ! , $, ALL.

MIDDLE EASTERN Casbah 3628 St. Johns Ave., Avondale (981-9966; www.thecasbahcafe.com). Diners seeking a

Middle Eastern experience will find it at this Avondale restaurant and lounge. In addition to a menu of traditional fare such as baba ghannoush and fried kibbie, guests can enjoy aromatic tobacco in the hookah lounge, as well as live belly dancing Thursday through Saturday nights. L, D, B/W, O, TO, =, ! , $$, AX, MC, V.

PUBS O’Brothers Irish Pub 1521 Margaret St., Riverside (854-9300). From the owners of

Mossfire Grill, O’Brothers offers a true “pub” atmosphere where patrons can enjoy a pint, eat delicious food and play shuffle board. The menu includes Irish staples like shepherd’s pie and fish and chips as well as treats like Guinness mac and cheese and lamb burger. Outdoor seating and full bar service. Casual. L, D, FB, *, O, TO, =, ! , $$, ALL.

SEAFOOD The Blue Crab 3057 Julington Creek Rd.,

Julington Creek (260-2722). This casual restau-

* FrontBurner *

The Amsterdam Lounge, a new restaurant and hookah lounge at 11380 Beach Blvd., serves Mediterranean and American food. Students with a valid college ID get 10 percent off their meals. • Speaking of Mediterranean food, Wafaa and Mike’s in Springfield serves some mean falafel. The eatery opened in February, replacing the Springfield Station Bar & Grill. • The Tallahassee-based Red Elephant Pizza and Grill was scheduled to open its first Jacksonville location at 10131 San Jose Blvd. in Mandarin. • Looks like a Mellow Mushroom is going in next to the Harry’s on Third Street in Jacksonville Beach. According to the pizza chain’s website, the store will open in the summer, making it the third location on the First Coast.• Morton’s The Steakhouse now offers a menu that allows customers to eat and drink for as low as $19. The bar-only menu includes $4 beers, $5 wines and $7 cocktails along with Morton’s Prime Sirloin Burger for $15. • The Wine Bar, around the corner from Chicago Pizza and across the street from The Ritz in Jacksonville Beach, opened earlier this year and offers live music and a decent beer and wine selection. • Also at the beach, European Delights is a cozy deli at the corner of 11th Avenue North and 3rd Street that serves authentic Polish, Italian and German foods and pastries. • The Lemon Bar has reopened for the season. • The TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse, open to the public, hosts a daily happy hour from 4 to 7 PM. Drinks and appetizers are half-price, while Ketel One martinis are $5. • Linqe, formerly known as Urban Golf, holds a daily happy hour from 3 to 7 PM: $2 draft and bottled beers, $6 domestic pitchers and $1 off all wines by the glass. • Uptown 21 is a new hip-hop and R&B dance club off of Interstate 95 and Bowden Road. With a 3,000-square-foot dance floor, the club features DJ music, a house band and special acts like the Sugarhill Gang and K-Ci & JoJo. • Let’s Nosh, a breakfast and lunch deli, has opened on San Jose Boulevard just south of Baymeadows Road. • Coffee Roasters, which has a Mandarin shop, was slated to open mid-April inside the 5,200-square-foot Oral Explosion Eateries food court on San Marco Boulevard (it’s where the Golden Nugget strip club used to be). Other reported tenants include JP Lee’s Asian Bistro, Ray’s Pizza, Flavors Indian Cuisine and Deli Deli. • Miller’s Ale House is adding a fifth Jacksonville location near the intersection of Beach and Hodges boulevards. • Recent closures: 1171 in Murray Hill, Plaza III The Steakhouse inside the Hyatt Regency downtown, Café Carmon in San Marco, Red Chilies in Baymeadows, Bamboo Creek in Tinseltown. *J


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rant concentrates on seafood by offering a variety of crab delicacies such as steamed crab legs, as well as shrimp and fish. Numerous menu standouts draw influences from the Chesapeake Bay area—quarter-pound crab cakes and stuffed crab delight. Outdoor seating, private party room. D, SB, O, BR, FB, RA, AX, V, MC, $$, ALL.

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(398-3353; www.chart-house.com). The exterior of the waterfront restaurant is probably the most unusual in town. Inside, the Chart House is a dramatic, dimly-lit, dinner-only restaurant best known for its seafood, prime rib, salad bar and Hot Chocolate Lava Cake. Upscale. D, FB, *, RA, RS, BR, ! , $$$, ALL.

Crab Cake Factory Seafood Bar, Grill, Restaurant 1396 Beach Blvd., Intracoastal

West (249-4776, crabcakefactoryjax.com). The distinctive taste of Chesapeake Bay’s famous blue crabs is highlighted in more than a dozen dishes at the sprawling, family-friendly eatery. Oysters Rockefeller, crab martini, smoked salmon, clams casino—the menu is extensive and offers a little something for everyone. L, D, FB, RA, TO, BR, ! , $$, ALL.

JL Trent’s Seafood & Grill Three locations: 4553 120th St. (908-4202); 8968 103rd St. (908-8355); 8299 W. Beaver St. (781-8410). The

original Trent’s across the street from NAS Jax is a classic American seafood joint serving all your fried favorites, crab legs, lobster, whole catfish and shrimp. The fried pickles are the house specialty. L, D, B/W, TO, ! , $$, MC, V.

LuLu’s Waterfront Grille 301 N. Roscoe Blvd., Ponte Vedra Beach (285-0139). Perched on the

banks of the Intracoastal Waterway in Palm Valley, this casual restaurant is known for its local seafood dishes like steamed garlic clams and Chef Jeff’s New England clam chowder. Its true claim to fame is its waterfront “driving range.” L, D, SB, FB, *, O, TO, !, $$, AX, MC, V.

Mitchell’s Fish Market St. Johns Town Center (645-3474; mitchellsfishmarket.com). Upscale

but casual restaurant near JTB features a menu 80 dishes long highlighted by items such as Little Neck clam chowder, broiled sea scallops, pecan-crusted mountain trout, garlic broiled shrimp and lemon pepper grilled chicken. L, D, FB, *, BR, TO, ! , $$$, ALL.

Pusser’s Bar and Grille 816 A1A N., Shoppes of Veranda, Ponte Vedra Beach (280-7766, www.pussersusa.com). Chris Delay, Pusser’s

executive chef and native Ponte Vedran, has put together an innovative menu that truly has something for everyone, with entrées starting at $10. Serves lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, with a two-for-one happy hour Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 PM. L, D, FB, *, RA, O, VP, TO, =, !, $$$, ALL.

Whitey’s Fish Camp 2032 County Rd. 220,

Orange Park (269-4198). Open for more than 40

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Cap’s On the Water 4325 Myrtle St., Vilano eatery serving stilton salad, vanilla grouper, pepper hanger steak, crab and scallop pasta and miso calamari. Oyster bar. Casual. L, D, FB, BR, TO, =, ! , $$$, AX, MC, V.

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63. Trade 64. Part 3 of quip: 2 wds. 66. Part 4 of quip: 2 wds. 69. Composite picture 72. Pro sports org. 74. Moolah 75. Reply: abbr. 78. Old cry of regret 79. Native of Chile or Peru 82. Lute cousin 84. Elanet 85. Cipher 86. Bed quilts 88. Memorization 89. The first lady 90. Frost 91. Like — — not 92. Movieʼs music 93. Some wines 57. Fantastic creature 58. Walked 61. Hunterʼs cap 63. Incinerates 64. Fragrant spice 65. — supra 67. — uno 68. Out with you! 69. Producer 70. Pickled fruit 71. Overstuffed 73. Fireplace accessory 75. Detached 76. Explosive stuff 77. Fleer 79. Nuts 80. “An apple — — ...” 81. Bests, in a way 83. Seat location

95. Part 5 of quip: 4 wds 99. Lilliputian 101. Approximately 102. A double reed 103. Heartburn remedy 106. Roman goddess 108. Composition for voice: hyph. 112. End of the quip: 3 wds. 114. Lariat 116. Card with three pips 117. Faithful 118. Family member 119. Lugged 120. Raise 121. Attentiveness 122. Pound and Cornell 123. Glove material 124. Palo — 85. Mandible 87. Something sometimes written in 92. Highlander 94. Dwelled 96. Applications 97. Like a fortified place 98. Scrape 100. D.C. acronym 103. The pair 104. Concerning: 2 wds. 105. Inkling 106. Occupied one 107. Quechua 108. — de foie gras 109. City on the Oka 110. Unmixed, as whisky 111. Greek sandwich 113. Fashionʼs — Claiborne

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LET’S EAT

dining

the Guide

BRADLEY STOOKEY

* * * * * *

Restaurant Directories Kitchen Gadget of the Month $10 & 100 Words Neighborhood Find Wine & A Movie Restaurant News

Duck confit hash with fingerling potatoes, soft fried eggs, fresh sage and Tabasco beurre rouge from Orsay

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e On a Roll r ’ ! e W

,

It Comes to Great S n e ush Wh i

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nightlife Cuba Libre

Serving the best sushi in Jacksonville, featuring the freshest ingredients & an innovative menu.

Nightlife Key

OPEN TILL 2 A.M.

LIVE MUSIC

DJ & DANCING

SPORTS BAR

HAPPY HOUR

COVER CHARGE

ATM ON PREMISES

GOOD FOR GROUPS

GIFT CARDS AVAILABLE

Voted Best Japanese Cuisine by Jacksonville Magazine

32 BARS, NIGHTCLUBS & MUSIC VENUES The Atlantic 333 1st St. N., Jacksonville Beach, 249-3338. DJ old wave, ‘80s retro, pop and house music.

2025 Riverside Avenue

904.384.2888 www.sushicafejax.com

Near 5 Points in the Publix Shopping Center Mon.- Thur. 11AM-10 PM Fri. & Sat. 11AM -11PM • Sun. 12-10 PM All major credit cards accepted

Bay Street Dive Bar 331 E. Bay St., Downtown, 359-9090. Occasional live music, rock & roll, full bar. Bo’s Coral Reef 201 Fifth Ave. N., Jacksonville Beach, 246-9874. Live music nightly, local acts like Too Many Shoes, DJ dance music on weekends. Burrito Gallery & Bar 21 E. Adams St., Downtown,598-2922. DJs, live music, full bar and separate restaurant bar, outdoor patio. The Comedy Zone Ramada Inn Mandarin, I-295 and San Jose Blvd., Mandarin, 292-4242. Headliners such as Ralphie May and Doug Benson, dinner buffet. Cuba Libre Havana-Jax, 2578 Atlantic Blvd., St. Nicholas, 399-0609. DJ Latin, salsa and merengue music, dance lessons Thursdays, Cuban cuisine.

Monkey’s Uncle 10601 San Jose Blvd., Mandarin, 260-1349. Various acoustic, country, rock performers on weekends, karaoke. Ocean Club 401 First St., Jacksonville Beach, 242-8884. DJ dance club, house, Top 40, reggae, old wave, ‘70s disco, hip-hop and more. Palace Saloon 117 Centre St., Fernandina Beach, 491-3332. Historic bar presents live bands during the week and DJ dance music on weekends. Pete’s Bar 117 1st St., Neptune Beach, 249-9158. A Beaches tradition for 75 years, pool tables, full bar and cold beer.

Fionn MacCool’s Irish Pub 333 1st St. N., Jacksonville Beach, 242-9499. A slice of the Emerald Isle at the Beaches, late night eats, Irish music.

The Pearl 1101 N. Main St., Downtown, 791-4449. DJ dance music, “enchanted forest” theme.

Fuel 1037 Park St., Riverside, 425-3835. Various acoustic acts, open mic and spoken word, coffee and beer.

Ragtime Tavern 207 Atlantic Blvd., Atlantic Beach, 241-7877. Mainstay of the Beaches music scene. Hosts blues, jazz and rock acts Wednesday-Sunday.

Freebird Live 200 First St. N., Jacksonville Beach, 246-2473. Live local rock bands, regional acts, touring bands.

The Ritz 139 3rd. Ave., Jacksonville Beach, 246-2255. DJ dance music nightly, funk, ‘80s pop, alternative, etc.

Island Girl Cigar Bar 7860 Gate Pkwy., Ste. 115, Southside, 854-6060. Live entertainment in an upscale tropical lounge, happy hour specials. The Ivy Ultra Bar 113 E. Bay St., Downtown, 356-9200. Downtown hipster lounge. The Lemon Bar Neptune Beach, 246-2175. Trendy watering hole located oceanside behind the Sea Horse Oceanfront Inn. The London Bridge 100 E. Adams St., Downtown, 359-0001. Blues bands, DJ, open mic night on Tuesday.

JACKSONVILLE MAGAZINE: JUNE 2009

Mill Top Tavern 19 1/2 St. George St., St. Augustine, 829-2329. Acoustic musicians, blue grass bands nightly.

Crazy Horse 1241 Blanding Blvd., Orange Park, 213-0606. Three dance clubs under one roof, country, disco and hip-hop DJs.

Harmonious Monks 10550 Old St. Augustine Rd., Mandarin, 880-3040. Singing servers every Thursday-Saturday, karaoke, dancing encouraged.

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Metro 2929 Plum St., Riverside, 388-8719. Female impersonation revues every Wednesday through Sunday, karaoke, multiple bars and dance floors.

The Roadhouse 231 Blanding Blvd., Orange Park, 264-0611. Long-time Orange Park pub presents local and regional rock bands Thursday-Saturday. Square One 1974 San Marco Blvd., San Marco, 306-9004. Jazz and R&B, DJ dance music and Sex and the City nights on Thursday. Plush 845 University Blvd. N., Arlington, 743-1845. Dance club with DJ spinning house, hip-hop, and Top 40 music. Tera Nova 8206 Philips Hwy., Baymeadows, 733-8085. Posh upscale club, dress code enforced.

Mark’s Downtown 315 E. Bay St. Ste. 101, Downtown, 355-5099.Retro-modern décor, full bar, DJ dance music, casual chic dress code.

The Twisted Martini Jacksonville Landing, Downtown, 353-8464; DJ dance music, salsa and disco nights, tapas menu.

Maverick’s Upstairs at The Jacksonville Landing, Downtown, 356-1110. Rock n’honky tonk, country music acts.

West Inn Cantina 3644 St. Johns Ave., Avondale, 389-1131. Open mic nights, rock and acoustic acts. *J

BRADLEY STOOKEY

Voted Best of Jax by Folio Weekly


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FRED SEELY

Viva La France

review

Florida strawberry shortcake with thyme macerated strawberries, lemon mascarpone cream and lavender syrup

Avondale’s stylish Orsay restaurant pleases the palate.

A

mericans always have had a yearning to be like the French, even while we whine about their loyalties (remember “Freedom Fries”?), their attempts to show superiority and their sissified ways. Some of our affectations are understandable: Wouldn’t you rather eat “pork” (derived from the French “porc”) than “pig”? Doesn’t “beef” (boeuf) sound better than “cow”? But, still, do we have to serve “haricots verts” rather than “green beans”? Why do we say “bon appetít”? Isn’t there an American word for “buffet”? (And don’t suggest the Swedish “smorgasbord” because: a) We can’t spell it, and b) We don’t know how to put those little dots above the “o” and the “a.”) And what’s a beignet, anyway? We even like to say things like “Ah, monsieur” and “Sacrebleu,” not knowing that we sound like Peter Sellers’ Inspector Jacques Clouseau. So now comes Orsay (3630 Park St., 381-0909), a restaurant on the outer edge of Avondale that takes the Park Street spot once occupied by the food-good, management-lousy Crush. It’s run by the same people who have the well-liked and not-so-well-named Chew downtown—at both places, they know what they’re doing. Ah, monsieur, Orsay is indeed French, from its menu to its wine list to its décor. You can order up bouillabaisse, croque madame, duck confit and, of course, pomme frites, while you sip a selection from the Château de Parenchère list. It’s busy, just noisy enough and fun. If you went to Crush, you’ll know your way around the restaurant as things are pretty much in the same place: the hostess is to your left, the open kitchen is way over to the left and the bar is straight ahead. The bathrooms are through an opening to the left of the bar; keep going and you’re in a remodeled back room

with a bar and more tables. The wine menu is extensive (lots of French, of course, but a broad selection) and there’s a good beer list. Full bar, too, with top brands. But it comes down to two things, monsieur, and that’s quality and service. Mon ami and sacrebleu, they have both. Our selections: cod with vegetables and a pork chop with red potatoes and cabbage. (Did your mother make you drink cod liver oil? If so, have you touched anything “cod” since?) Both were delightful (I only attest to the chop, but I have it on good authority). There may be 15 tables in the front room and, at one point, we counted 14 employees. There were at least five in the kitchen and this was a Thursday night. True to the European schedule, diners show late (well, late by Jacksonville standards). We were seated at 7:30 PM and only three other tables were taken. An hour later, every table was occupied. Reservations are recommended. Since Orsay is dinner-only, you can leave your name and needs on a recording and they’ll call you to confirm by mid-afternoon.

No one we met with spoke French, which is good, and they keep the pretentiousness to an acceptable level. The restaurant is named after Orsay, an old village near Paris that’s best known as one of the post-abdication homes of England’s King Edward VIII after he married the divorcée Wallis Simpson. The food presentation is very Frenchy, shallow bowls with everything in them. A good-enough basket of bread comes with better-than-good butter. Good water; they don’t make you feel cheap by offering a choice of bottled water or (if you’re unsophisticated) plain old tap water. Ah, chérie, if only we could get food and service like this in La France, where overcooked chicken, scrawny fries and fawning servers are the norm. Give it a shot. After the demise of the nearby and worthy 1171 restaurant, we gotta keep what we got, folks, and it’s worth the $60-$70 you’ll drop for dinner for two. *J Orsay opens at 5 PM, until 10 PM Tuesday through Thursday and until 11 PM Friday to Saturday. Brunch is served on Sunday from 11 AM to 4 PM. Closed Monday.

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* POSTED ONLINE 24/7 AT JACKSONVILLEMAG.COM *

GUIDE TO THE GUIDE:

$ — $10 or less

L– Lunch; D– Dinner; SB– Sunday Brunch; O– Outdoor Seating; VP– Valet Parking; *– Cocktail Lounge/Bar; = – Live Entertainment; BR– Private Banquet Room; FB– Full Bar; B/W– Beer & Wine Only; RA– Reservations Accepted; RS– Reservations Suggested; TO– Takeout; AX– American Express; DS– Discover; V– Visa; MC– MasterCard; ALL– All major credit cards

$$ — $11 to $20 $$$ — $21 to $30 $$$$ — $31 or above

These $ categories are based upon the average cost of a dinner entrée excluding drinks, desserts and/or gratuities.

NOTE: Some restaurant entrée prices do not include a` la carte sides or salad. All phone numbers are in the (904) area code. Dining guide can be viewed online at jacksonvillemag.com. The Guide does not represent a complete listing of Jacksonville area restaurants. Listings are reserved for Jacksonville Magazine clients and friends.

RESTAURANT DIRECTORY & FOOD NEWS EDITOR’S NOTE: Menu items mentioned in the following listings are subject to change, as are any prices posted or details about each restaurant.

AMERICAN Aqua Grill 950 Sawgrass Village, Ponte Vedra

Beach (285-3017; www.aquagrill.net). Featuring lakeside patio seating, private banquet facilities, aged Angus steaks, fresh seafood including live Maine lobster, chicken, pasta and vegetarian dishes. Private banquet room and a bar area with large screen TV. Casual. L, D, FB, *, RA, RS, O, BR, TO, ! , $$$, ALL.

Barbara Jean’s 15 S. Roscoe Blvd., Ponte Vedra (280-7522); 960030 Gateway Blvd., Amelia Island (277-3700). The crab cakes are famous,

but don’t overlook the homemade breads— pumpkin, sweet jalapeño corn bread and wheat rolls. She-crab soup, 15 veggies prepared daily and the “chocolate stuff” are crowd pleasers, too. Breakfast served on weekends and holidays. L, D, FB, O, TO, ! , $$, ALL.

Blackstone Grille 112 Bartram Oaks Walk, Julington Creek (287-0766; blackstone-grille.com).

Serving a variety of meat and seafood entrées such as pan-seared sea bass, filet mignon au poivre and scallop and shrimp Newburg. Sunday brunch buffet. Private dining room. Upscale. L, D, SB, FB, *, RS, O, BR, TO, !, $$$, ALL.

b.b.’s 1019 Hendricks Ave., San Marco (306-

0100). There’s a definite buzz about this hip

San Marco bistro. Its upscale comfort food, which includes prosciutto-wrapped pork chops or mushroom triangoli ravioli (specials change daily) with to-die-for desserts, have patrons—a mixed bag of hipster yuppies, soccer moms out on the town and moneyed empty nesters—lining up. Casual. L, D, BW, TO, ! , $$, ALL.

Biscottis 3556 St. Johns Ave., Avondale (387-

2060; www.biscottis.net). One of the few places

where you can be seated between a Red Hat Society member and a purple-haired creative director, this Avondale institution specializes in innovative updates on old favorites like meatloaf served with apricot marinara sauce and duck confit pizza (dinner specials change daily). Local painters display their works in the dining room, but the real works of art are in the dessert case. Casual. B, L, D, SB, BW, O, TO, !, $$, ALL.

The Brick Restaurant 3585 St. Johns Ave.,

Avondale (387-0606). Food might be the main

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attraction (regulars swear by the grilled salmon salad, Kobe beef burger and prime rib), but it’s not the only thing that draws guests into The Brick. Outdoor seating, live music (usually of the groovy, jazzy variety) and a happening bar also make it an Avondale hotspot. Casual. L, D, SB, FB, *, O, RA, TO, ! , =, $$, ALL.

Café Nola 333 N. Laura St., Downtown (366-

6911, x231). Inside the Museum of Contem-

porary Art Jacksonville, this chic eatery serves food that rivals its artwork, with dishes like spicy salmon soba, coconut and curry chicken, grilled asparagus and blueberry salad with goat cheese and toasted Georgia pecans. Wine tastings every Thursday. Upscale. L, D, RA, TO, !, $$, ALL.

Chew Restaurant 117 W. Adams St.,

Downtown (355-3793). Downtown hotspot serves

an innovative menu featuring twists on favorites like mac and cheese gratin, apple and goat cheese salad, fried green tomato BLT, short rib sliders and full service Lavazza espresso. Loose leaf tea selection. L, D, B/W, TO, ! , $$, ALL.

hundred beers to choose from, the home of the monster German wiener caters to worker bees on lunch break and neighborhood denizens at “beerthirty.” Casual. L, D, B/W, O (except 992 Beach Blvd.), TO, = (San Marco only), $, ALL.

The Grape 10281 Midtown Pkwy., Suite 119, St. Johns Town Center (642-7111). Hip wine boutique and eatery serving lamb chops, steak sandwiches, brie quesadilla and chocolate fondue. L, D, wine only, RA, O, TO, =, ! , $$, ALL.

Heirlooms Bistro 104 Bartram Oaks Walk, Ste. 101, Julington Creek (230-3999). This trendy

eatery presents an innovative menu featuring

* Wine & A Movie *

Cobblestones at the Creek 108 Julington

Plaza Dr., Julington Creek (230-6744). Innovative

menu features “Creek” chips, signature fusion filet, spice blanket grouper and mini indulgences for dessert. Upscale yet casual. D, SB, FB, *, RA, O, BR, VP, TO, =, ! , $$, ALL.

Cruiser’s Grill 319 23rd Ave. S., Jacksonville Beach (270-0356); 832 Hwy. A1A N., Ponte Vedra Beach (273-5446); 3 St. George St., St. Augustine (824-6993). Famed for its enormous orders of

cheddar cheese fries, Cruiser’s is a casual and family-friendly burger and sandwich joint that also serves Tex-Mex favorites like quesadillas and tacos. Save room for a Häagen-Dazs milkshake. L, D, B/W, O, TO, ! , $, ALL.

Eleven South Bistro 216 11th Ave. S.,

Jacksonville Beach (241-1112). Upscale eatery earns high marks for its extensive wine list, mesquite wood grill and outdoor patio. Seafood martini, lobster “mac and cheese,” miso glazed Chilean sea bass and mesquite grilled certified angus beef tenderloin highlight the menu. L, D, FB, *, RA, RS, O, BR, VP, TO, =, !, $$$$, ALL.

European Street Four locations: 992 Beach Blvd., (249-3001; www.europeanstcafe.com); 5500 Beach Blvd., (398-1717); 2753 Park St., (384-9999); 1704 San Marco Blvd., (398-9500). With more

than 100 salads and deli sandwiches and another

Life is like a complicated puzzle—you’re provided with all the right pieces, but you have to figure out how they all fit. The 2003 film Lost in Translation pieces together the lives of two strangers: Charlotte, who has reached two huge milestones (college graduation and marriage) and Bob, an aging actor whose family he never sees. Starring Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray, this Oscar-winning drama explores the emotional affair that develops between the two after they cross paths in modern-day Tokyo. Their bittersweet encounter—significant although brief—pairs well with a glass of Mura Mura Pear Orchard sake ($14), a light rice wine infused with Asian pear flavors that, according to the Oregon maker, is reminiscent of a pinot gris or Riesling. Fresh, tropical notes make the drink go down smoothly, leaving a delicate sweetness that lingers on the tongue. *J —by Liltera R. Williams


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golden lobster bisque, citrus-scented salmon filet, 12 oz. New York strip, Thai BBQ pork chops and chocolate soufflé. D, FB, RA, TO, $$, ALL.

Heirlooms, A Culinary Cafe and Market 9545 San Jose Blvd., San Jose (880-2291; www.heirloomsinc.com). Establishment offers a

little bit of everything—catering, takeout market and dine-in breakfast and lunch. BBQ duck wonton, Brentwood pot roast sandwich, rock shrimp burrito and eggplant parmesan on the menu. L, D, B/W, RA, O, TO, ! , $$, ALL.

The Hilltop 2030 Wells Rd., Orange Park (272-

5959). A true Orange Park landmark, the Hilltop

serves classic American fare like prime rib, stuffed grouper and shrimp and scallops New Orleans. Seven banquet rooms and a piano bar. D, FB, *, RA, BR, TO, =, ! , $$, ALL.

Juliette’s Bistro Omni Jacksonville Hotel, 245

Water St., Downtown (355-6664). Offering casual dining in an upscale environment. Serving fresh seafood and hand-cut Buckhead beef. Open air atrium. Upscale. B, L, D, FB, *, RA, VP, TO, ! , $$$, ALL.

McAlister’s Deli 9700 Deerlake Ct., Southside (564-2377; mcalistersdeli.com); 1615 Hwy. 220, No. 180, Orange Park (278-6055). Quick-serve

and casual dining presented in a family-friendly atmosphere. Menu offers dozens of sandwiches, enormous baked potatoes with toppings, salads, soups and sweets. And don’t forget to try their famous sweet tea. L, D, O, TO, $, ALL.

Metro Diner 3302 Hendricks Ave., San Marco

(398-3701). The interior atmosphere is reminis-

cent of the art deco era, with black and silver vintage bar stools overlooking an open kitchen where cooks flip pancakes and burgers. Don’t forget to check the blackboard for breakfast and lunch specials. B, L, SB, O, BR, TO, ALL, $.

Mojo Bar-B-Que 1607 University Blvd. W., Lakewood (732-7200, mojobbq.com); 1500 Beach Blvd., Jacksonville Beach (247-6636); 1810 Town Center Blvd., Orange Park (264-0636).

Specializing in Southern-style BBQ, Mojo is a casual, down-home kind of place featuring favorites like North Carolina pork shoulder, Texas beef brisket, Delta catfish and buttermilk fried chicken. Full catering services, live music (Beaches only). Beer and wine only at Lakewood location. L, D, FB, *, TO, ! , $$, ALL.

O.C. White’s Seafood & Spirits 118 Avenida Menendez, St. Augustine (824-0808). Dine upstairs, on the balcony or in the tropical courtyard of a building dating back to 1790. Maryland crab cakes, coconut shrimp, grouper and bruschetta round out an extensive menu. The restaurant’s White Room is suitable for receptions and other special events. L, D, SB, FB, *, RA, O, BR, TO, =, ! , $$, ALL.

_ PLAE 80 Amelia Village Cir., Amelia Island (277-

2132). Surprisingly trendy for conservative Amelia Island, this “adult contemporary” restaurant caters to People who like to Laugh And Eat (P-L-A-E, get it?). Customer favorites include grilled shrimp with mustard vinaigrette, pistachio encrusted lamb loin and tuna tartare with avocado wasabi. Upscale. D, FB, *, RA, O, BR, =, ! , $$$, AX, MC, V.

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Lunch & Dinner Private Dining & Catering Celebrating 10 Years 1999 ~ 2009

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Quick Guide Select North Florida Restaurants listed by Neighborhood

The Reef 4100 Coastal Hwy. A1A, St. Augustine (824-8008). Casual oceanside dining serving

shrimp egg rolls, crab cakes, herbed tuna, Louisiana smoked pork chops and daily specials. Also noteworthy, every table has an ocean view. L, D, SB, FB, *, RA, O, BR, TO, =, !, $$, ALL.

River City Brewing Company 835 Museum Cir., Southbank (398-2299; rivercitybrew.com). It

3-Course Prix Fixe Menu* Sunday ~ Thursday, 5pm ~ 7pm

$29 join us! *includes choice of soup or salad, seven signature entrée entr e selections & dessert

904-398-1949

1440 San Marco Blvd.

www.BistroX.com

ROMANTIC

MUSIC

OPEN AFTER MIDNIGHT

LUNCH, TOO

LARGE PARTIES WELCOME

OUTDOOR SEATING

wouldn’t matter if RCBC served salisbury steak, TV dinners and stale corn chips: Folks would still flock to the riverfront restaurant for the view alone. Fortunately, the menu, which includes jambalaya, jumbo roasted Mayport shrimp and roasted prime rib, and the over-the-top Sunday brunch buffet are also “see-worthy.” Microbrewery. L, D, SB, FB, *, RA, RS, O, BR, VP, TO, =, ! , $$$, ALL.

Sterlings 3551 St. Johns Ave., Avondale (387CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED

RESERVATIONS

TAKE OUT

LIQUOR LICENSE

FINE DINING

BUSINESS MEETINGS

Amelia Island/Fernandina Beach Barbara Jean’s 960030 Gateway Blvd. • 277-3700 Beech Street Grill 801 Beech St. • 277-3662

0700). Upscale neighborhood landmark serving a diverse menu including New Zealand rack of lamb, Szechuan tuna, soft-shell crab, fried green tomatoes and veal. Two private banquet rooms. Courtyard patio dining. L, D, SB, FB, *, =, RA, RS, O, BR, TO, ! , $$$$, ALL.

Stonewood Grill & Tavern 3832 Baymeadows Rd., Baymeadows (739-7206); 950 Marsh Landing Pkwy., Ponte Vedra Beach (285-2311). Serving

Emerald Bay crab cakes, oak-grilled citrus salmon, herb-encrusted lamb, pork Adirondack and oak-grilled filet mignon. Reserve wine list. D, FB, *, TO, ! , $$$, ALL.

Urban Flats 330 A1A N., Ponte Vedra Beach (280-5515; www.urbanflats.net). Casual but

Bonito Grill & Sushi 614 Centre St. • 261-0508

* $10 & 100 Words *

Brett’s Waterway Café 1 S. Front St. • 261-2660 Moon River Pizza 925 S. 14th St. • 321-3400 Pablo’s Mexican Restaurant 12 N. 2nd St. • 261-0049 _ PL AE 80 Amelia Village Cir. • 277-2132 Salt Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island • 277-1100 Arlington/Regency European Street Cafe 5500 Beach Blvd. • 398-1717 Avondale/Riverside/Westside 13 Gypsies 887 Stockton St. • 389-0330 Al’s Pizza 1620 Margaret St. #210 • 388-8384 Biscottis 3556 St. Johns Ave. • 387-2060 The Brick Restaurant 3585 St. Johns Ave. • 387-0606 The Casbah 3628 St. Johns Ave. • 981-9966 Espeto Brazilian Steakhouse 4000 St. Johns Ave. • 388-4884 European Street Cafe 2753 Park St. • 384-9999 Fu Hao Bistro 1001 Park St. 798-8686 Hovan Mediterranean 2005-1 Park St. • 381-9394

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continued…

Primo Burrito (22 Seminole Rd., 247-3999) is super delicioso. The fresh-Mex shack opened in Atlantic Beach earlier this year and serves $5 made-to-order burritos that are heavy as a brick. You circle what you want on a sheet of paper at the counter and wait. Take-out only but management hopes to open a dining room this month. There are build-your-own quesadillas, nachos and salads. We had the carne asada burrito with rice, black beans, guac and jalapeños and washed it down with a grapefruit Jarrito soda. Life is bueno. Check: $7. *J —by Alison Trinidad


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Open for Lunch & Dinner, Tuesday-Sunday cutting-edge bistro style menu featuring signature “flats,� small plates, salads and “flatwiches.� More than 20 wines by-the-glass and more than 70 by-the-bottle. Full bar. L, D, FB, *, O, TO, =, ! , $$, ALL.

TOP 25

Restaura

nt

CONTINENTAL

HAPPY HOUR Tues.-Sat. 3 -7pm Say “Olive You� this Father’s Day with a Gift Card from Zaitoon Purchase $100 Gift Card, Receive a FREE $20 BONUS GIFT CARD* *Offer expires June 21, 2009. Bonus gift card valid thru August 31, 2009 and cannot be used on Father’s Day.

Beech Street Grill 801 Beech St., Fernandina

Beach (277-3662). Located in a restored 19th century home in historic Fernandina Beach, this fine dining establishment caters to guests seeking comfort in their cuisine with entrĂŠes like grilled tenderloin of beef with apple-smoked bacon and sautĂŠed lobster and crab Savannah over linguine. Upscale. D, FB, RA, RS, BR, TO, =, ! , $$$, ALL.

Bistro Aix & Lounge 1440 San Marco Blvd.,

“ Top 25 Restaurant �

San Marco (398-1949; www.bistrox.com). Arguably

the hippest restaurant in town, San Marco’s Bistro Aix (pronounced “X,â€? FYI) is stylish, yet unpretentious, in both dĂŠcor and menu. The Mediterranean and French-inspired fare includes grilled lamb T-bone and oak-fired fish “Aixoise.â€? If you can find a seat at the glowing martini bar, you won’t even mind a wait for a table. L, D, FB, *, O, BR, TO, ! , $$, ALL.

Brett’s Waterway CafÊ Fernandina Harbor Marina at the foot of Centre St., Fernandina Beach (261-2660). Serving an eclectic mix of Southern

regional cusine with an emphasis on local seafood and aged beef. Wine Spectator award-winner for four years. Seasonal outdoor seating. Casual. L, D, FB, *, RA, O, BR, TP, =, !, $$$, ALL.

– Jacksonville Magazine, 2008

Voted Jacksonville’s “Best Mediterranean Restaurant� – WJXT Channel 4 Hot List

“Gold Star � Restaurant – Arbus Magazine

Daily Chef’s Specials • Extensive Wine List & Full Bar • Patio Seating Available Free WiFi Internet Access • Gift Cards • Party Platters • Special Events

13475 Atlantic Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32225 Located behind Fresh Market in Harbour Village Shopping Center (904) 221-7066 • www.ZaitoonGrill.com

Collage Restaurant 60 Hypolita St., St.

Beach (241-4496; www.dwightsbistro.com). Petite Mediterranean-style bistro, chef-owned and operated for over 10 years, serving fresh ravioli and pasta, “world famous� crab cakes, grilled quail, filet mignon, veal and lamb. D, B/W, RS, $$$, AX, MC, V. Ave., San Marco (396-9922). As the only AAA Four Diamond and Mobil Four Star-winning restaurant in North Florida, Matthew’s has established itself as the go-to restaurant for culinary creativity and contemporary elegance, not to mention 450 wine selections. Upscale. D, B/W, RA, RR, BR, TO, ! , $$$, ALL.

The Melting Pot 7860 Gate Parkway, Southside

(642-4900). “Dip into something different,� is the catch phrase at this popular fondue franchise. Most diners approach meals as group efforts, sharing courses in the traditional fondue style. Highlights include aged cheeses, boutique wines, seafood, steak and warm chocolate for dessert. D, FB, *, BR, RA, $$$, ALL.

North Beach Bistro 725 Atlantic Blvd., Atlantic Beach (372-4105). Chic Beaches eatery features

unique cocktails and extensive wine list, serving dishes like osso buco with mushroom and truffle

117 West Adams Street p 904.355.3793 chewrestaurant.com

MICHAELBUMP PASTRYCHEF

Matthew’s at San Marco 2107 Hendricks

now serving dinner tuesday – saturday

Dwight’s Bistro 1527 Penman Rd., Jacksonville

ORSAYBRIGADESERIES PORTAITTWO

Augustine (829-0055). Located in the cozy building that formerly held La Parisienne, this new eatery offers a menu laced with local seafood, beef tenderloin with Vidalia and gorgonzola sauce, New York strip with black pepper molasses glaze and rack of lamb. Upscale. L, D, B/W, RA, RS, TO, ! , $$$, ALL.

1"3,453&&5 )*4503*$"70/%"-&

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JL Trent’s 4553 120th St. • 908-4202; 8968 103rd St. • 908-8355 Moon River Pizza 1176-2 Edgewood Ave., S. • 389-4442 Mossfire Grill 1537 Margaret St. • 355-4434 O’Brothers Irish Pub 1521 Margaret St. • 854-9300 Okinawa 4403 Roosevelt Blvd. • 388-8708 Pastiche 4260 Herschel St. • 387-6213 Restaurant Orsay 3630 Park St. • 381-0909 The Row Restaurant 1521 Riverside Ave. • 354-5080 Sake House 824 Lomax St. • 301-1188 Sterlings 3551 St. Johns Ave. • 387-0700 Sushi Café 2025 Riverside Ave. • 384-2888 West Inn Cantina 3644 St. Johns Ave. • 389-1131 Jacksonville’s Beaches Al’s Pizza 303 Atlantic Blvd. • 249-0002 Billy’s Boathouse Grill 2321 Beach Blvd. • 241-9771 Cruiser’s Grill 319 23rd Ave. S. • 270-0356 Dwight’s Bistro 1527 Penman Rd. • 241-4496 Eleven South Bistro 216 11th Ave. S. • 241-1112 European Street Cafe 992 Beach Blvd. • 249-3001 Giovanni’s 1161 Beach Blvd. • 249-7787 Mezza Luna 110 1st. St. • 246-5100 Mojo Kitchen 1500 Beach Blvd.• 247-6636 North Beach Bistro 725 Atlantic Blvd. • 372-4105 Ocean 60 60 Ocean Blvd. • 247-0060 TacoLu Baja Mexicana 1183 Beach Blvd. • 249-TACOS Tento Churrascaria 528 First St. N. • 246-1580 Thai Room 1286 S. Third St. • 249-8444 Turtle Island Natural Foods 363 Atlantic Blvd. • 247-6400 Downtown/Northside Café Nola 117 W. Adams St. • 355-3793 Chew Restaurant 117 W. Adams St. • 355-3793 JL Trent’s 8299 W. Beaver St., #3 • 781-8410 Juliette’s Bistro 245 Water St. • 731-4815 Intracoastal West Al’s Pizza 14286 Beach Blvd. • 223-0991 Crab Cake Factory 1396 Beach Blvd. • 249-4776

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risotto, slow-braised Angus short ribs and risotto croquettes. Catering available. Casual. D, FB, *, RS, TO, ! , $$$, ALL.

Ocean 60 60 Ocean Blvd., Atlantic Beach (2470060). Chef-owned, CIA-certified restaurant

serving shrimp and goat cheese spadini, Costa Rican shrimp ceviche, seafood chowder, whole fried fish and veal Montrachet. Upscale. Martini room with live music Wed-Sat. D, FB, *, RS, TO, =, ! , $$$, ALL.

Opus 39 Restaurant & Food Gallery 39 Cordova St., St. Augustine (824-0402, www.opus39.com). Menu changes frequently at

this Oldest City fine dining landmark, but expect dishes such as pan-seared scallops with parmigian gnocchi and grilled beef tenderloin. Five-course tasting menu changes daily. Over 500 boutique wines, available by the glass, bottle or retail purchase. D, RA, RS, O, ! , $$$$, ALL.

The Row Restaurant 1521 Riverside Ave.,

Riverside (354-5080). Cuisine at the Riverdale

Inn’s on-site restaurant is Continental with a Southern flair with entrées like grey grouper topped with fried oysters and grilled center-cut pork chops with mango dried cherry chutney. Upscale. B, D, FB, *, RA, RS, O, BR, TO, ! , $$$, ALL.

Salt 4750 Amelia Island Pkwy., The Ritz-Carlton,

Amelia Island (277-1100). Patrons can expect a

seasonally driven menu and a weekly tasting menu. Sample of starter items might include appetizers such as Hawaiian tuna tartare with tomato water and homemade avocado sorbet, and marinated peekeytoe crab with mango and caviar. Desserts range from vanilla crème brulée foam with pineapple carpaccio to piña colada sorbet to vanilla froth-topped tiramisu. Ocean view. D, SB, FB, RS, VP, ! , $$$$, ALL.

Wine Cellar 1314 Prudential Dr., Southbank

(398-8989, winecellarjax.com). A lot has changed in the neighborhood since Wine Cellar opened its doors in 1974. A Jacksonville Magazine Top 25 restaurant, it remains a choice spot for business lunches. The menu is Continental with a flair for things like jumbo lump crab cakes, salmon burgers, homemade parmesan zucchini fries and beef tenderloin. Not surprisingly, the wine list is tops and the décor matches its European roots. L, D, RA, RS, FB, O, BR, $$$, ALL.

CUBAN Havana-Jax Café 2578 Atlantic Blvd., San Marco (399-0609). For more than a decade, Havana-Jax

has been the place for authentic Cuban food (think arroz con pollo, ropa vieja, Cuban sandwiches, black bean soup) in Northeast Florida. Guests are also treated to the “Cuban dining experience,” which we can only assume means friendly service, large portions and not laughing at customers when they try to remember their high school Spanish vocabulary. L, D, FB, *, BR, =, !, $$, ALL.

FRENCH Orsay 3630 Park St., Avondale (381-0909; restaucontinued…

tartare, mussels frites, coq au vin and housemade pates. Upscale. D, SB, FB, RS, TO, ! , $$$, ALL.

Pastiche 4260 Herschel St., Avondale (387-6213; mypastiche.com). Chef-owned Avondale charmer features French-influenced American cuisine that varies with the seasons. The covered patio in the garden is great for lunch. Try the sweet potato fries. Casual. L, D, B/W, RS, O, BR, TO, =, ! , $$$, ALL.

FUSION/GLOBAL 95 Cordova 95 Cordova St., Casa Monica Hotel, St. Augustine (827-1888). This Morocco-themed

restaurant located in the lobby of the Casa Monica Hotel also combines American, Asian, Mediterranean and Caribbean influences. The decadent six-course tasting menu is a favorite with adventurous diners. B, L, D, SB, FB, *, RA, RS, O, BR, VP, TO, =, ! , $$$, ALL.

Blue Bamboo 3820 Southside Blvd., Southside (646-1478; www.bluebamboojacksonville.com).

Innovative menu features miso-marinated salmon, lemongrass crab cakes, Cantonese orange duck, Ahi tuna salad and Mandarin orange cake. Wine lounge. Patio dining. Casual. L, D, B/W, RA, O, BR, TO, ! , $$, ALL.

Bonito Grill & Sushi 614 Centre St., Fernandina Beach (261-0508). Featuring a fusion of American and Asian cuisine. Serving broiled Chilean sea bass with red miso rub, soba noodles with sautéed seafood, and Long Island duck with wasabi teriyaki. L, D, FB, *, RA, RS, TO, ! , $$$, AX, MC, V.

Fu Hao Bistro 1001 Park St., Riverside (7988686). This new, inexpensive eatery offers a

wide variety of tasty Asian cuisine. Featured menu items include glazed walnut shrimp, crispy whole fish, phoenix on the summit, Thai-style Chilean sea bass, and pad Thai. Casual. L, D, B/W, RA, TO, !, $$, ALL

Roy’s 2400-101 S. 3rd St., Jacksonville Beach (241-7697). Roy Yamaguchi’s Hawaiian fusion cuisine blends seafood with European sauces and bold Asian spices, creating innovative dishes such as yellow-fin Ahi poketini, hibachi-style grilled salmon and slow-braised short ribs. Upscale. D, BR, VP, FB, *, RS, ! , $$$$, ALL.

GREEK/MEDITERRANEAN Athens Café 6271 St. Augustine Rd., Suite 7, Southside (733-1199). Menu features authentic Greek dishes, rack of lamb, rack of veal, whole snapper, chicken and seafood entrées. À la carte food and wine menu. Family, L, D, B/W, RA, BR, TO, !, $$, ALL.

Hovan Mediterranean 2005-1 Park St., Riverside (381-9394). Casual and quick in the

midst of the bustling Five Points shopping district. Serving gyro sandwiches, falafel, hummus, chicken kabobs and Hovan rolls. Pet-friendly with outdoor seating. L, D, B/W, O, TO, !, $, ALL.

Mediterranea 3877 Baymeadows Rd.,

rantorsay.com). Bistro serves a variety of French

Baymeadows (731-2898; greek-restaurant.com).

favorites including croque madame, steak

The family-run restaurant serves all the Greek


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classics—souvlaki, spinach pie, moussaka and veal medallions. Seafood choices include fried calamari, mussels marinara and grouper. Greek. L, D, B/W, RA, O, BR, TO, !, $$$, ALL.

Zaitoon Mediterranean Grill 13475 Atlantic Blvd., Ste. 40, Intracoastal West (221-7066; www.zaitoongrill.com). Extensive menu reflects

the rich, regional diversity of the Mediterranean and features dishes such as beef kebabs, Sicilian chicken, spanikopita, falafel, tabouli and baba ghannouj. Large parties welcome. Inside the Harbour Village Shopping Center. L, D, FB, RA, O, TO, =, !, $$, ALL.

HEALTHFUL/ORGANIC Healthy Way Cafe St. Johns Town Center, Suite 185 (642-2951, www.healthycafe.com). Organic food is the calling card here. Roasted veggie wraps, organic fruit salad, Mediterranean sandwiches, and an organic banana split. Plus, beer and wine, full-service bar, smoothies—all organic, of course. L, D, B/W, RA, O, VP, TO, =, !, $, ALL.

Native Sun Natural Foods Market 11030 Baymeadows Rd. (260-2791); 10000 San Jose Blvd. (260-6950; www.nativesunjax.com). Certified

organic supermarket with full deli and hot bar

*

Neighborhood Find

*

Mon -Thur • 11am -3pm 5pm -10pm Friday • 11am -3pm 5pm -11pm Saturday • 5pm -11pm Sunday • 5pm - 10pm

1001 Park St. 5 Points in Riverside T. 904.798.8686

HIP ASIAN COMFORT FOOD

Now Available: The Blue Bamboo Cookbook! TOP 25

Restaur

The Pickled Pear Café (1143 S. Edgewood Ave., 389-2811), a luncheonette that specializes in heat-and-eat meals to take home, is nestled in Murray Hill, across the way from Moon River Pizza. The walls are adorned with works for sale by local artists and business cards fill the counter top. With space for only a server and a cook, the eatery has four tables. Locals dine in or take out their lunches and pick up dinners Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 6:30 PM, and until 3 PM on Saturday. The hefty portions are light on the wallet—$5-$8 for anything on the menu. Pastries wait next to the front counter, and the kitchen is open to patrons’ curious eyes. Traditional deli items like egg salad and Caesar salad are kicked up a notch, giving customers a fresh take on all their favorites. On a recent visit, we ordered chicken salad on a fresh-baked croissant with chips ($7) and a drink. Check: $8.51 *J —by Renee Robarge

ant

AN EAST-WEST KITCHEN AND BAR Now Open Sundays 5-9pm 3820 Southside Blvd. (904) 646-1478 www.bluebamboojacksonville.com

Fresh Lunch Buffet Mon.-Sat. 11:30 am -2:30 pm Exotic Dinner Menu Nightly 5:30-10 pm www.IndiaJax.com JACKSONVILLE MAGAZINE: JUNE 2009

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Authentic STYLE, Authentic MUSIC & Authentic EXPERIENCE Sushi, Sashimi, Tempura, Katsu, Teriyaki & Hibachi made from the Freshest Ingredients.

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Pepper’s Mexican Grill & Cantina 13475 Atlantic Blvd. • 221-2300

serving rotisserie chicken, vegan sushi, crab cakes, dumplings, wraps, salads, soups and more. Market offers fresh organic produce, meat and seafood, baked goods and smoothies, with indoor and outdoor seating and party platters.

Zaitoon Mediterranean 13475 Atlantic Blvd. • 221-7066 Lakewood/San Jose

AUTHENTIC TATAMI ROOM SERVING SAKE, WINE & BEER

Athens Café 6271 St. Augustine Rd. • 733-1199

Turtle Island Natural Foods 363 Atlantic Blvd., Atlantic Beach (247-6400; turtleislandfoods.com).

Mojo Bar-B-Que 1607 University Blvd., W. • 732-7200

Fresh, fabulous food is served at this full-service, organic market. With quick lunches and special event catering, Turtle Island offers upscale healthy eats. Seafood, poultry, vegan, raw and gluten-free selections. Organic produce, wine, beer, cheeses, dips, bulk foods. L, D, B/W, O, TO, $, ALL.

Native Sun 10000 San Jose Blvd. • 260-6950 Mandarin/Julington Creek Al’s Pizza 11190 San Jose Blvd. • 260-4115

INDIAN

Blackstone Grille 112 Bartram Oaks Walk • 287-0766

Reservations Available for Large Parties

India’s Restaurant 9802-8 Baymeadows Rd.

The Blue Crab 3057 Julington Creek Rd. • 260-2722

OUTDOOR SEATING AVAILABLE

(620-0777). The lunch buffet is a favorite at

this family-run staple of the Baymeadows dining scene. The menu is both mild and spicy, featuring traditional dishes like lamb korma, fish vindaloo, shrimp bhoona and chicken tikka masala. Casual. L, D, B/W, RA, BR, TO, !, $$, ALL.

Cobblestones 108 Julington Plaza Dr. • 230-6744 Don Juan’s 12373 San Jose Blvd. • 268-8722 Heirlooms Bistro 104 Bartram Oaks Walk • 230-3999

824 Lomax St Riverside–5 Points 301-1188

* Kitchen Gadget *

Heirlooms, A Culinary Cafe & Market 9545 San Jose Blvd. • 880-2291

JAPANESE GRILL & SUSHI BAR Two Locations To Serve You!

1478 Riverplace Blvd. San Marco –Southbank 306-2188

www.sakehousejax.com

Tree Steakhouse 11362-1 San Jose Blvd. • 262-0006 Orange Park The Hilltop 2030 Wells Rd. • 272-5959 Mojo Smokehouse 11810 Town Center Blvd. • 264-0636 Thai Garden 10 Blanding Blvd. • 272-8434 Whitey’s Fish Camp 2032 CR 220 • 269-4198

Family Owned

Ponte Vedra Beach Al’s Pizza 635 A1A N. • 543-1494 Aqua Grill 950 Sawgrass Village • 285-3017 Barbara Jean’s 15 S. Roscoe Blvd. • 280-7522 Cruiser’s Grill 832 Hwy. A1A N. • 273-5446

THE DUPONT STATION 6271 ST. AUGUSTINE RD., JACKSONVILLE

Galangal 145 Hildon Rd. • 827-1150

733-1199

Lulu’s Waterfront Grille 301 N. Roscoe Blvd. • 285-0139

You don’t have to be a tree hugger to want to help the environment these days. You can do your part at home with a gadget like the NatureMill Plus Edition Automatic Composter ($299), which turns most food waste into nutrient rich fertilizer—and it fits in any standard cabinet. Activists-turnedengineers who believed in the 3 R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle) figured out how to use energy released from “hot composting” technology to destroy odors and pathogens, reducing harmful greenhouse gasses. Energy use is just about 50 cents a month, and compost can be used to feed plants and fruit trees. The composter can be purchased at Target stores, or online at naturemill.com. *J

Pusser’s Bar & Grille 816 A1A N. • 280-7766

Come Coast Awhile!

Restaurant Medure 818 N. A1A • 543-3797 Ruth’s Chris Steak House 814 A1A N. • 285-0014 Stonewood Grill & Tavern Marsh Landing Pkwy. @ JTB • 285-2311 Urban Flats 330 A1A N. • 280-5515 San Marco/Southbank

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ComeCoastAwhile.com

b.b.’s 1019 Hendricks Ave. • 306-0100

800-933-COAST (2627) For information “on the go” text BGIGA to 95495 or go to ComeCoastAwhile.mobi on your mobile phone

Bistro Aix & Lounge 1440 San Marco Blvd. • 398-1949

JACKSONVILLE MAGAZINE: JUNE 2009

Chart House 1501 Riverplace Blvd. • 398-3353

continued…

—by Renee Robarge


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ITALIAN Al’s Pizza 303 Atlantic Blvd., Atlantic Beach (249-0002; www.alspizza.com) plus five other area locations. Al’s is casual with a menu chock-full

of pizza, calzones and pasta dishes. But its slick and funky atmosphere, not to mention unexpected dishes like mussels in wine and garlic butter sauce, also make it a favorite with foodies who normally wouldn’t dine at a pizza joint. Casual. L, D, B/W, O, TO, ! , $, ALL.

Broadway Ristorante & Pizzeria 10920 Baymeadows Rd., Suite 103, Baymeadows (5198000, broadwayfl.com). Huge menu is laced with

all your Italian faves including hand-tossed pizzas baked in a brick oven, calzones, strombolis, penne a la vodka, antipasta and more. Open until 2 AM and later. L, D, B/W, RA, O, TO, !, $, ALL.

Gelato Classico 530-3 SR 13 N., Fruit Cove

(230-8608). More than 30 flavors of gelato and

sorbet are served on fine porcelain dessertware, as are the various New York-style pastries. O, TO, ! , $, ALL.

Giovanni’s 1161 Beach Blvd., Jacksonville Beach

(249-7787). Traditional to contemporary Italian including entrées like spaghetti with a tomato, saffron seafood stew of clams, mussels, shrimp, squid and scallops. D, FB, *, RA, RS, BR, VP, =, ! , $$$, AX, MC, V.

Luigi’s Italian Restaurant 5912 University Blvd., W., Southside (731-0338). Serving

Jacksonville since 1975 with traditional Italian

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dinners, lasagna, eggplant parmigiana, chicken parmigiana, pizza, meatball cheese sub. Family. L, D, B/W, TO, ! , $$, ALL.

Mezza Luna Restaurant 110 1st St., Neptune Beach (249-5573). Serving chianti-braised short

ribs, Mayport shrimp and artisanal grits, lemongrass champagne-poached halibut as well as daily specials. Kids can make their own pizza. Casual yet upscale. D, FB, *, RA, RS, O, TO, !, $$$, ALL.

Moon River Pizza 1176-2 Edgewood Ave., S.

(389-4442); 925 S. 14th St., Fernandina Beach (321-3400). Serving pizzas, calzones, salads

and breadsticks. Variety of beer and wine by the bottle and glass. L, D, B/W, TO, ! , $, D, MC, V.

Sorrento 6937 St. Augustine Rd., San Jose (636-

9196). Menu highlighted by Neopolitan cuisine

including snapper Francese, veal Positano supreme, sausage and peppers, chicken scallopini, eggplant parmigiana and tiramisu. D, B/W, RA, TO, ! , $$, ALL.

JAPANESE Crazy Sushi 4320 Deerwood Lake Pkwy., #202,

Southside (998-9797). Serving hibachi steak, shrimp tempura, chicken katsu, tuna tataki and the “Love Boat.” Casual. L, D, B/W, RA, RS, BR, TO, ! , $$, ALL.

Sake House 824 Lomax St. and 1507 Margaret St., Riverside (301-1188); Sake House II 1478 Riverplace Blvd., San Marco (306-2188).

San Marco and Five Points receive an infusion

of Japanese flavors with a lengthy sushi menu, shrimp tempura, grilled steak and a sushi bar. Casual and upscale. L, D, B/W, RA, RS, O, BR, TO, =, ! , $$, ALL.

Sushi Café 2025 Riverside Ave., Riverside (384-

2888; sushicafejax.com). Given its name, there is no confusion as to what’s served at this Riverside eatery. The sushi list includes a handful of locally-inspired rolls like the Jax (a California roll with eel) and the Jaguar (eel and avocado deep-fried). The menu also includes hibachi, tempura, katsu and teppan meals. L, D, B/W, O, $$, ALL.

Wasabi Japanese Steakhouse 10206 River Coast Dr., St. Johns Town Center (997-6528; wasabi-steakhouse.com). Swanky steakhouse

specializes in hibachi-style cooking and sushi. Early bird specials are popular. L, D, FB, *, RA, O, TO, ! , $$$, ALL.

MEXICAN/SOUTHWESTERN Burrito Gallery 21 E. Adams St., Downtown

(598-2922). The secret to getting a table for lunch at the popular Downtown eatery? Arrive early. The restaurant and art gallery offers the TexMex standards—tacos, taco salads, quesadillas, nachos, burritos, chili and deli wraps. Dine inside or out for lunch or dinner. Happy hour runs Wednesday through Saturday. L, D, FB, *, O, BR, TO, ! , $, ALL.

Cantina Laredo 10282 Bistro Dr., St. Johns

Town Center (997-6110; cantinalaredo.com). The

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European Street Cafe 1704 San Marco Blvd. • 398-9500 Havana Jax Cafe 2578 Atlantic Blvd. • 399-0609 Matthew’s at San Marco 2107 Hendricks Ave. • 396-9922 Metro Diner 3302 Hendricks Ave. • 398-3701 Morton’s, The Steakhouse 1510 Riverplace Dr. • 399-3933 River City Brewing 835 Museum Cir. • 398-2299 Ruth’s Chris Steak House 1201 Riverplace Dr. • 396-6200 Sake House II 1478 Riverplace Blvd. • 306-2188 Thai Bistro San Marco 1974 San Marco Blvd. • 338-0269 Wine Cellar 1314 Prudential Dr. • 398-8989 Southside/Baymeadows/Town Center Blue Bamboo 3820 Southside Blvd. • 646-1478 Broadway Ristorante 10920 Baymeadows Rd. • 579-8000 Cantina Laredo St. Johns Town Center • 997-6110 The Capital Grille St. Johns Town Center • 997-9233 Crazy Sushi 4320 Deerwood Lake Pkwy. • 998-9797 Healthy Way Cafe St. Johns Town Center • 642-2951 India’s Restaurant 9802-8 Baymeadows Rd. • 620-0777 Lemongrass Restaurant 9846 Old Baymeadows Rd. • 645-9911 Luigi’s Italian Restaurant 5912 University Blvd. • 731-0338 The Melting Pot 7860 Gate Pkwy. • 642-4900 McAlister’s Deli 9700 Deer Lake Ct. • 564-2377 Mitchell’s Fish Market St. Johns Town Center • 645-3474 Native Sun 11030 Baymeadows Rd. • 260-2791 Sangria House 4320 Deerwood Lake Pkwy. • 646-2977 Stonewood Grill & Tavern 3832 Baymeadows Rd. • 739-7206 Wasabi Japanese Steakhouse St. Johns Town Center • 997-6528 St. Augustine 95 Cordova 95 Cordova St. • 827-1888 Cap’s On the Water 4325 Myrtle St. • 824-8794 Collage Restaurant 60 Hypolita St. • 829-0055 Cruiser’s Grill 3 St. George St. • 824-6993 O.C. White’s 118 Avenida Menendez. • 824-0808 Opus 39 39 Cordova St. • 824-0402 The Reef 4100 Coastal Hwy. • 824-8008 The Tasting Room 25 Cuna St. • 810-2400

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Town Center eatery specializes in fresh fish, beef fajitas, tacos al carbon, grilled ribeye steak, chicken enchiladas and shrimp flautas. Upscale. L, D, SB, FB, *, RS, O, BR, TO, ! , $$, ALL.

Don Juan’s Restaurant 12373 San Jose Blvd., Mandarin (268-8722; donjuansjax.com).

The menu at this family-owned sit-down restaurant features all the Mexican standards—fajitas, chimichangas and carne asada—but the twofor-one happy hour specials are a real treat. Patio area. Casual. L, D, FB, O, BR, TO, =, ! , $$, ALL.

Mossfire Grill 1537 Margaret St., Riverside (3554434). New American and Southwestern cuisine

come together at this Five Points fave famous for its blackened tuna tacos, homemade crab cakes and the fattest burritos this side of the Pecos. The upstairs lounge houses the city’s only tequila bar. L, D, FB, *, O, BR, TO, =, !, $$, V, MC, AX.

Pablo’s Mexican Restaurant 12 N. 2nd St., Fernandina Beach (261-0049). Downtown

Fernandina’s dining scene gets some needed spice with a menu packed with dishes like carne tampiqueña, enchiladas, fajitas, fish tacos and tortilla soup. L, D, FB, *, RA, O, BR, TO, ! , $$, ALL.

Pepper’s Mexican Grill & Cantina 13475

Atlantic Blvd., Jacksonville (221-2300). Authentic

Mexican cuisine with a family-friendly atmosphere. And, they have great nachos. The fish tacos are a signature item, as are the sizzling fajita skillets. Serving wine and beer and take-out service. L,D, FB, TO, $$, ALL.

TacoLu Baja Mexicana 1183 Beach Blvd.

(249-TACOS). Offering a blend of Baja-style cui-

sine in a casual sit-down eatery, this beaches restaurant offers a new twist on the traditional taco. But, what really sets it apart from the pack is its selection of over 50 types of tequila. L, D, SB, FB, *, O, TO, ! , $, ALL.

West Inn Cantina 3644 St. Johns Ave.,

Avondale (389-1131). Neighborhood hangout

serves South-of-the-Border flavors like honey lime chicken, shrimp fiesta with peppers and onions, fajitas, steaks and seafood. Outside heated patio. L, D, FB, *, O, TO, =, ! , $, ALL.

MIDDLE EASTERN Casbah 3628 St. Johns Ave., Avondale (981-9966; www.thecasbahcafe.com). Diners seeking a

Middle Eastern experience will find it at this Avondale restaurant and lounge. In addition to a menu of traditional fare such as baba ghannoush and fried kibbie, guests can enjoy aromatic tobacco in the hookah lounge, as well as live belly dancing Thursday through Saturday nights. L, D, B/W, O, TO, =, ! , $$, AX, MC, V.

PUBS O’Brothers Irish Pub 1521 Margaret St., Riverside (854-9300). From the owners of

Mossfire Grill, O’Brothers offers a true “pub” atmosphere where patrons can enjoy a pint, eat delicious food and play shuffle board. The menu includes Irish staples like shepherd’s pie and fish and chips as well as treats like Guinness

* FrontBurner *

Karlene’s Deli is expanding. At the corner of San Jose Boulevard and Loretto Road, the franchise has three locations in development: Bartram Park, Jacksonville Beach and The Jacksonville Landing. • Looks like Matthew’s Market & Catering in San Marco (which closed in January) will reopen as the Take Away Gourmet, offering prepared foods at lower prices to take home or eat at the store. • To commemorate its 25th year, Tidbits in San Marco offered select menu items for 1985 prices on April 6. • The Southbank’s River City Brewing Company, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, recently hired a new chef and has added new items to its menu including porcini-dusted sea scallops. Chef Christopher Faurie most recently was executive chef at Roy’s in Jacksonville Beach. • Mark’s on Bay Street offers free happy hour appetizers while they last on Thursdays and Fridays (4:30 to 7:30 PM) • Also Downtown, Chamblin’s Uptown Café inside the bookstore on North Laura Street is now open seven days a week. • TJ’s & Pat’s Deli & Catering is slated to open in the old Springfield Emporium at the corner of 7th and Main streets, according to the Springfield Preservation and Revitalization Council. • Also in Springfield, Yang’s Chinese Take Out at 9th and Main streets was readying to open in April. • In Riverside, the restaurant at 630 Park St. (most recently a Sharx Wings Grill) is under new ownership and now is called Skip’s Home Cooking Café. Open only for breakfast and lunch, Skip’s is run by a couple formerly from the Riverview Café in the 550 building downtown. • Walkers, at the corner of Post and King streets in Riverside, opened in April. Owners of the wine and tapas bar hope to acquire a liquor license soon. • Orsay in Avondale started serving Sunday brunch from 11 AM to 4 PM in its lounge. Outdoor seating is available, with live music soon to come. Trust us, the Bloody Mary is divine. • Dennis Chan, owner of Blue Bamboo on Southside Boulevard, has introduced “Street Eats Sunday,” serving a more casual menu of items that day from 5 to 9 PM. • The Sticky Fingers in Atlantic Beach closed for 10 days in April for remodeling and re-opened in May. • In Jacksonville Beach (in what used to be the Florida Marine Patrol Building on 2nd Avenue North), Crazy Fish opened April 1. The casual sit-down restaurant has a spectacular view of the Intracoastal, and also serves as a bait and tackle shop with kayak rentals, water sport instruction and fishing charters. The place is open for lunch and dinner starting at 10 AM, closed on Mondays. • In St. Augustine, a family-style, waterfront seafood restaurant called Aunt Kate’s was set to open where Oscar’s Old Florida Grill once stood. Oscar’s was destroyed by a fire in 2001. *J


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mac and cheese and lamb burger. Outdoor seating and full bar service. Casual. L, D, FB, *, O, TO, =, ! , $$, ALL.

SEAFOOD The Blue Crab 3057 Julington Creek Rd.,

Julington Creek (260-2722). This casual restaurant

concentrates on seafood by offering a variety of crab delicacies such as steamed crab legs, as well as shrimp and fish. Numerous menu standouts draw influences from the Chesapeake Bay area— quarter-pound crab cakes and stuffed crab delight. Outdoor seating, private party room. D, SB, O, BR, FB, RA, AX, V, MC, $$, ALL.

Cap’s On the Water 4325 Myrtle St., Vilano Beach, St. Augustine (824-8794). Waterfront

eatery serving stilton salad, vanilla grouper, pepper hanger steak, crab and scallop pasta and miso calamari. Oyster bar. Casual. L, D, FB, BR, TO, =, ! , $$$, AX, MC, V.

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LONGEVITY

BY JAMES BARRICK

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LuLu’s Waterfront Grille 301 N. Roscoe Blvd., Ponte Vedra Beach (285-0139). Perched on the

banks of the Intracoastal Waterway in Palm Valley, this casual restaurant is known for its local seafood dishes like steamed garlic clams and Chef Jeff’s New England clam chowder. Its true claim to fame is its waterfront “driving range.” L, D, SB, FB, *, O, TO, !, $$, AX, MC, V.

Mitchell’s Fish Market St. Johns Town Center (645-3474; mitchellsfishmarket.com). Upscale

but casual restaurant near JTB features a menu 80 dishes long highlighted by items such as Little Neck clam chowder, broiled sea scallops, pecan-crusted mountain trout, garlic broiled shrimp and lemon pepper grilled chicken. L, D, FB, *, BR, TO, ! , $$$, ALL.

Pusser’s Bar and Grille 816 A1A N., Shoppes of Veranda, Ponte Vedra Beach (280-7766, www.pussersusa.com). Chris Delay, Pusser’s

executive chef and native Ponte Vedran, has put together an innovative menu that truly has something for everyone, with entrées starting at $10.

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1. Sports venue 5. Influence, in a way 10. Revolutionary leader 15. Impertinent 19. Decorative molding 20. Drop a syllable 21. Licit 22. River in Russia 23. Conservative 24. — Major 25. Quickly 26. Second caliph 27. Start of a quip by Andy Rooney: 3 wds. 31. Part of Can. 32. Related 33. Looped cross 34. Bean type

1. On-campus program: abbr. 2. Mad scientistʼs aide 3. Infamous ruler 4. Quoin 5. Statistical group 6. Antelope 7. Tinkle 8. Redact 9. Make new, in a way 10. Baked — 11. Profundity 12. Chinese gelatin 13. Ceremonial staff 14. Most streamlined 15. Broadwayʼs Ziegfeld 16. Bakery item: 3 wds. 17. Pointless

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original Trent’s across the street from NAS Jax is a classic American seafood joint serving all your fried favorites, crab legs, lobster, whole catfish and shrimp. The fried pickles are the house specialty. L, D, B/W, TO, ! , $$, MC, V.

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4553 120th St. (908-4202); 8968 103rd St. (908-8355); 8299 W. Beaver St. (781-8410). The

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JL Trent’s Seafood & Grill Three locations:

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the waterfront restaurant is probably the most unusual in town. Inside, the Chart House is a dramatic, dimly-lit, dinner-only restaurant best known for its seafood, prime rib, salad bar and Hot Chocolate Lava Cake. Upscale. D, FB, *, RA, RS, BR, ! , $$$, ALL.

West (249-4776, crabcakefactoryjax.com). The distinctive taste of Chesapeake Bay’s famous blue crabs is highlighted in more than a dozen dishes at the sprawling, family-friendly eatery. Oysters Rockefeller, crab martini, smoked salmon, clams casino—the menu is extensive and offers a little something for everyone. L, D, FB, RA, TO, BR, ! , $$, ALL.

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Crab Cake Factory Seafood Bar, Grill, Restaurant 1396 Beach Blvd., Intracoastal

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Chart House 1501 Riverplace Blvd., Southbank

(398-3353; www.chart-house.com). The exterior of

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65. Part 3 of quip 66. Not the Kingʼs English 67. Settings 69. Tastelessly funny 70. Present! 71. Delivery co. 74. Name on a back pocket 75. Eructation 76. Abounds 77. — forte 78. Salemʼs state: abbr. 79. Relating to skin 81. Part 4 of quip: 2 wds. 83. Period 84. She, in Sicily 85. Moorehead the actress 87. Contended 88. Pub regular 90. Gracie or Woody 57. Unrefined 60. Allegro, presto, etc. 61. Salesman 62. Vise 64. Inexplicable things 65. Buddhist principle 66. Beginnings 67. Circuit-board socket 68. Beak part 69. Like kale 70. Daughter of Zeus and Leda 72. More wan 73. Took to court 75. Kind of tower 76. Elasticity 79. Makes free of ice 80. A state: abbr.

91. Bovine 93. College treasurer 95. Gallimaufry 96. Level 97. “Do — — say ...” 98. End of the quip: 5 wds. 106. Chums 108. Set of steps 109. Parts of feet 110. — dixit 111. Jasonʼs vessel 112. Purloined 113. Deposit in wine casks 114. Monocle 115. Gypsy gentlemen 116. Exuviates 117. Sierra — 118. Latvian

82. Excessive force 86. Of the vocal apparatus 89. Beam 90. Outlanders 91. Figure of speech 92. Light meal 93. — the Elephant 94. Loansharking 95. Leered at 96. Mike or Cicely 99. Provoʼs state 100. Victory personified 101. — Krishna 102. As a consequence 103. Sword 104. Money — everything 105. Try 107. Distress call

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PROMOTIONS & SPECIAL EVENTS

JAXSCENE A monthly highlight of Jacksonville Magazine’s partner-related happenings.

Serves lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, with a two-for-one happy hour Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 PM. L, D, FB, *, RA, O, VP, TO, =, !, $$$, ALL.

Whitey’s Fish Camp 2032 County Rd. 220,

Orange Park (269-4198). Open for more than 40

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NIP/TUCK On January 29, some 75 people attended an open house for Dr. Michael J. Duffy, a reconstructive and plastic surgeon. Duffy offered mini skin consultations for guests during the three-hour gathering, as well as hors d’oeuvres and wine.

years, Whitey’s is a local dining institution. Regulars visit for a chance to sit on the huge waterside deck, gawk at the menagerie of stuffed critters on display and partake in steamed snow crab legs, shrimp broil, fried grouper, sautéed crab cakes and all-you-can-eat catfish. L, D, O, FB, TO, $$, ALL.

SPANISH 13 Gypsies 887 Stockton St., Jacksonville (389-

0330). Fresh, organic ingredients are the staple

L-R 1. Patrick Duffy, Denisha Campbell & Chris Duffy; 2. Dr. Joe Barton & Susan Snodgrass; 3. Saha Bahri & Martha Zaatar; 4. Jessica & Brittany Fletcher

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for the Spanish cuisine offered at 13 Gypsies. Open for lunch and dinner, the small eatery specializes in tapas including the convino tapa, Chef Howard’s speciality. Vegetarian options available. L, D, SB, B/W, RS, TO, $$, ALL.

Sangria House 4320 Deerwood Lake Pkwy., Ste. 203, Southside (646-2977). Specialties include

meatballs in almond sauce, garlic shrimp, Spanish egg and potato omelette, chicken with rice and paella Valenciana. Homemade sangria. Family casual. L, D, B/W, RA, RS, O, TO, !, $$, ALL.

The Tasting Room, Contemporary Spanish Restaurant 25 Cuna St., St. Augustine (810-2400, www.tastetapas.com).

Innovation and seasonal variety are the hallmarks of this chef-owned bistro, serving grilled hanger steak, baby lamb chops, white gazpacho and seafood paella. Tapas menu. Courtyard dining and a private room for intimate gatherings. D, B/W, RA, RS, O, =, !, $$$, ALL.

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A FLORAL AFFAIR

STEAKHOUSE

Liz Stewart Floral Design feted some 130 friends with food and flowers at the grand opening of its Third Street studio on February 5. Catering by Liz (Grenamyer) served tasty eats and the evening’s signature cocktail, the “pink tulip”—a champagne and pomegranate juice concoction. Also on hand were chocolate-covered strawberries, fresh Mayport shrimp and delicious raspberry tartlets from Classic Cakes.

The Capital Grille St. Johns Town Center (9979233; www.thecapitalgrille.com). Upscale steak-

house dressed in crisp linens and serving Kona crusted dry aged sirloin with carmelized shallot butter, porcini rubbed Delmonico with eight-year aged balsamic. Private dining room and chef’s table available. L, D, FB, *, O, RA, BR, VP, TO, !, $$$$, ALL.

Espeto Brazilian Steakhouse 4000 St. Johns Ave., Avondale (388-4884; espetosteakhouse.com).

1. A centerpiece arrangement; 2. Liz Stewart & Helena Stern; 3. Eric Marus & J.J. Hopely; 4. Susan Ryan & Barb Miller

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Fourteen different cuts of meat are fire-grilled and carved tableside in the traditional churrasco style. Large salad bar and housemade desserts. Open 5-9 PM Sunday and Tuesday to Thursday; 5-10 PM Friday and Saturday and closed on Monday. Fixed price. Upscale. D, FB, *, RA, O, BR, =, ! , $$$$, ALL.

Morton’s, The Steakhouse 1510 Riverplace

Blvd., Southbank (399-3933). Serving broiled sea scallops wrapped in bacon, apricot chutney, jumbo lump crab cake, USDA prime aged beef, live Maine lobster and Morton’s legendary hot chocolate cake. Private board room dining available and an extensive wine list. D, FB, *, RA, RS, BR, VP, TO, ! , $$$, AX, M, V.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House 1201 Riverplace

If you would like to showcase your business event in Jax Scene, contact Kathleen Antol at 389-3622.

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Blvd., Crowne Plaza Jacksonville Riverfront, Southbank (396-6200); 814 A1A N., Ponte Vedra Beach (285-0014). Steak (be it T-bone, ribeye,


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ADVERTISING INDEX NY strip or filet mignon) is obviously their specialty, but entrées also include stuffed chicken breast, lamb chops and lobster. Sides are pretty remarkable themselves (hello, eight kinds of potatoes!). Upscale/casual club seating. D, FB, *, RA, RS, VP, ! , $$$$, ALL.

Tento Churrascaria 528 First St. N.,

ADVERTISER

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1616 River Road ....................................37 Absolute Fabrics ......................................42 Amelia Island Tourist Development Council ..29 Athens Café ..........................................116

Jacksonville Beach (246-1580). Brazilian-style

Neil Avery III, Realtor ..............................39

barbecue is carved tableside at Tento, one of the Beaches’ more unusual dining treats. Assorted meats are grilled on large skewers and presented at the table with sauces and sides. Fixed price menu. D, FB, *, RS, BR, ! , $$$$, ALL.

Bistro Aix ..............................................112

Tree Steakhouse 11362-1 San Jose Blvd.,

Mandarin (262-0006). Serving steaks cut table-

side, fish, chicken, lamb, prime rib. Salad bar and extensive wine list. D, FB, *, RA, RS, TO, =, ! , $$$, ALL.

THAI Galangal 145 Hilden Rd., Ponte Vedra (827-1150; www.galangalcuisine.com). The menu at this

upscale gem is laced with Thai faves like lemongrass-crusted Chilean sea bass with green curry reduction and chili and lemongrass filet mignon with lump-crab fried rice. Large banquet room. Sushi available, too. D, FB, *, RA, BR, TO, ! , $$$, ALL.

Blue Bamboo ........................................115 BoConcept ..............................................29 Bold City Brewery ....................................35 Brett’s/Plae/Thyme ................................117 Brunswick & The Golden Isles ................116 Tom Bush BMW ......................................27 The Casbah ..........................................115 Chew ....................................................113 Crave Boutique ........................................10 Doctor’s Village ........................................34 Dwight’s Bistro ......................................115 Eleven South Bistro-Bar..........................111 Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting ..........123 Fu Hau Bistro ........................................115 Havana Jax ............................................112 Elizabeth Hudgins, Realtor........................33

Lemongrass Restaurant 9846 Old Baymeadows Rd., Southside (645-9911).

India‘s Restaurant ..................................115

Customer favorites include prig pow, panang curry, crispy duck and ginger-infused salad with wonton noodles. The restaurant’s sleek design in shades of soothing green is comforting—that is, unless, you order your meal “Thai hot,” in which case there’s no solace. Casual. L, D, B/W, RA, RS, O, TO, ! , $$, ALL.

Indulge Salon/Shoppe/Spa ......................106

Thai Bistro San Marco 1974 San Marco Blvd.,

San Marco (338-0269). An upscale Thai restaurant

located in the heart of historic San Marco. Serving fresh spring rolls, lobster salad and beef holy basil supreme. Private dining available. L, D.

Thai Garden Restaurant 10 Blanding Blvd.,

Ste. A, Orange Park (272-8434). Traditional Thai whole snapper, satay with chicken or pork, red or green curry and Thai garden curry. Casual. L, D, B/W, RA, TO, ! , $$, ALL.

Thai Room 1286 S. 3rd St., Jacksonville Beach

(249-8444). Casual ambiance featuring authentic

cuisine including crispy duck, noodles of the drunk and chicken satay. D, B/W, RS, $$, ALL. *J R O T C

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Island Girl Cigar Bar ..............................108 JaxComputerTech.com ..............................43 Jaffe Rug Gallery......................................42 Liberty Furniture ..................................3, 19 Luxe Concierge ........................................35 Ted Miller, Realtor ....................................32 Motherhood Maternity ..............................15 Natural Stone Construction ......................98 Oasis Rug & Home ..................................97

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Bahri Orthopedics & Sports Medicine ........61 Baptist Health ..........................................7 Dr. Joseph M. Barton, DMD ......................62 Dr. Robert Bass, MD ................................84 Beaches Ctr Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry ..73 Dr. B. Keith Blankenship, DDS ..................63 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida ........45 Dr. Eric Burgess, DMD ..............................71 Calloway Center for Plastic Surgery ............64 Dr. Jeanie Froman-Bohall ..........................84 Dr. Amit Chokshi, MD ..............................72 Dr. Clayman’s Plastic Surgery Center & Spa ..85 Coastal Cosmetic Center ..........................72 Dr. Frank R. Collier, Jr., MD ......................73 Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgery Center ..74 Dr. Vaishali B. Doolabh, MD, FACS ............74 Dr. Earl H. Eye, MD ..................................75 Facial Rejuvenation Centre........................65 Garcia Aesthetic & Wellness Center............46 Greater Jacksonville Soc. Plastic Surgeons ..46 Gulani Vision Institute ..............................75 Dr. James E. Hardy, MD ............................76 HealthGrades ..........................................41 Dr. Sharon Hoffman, DVM, DAVDC ............84 Dr. Blanca Martinez-Hoppe, DMD, PA ........76 In Motion Physical Therapy ......................84 Jacksonville Exceptional Dentistry..............77 Jacksonville Upright MRI ..........................85 Kasraeian Urology ....................................66 Little Black Bag Medical ..........................67 Dr. John P. Lundgren, DDS, PA ..................77 Dr. Jose M. Martinez, DMD, PA..................78 Dr. Shahla Masood, MD ............................68

RayWare Hardware ..................................10

Mayo Clinic ..............................................4 Memorial Hospital Jacksonville....................2 Dr. Michael S. Nussbaum, MD ..................78 Park Avenue Dermatology..........................69 Pearson Facial Plastic Surgery ..................79

The Reef at North Beach ........................106

Physicians Preferred Insurance..................43

Rejuvenation Spa ....................................34 River City Brewing Company....................111 River City Custom Cabinetry ......................37

Physician Sales & Service ........................47

Orsay ....................................................113 Pablo Creek Reserve ..................................9 Prime Outlets ..........................................11

Sake House ..........................................116 Scan Design ............................................21 Shands Jacksonville .............................. 124 Sunburst Shutters ....................................97 Sushi Cafe ............................................108 Theatre Jax..............................................32 Works of Art ............................................96 Zaitoon Mediterranean Grill ....................113 Medical & Dental Professionals Allure Cosmetic Medical Center ................71 Dr. Sadir J. Alrawi, MD ............................35

Ponte Vedra Cosmetic Dentistry ................79 Linda Quinn, MD......................................80 St. Johns Eye Associates ..........................80 St. Vincent’s HealthCare ..........................31 Dr. Agerico M. Sayoc, DMD, MSD, PA ........81 Dr. Shane H. Silver ..................................85 Smile Stylists ..........................................70 Southpoint Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry ....5 Dr. Barry H. Stevens, DDS, PA ..................81 UF Beaches Women’s Health Specialists ....82 UF Plastic Surgery Institute of Jacksonville ..82 Dr. Carmine Volpe, MD, FACS ....................83 Dr. Christopher R. Williams MD ................83

Jacksonville Magazine is offering this Advertiser Index as a reader service and cannot be held responsible for errors or omissions. JACKSONVILLE MAGAZINE: JUNE 2009

121


CREATIVE CIRCUITRY

photo by jaime eason

Local Singer Shoni BY LILTERA R. WILLIAMS Most performers have dreams of making it big, and eventually move to popular cities to gain more notoriety, but local artist Shoni seems to be satisfied with the creative niche she’s establishing in the comfort of Jacksonville’s familiarity. In three words, Shoni describes herself as genuine, spirited and colorful, which is illustrative of the accomplished songstress who double majored in English and Photojournalism at the University of Florida. After graduating in May 2010, she began to display her talents during live performances at open mic venues. Shoni is quickly making her mark on the Jacksonville artistic scene, evolving from singing at local bars three years ago to being solicited as an exclusive street act in the Riverside Arts Market showcase on November 12, 2011. Of the performance she says, “This was many firsts for me: I’d never played outside, nor in the daylight, nor for a large number of people. What I liked about the atmosphere there is that people could sit down with a bowl of bisque or let their kids play for a bit as they sat down to hear you play. A few close friends also came to support, so that warm familiarity mixed with the cool air, the river, and this natural sedative that hits me when I begin to sing made for an incredible experience. It pulled me from my comfort zone, and you can’t grow unless you allow that to happen.” Shoni’s distinctive, acoustic performance style is a fusion of “airy, soulful vocals and glimmery guitar riffs” blended with her vivacious personality to emit the combination of unique melodies that is her self-described ethereal sound. Her favored rendition of the popular classic ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ is delivered with raw, pure emotion that deeply captivates listeners. Inspired by the elements of freedom and expression, Shoni studies the techniques utilized by fellow performers, borrowing key strategies to use as motivation for continuing to pursue her dream. “Seeing someone on stage exude high levels of passion,” says Shoni, “makes me want to be on that stage.” When she’s not performing, Shoni spends her time working as a Quality Control Editor and conducting freelance photo shoots. She also actively participates in charity showcases for Harvest of Hope, a nonprofit organization based in Gainesville that aids migrant farm workers and their families. Shoni will continue to actively support the workers who contribute to and sustain the lives of everyone who shops in a grocery store or a local market by showcasing her talents in a live benefit concert on February 19th at Jack Rabbits in San Marco. While diligently working on her demo, tentatively scheduled to be released in early 2012, Shoni strives daily to reach her ultimate goal of “working hard to present something interesting and heartfelt, something that hasn’t quite been done yet.” Experience this budding artist’s potential for yourself. Visit her fan pages at www.facebook. com/shonisings and www.reverbnation.com/shonisings for original acoustic song versions and details about upcoming performances and appearances.

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JANUARY 2012 | eu jacksonville monthly


JACKSONVILLE

Go-Lo Holiday Shopping • Hometown Music For The Holidays • Mark Hubbard • Holiday Events

free monthly guide to entertainment & more | december 2011 | eujacksonville.com


THE IGIVE Silencing the DreamKillerz BY LILTERA R. WILLIAMS

The IGive is an accomplished independent spoken word artist, hip hop emcee, host and motivational speaker who aims to spread love through his passionate delivery of inspiring and motivational self-composed lyrics. He has mastered the skill of combining poetic elements with hip hop culture and soulful vibes to create his own genre of music that seeks to uplift fans and listeners with positive messages. “I want my music to pervade the senses with joy, thought-provoking inspiration, soul, and dance,” he declared. That goal doesn’t appear to be too far from his reach. Three songs from The IGive’s first official album, Rhythm & Poetry, held positions in the Top 10 hip hop/rap category on www.cdbaby.com for several weeks in 2010, and two of its singles received airplay on three different radio stations. The IGive hopes to surpass those accomplishments with his second studio album, DreamKillerz, a personal testimony dedicated to silencing the disbelievers and circumstances that aim to kill his dream of becoming “a voice that testifies to tenacious nature within the seat of the human soul that possesses the capacity to do good, be happy, and love genuinely and continuously.” As co-host of The Cypher Open Mic Poetry & Soul, Northeast Florida’s top biweekly open mic spoken word event, The IGive frequently relishes in the positive atmosphere of encouraging hopefuls who are brave enough to share their talents with strangers. EU recently got the chance to speak with The IGive about his musical evolution. EU: How long have you been performing and how did you get started? The IGive: I really began to take form around 2007 when I had a switch go off that this was attainable. I began hitting up the Imperial for the old Hip Hop Hell shows and Shantytown. I was also well received at spoken word open mic venues such as Soul Release at Boomtown and the old 9th & Main Café to perfect my craft as a lyricist until I was able to get original beats.

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EU: How did you get involved with the spoken word poetry scene here in Jacksonville? IG: I got a hit on MySpace about this event called Soul Release. I was received very warmly and fell in love with poetry ever since. About a year later I was asked to host another prominent poetry event called The Cypher, and it’s been a marriage ever since. EU: I recall you previously defining yourself as a “Spiricist.” Do you think your message is more effective when classified as a poet or hip hop artist? IG: It depends on what the audience at the venue is more accustomed to. Either way you get the same package. My fans call me a lyricist, not a poet or a rapper, and I think I’ll stick with that. EU: Which musical genre would you place yourself in when categorizing your sound? IG: I personally consider myself to be my own original unique brand of hip hop that blends soul music, spoken word, and any element I’m in the mood for from R&B, rock, gospel, pop, dance, whatever. I like the backronym R.A.P. or R&P (Rhythm & Poetry), which is also the title my first CD. If I could turn The Roots, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Jill Scott, Common, Prince and James Brown into one definitive sound I’d say, “Yeah, that’s me!” EU: When and how was GiveLove Entertainment developed? What other artists are associated with the label? IG: GiveLove Records, LLC, aka GiveLove Entertainment, is contrived of me, my brother from another mother, DJ Monsta, poet Kia Flow, and my R&B sister Takara Houston, along with supportive “family” members like Aja Jackson, Ryshina Wallace, Lori Sever, Kinshasa Cason, Michael and Leroy Robinson, and Felicia Toliver. We have a beautiful list of friends and affiliates who have assisted GiveLove to bring to the city of Jacksonville the best in urban entertainment from poets like Reformed Butterfly and Love Reigns, bands like Free Quincy and EvenStill, singers like Monica Monet and Dove Hagan, and emcees like Mr. Al Pete, Venny Dapadon, Francis and many more. GiveLove is both a record label and entertainment company and was started to, at first, build a hub and support system to facilitate my music through and expanded to be a solid foundation for young and talented artists to professionally express their artistic talents. We’ve produced thus far two CDs: my own, Rhythm & Poetry, and Reformed Butterfly’s self-titled debut CD. I am releasing my second CD, DreamKillerz, under GiveLove Records, LLC, in association with SouthStyle Productions Music Group headed up by Rod Thornton. EU: What is the significance of your alias, The IGive? IG: “The IGive” is symbolic of my perceived mission in this world, to give what God has given me to the people of the world in hopes that it makes them and this world a better place. I started out rapping under the moniker 4-Eyez and I took the “four eyes” to mean “I give my heart, I give my mind, I give my body, and I give my soul.” As I came into my own, I embraced “The IGive” as a symbol of love, peace, and hip hop for music lovers everywhere. The IGive will be releasing his sophomore album, DreamKillerz, on GiveLove Records, LLC, in concert fashion on Friday, December 16 at Murray Hill Theatre. With production by SouthStyle Productions Music Group and featured performances and appearances by Joy Dennis, DJ and emcee, Mr. Al Pete, Monica Monet, Stillwater, and more. Purchase your ticket and get a free copy of The IGive’s DreamKillerz CD upon arrival on the night of the concert. Tickets are now available at www.murrayhilltheatre.com. For more info, call 234-8896. For more information on The IGive, visit www.youtube.com/igive4life, www.reverbnation. com/theigive and www.facebook.com/theigive.

eujacksonville.com | DECEMBER 2011

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NON-AIRTIGHT first flight STORY BY LILTERA R. WILLIAMS PHOTOS BY TONY SANTOLOCI

20 APRIL • MAY 2012 | FIRST COAST REGISTER


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t. Augustine Air Tours functions with the mission to transform an ordinary day into an extraordinary experience of a lifetime, while providing unique, early 20th century sightseeing flight experiences over St. Augustine with safety, professionalism and customer satisfaction as primary goals. In my case, extraordinary can be replaced with a more absolute term: unforgettable. On a windy Saturday afternoon, I ended up 1,000 feet in the air simply because I said “yes.” It was my first time on any type of aircraft, and I was afraid. But what better way to inspect the distinctive characteristics of a 1935 model Waco open cockpit biplane than to enjoy its features firsthand while coasting through a transparent sky that didn’t look as beautiful from the ground? Even the evening thunderstorms that were expected in the area weren’t mighty enough to diminish the thrill of my first major spontaneous adventure. While soaring over St. Augustine’s most notable attractions, I recalled what Gary Mcdonald, information and sales specialist for St. Augustine Air Tours, said to me right before I strapped myself in for takeoff. “Anyone can take a trolley tour, but there’s so much more to see from the air.” He was absolutely right. Similar to but not advertised as a nature cruise, St. Augustine Air Tours offers five scenic flights for visitors to choose from, with the option to soar over the St. Augustine Beach shore, the Great Cross of Mission Nombre De Dios, San Marcos Fort, The Bridge of Lions, Flagler College, The Lighthouse on Anastasia Island and more. Established almost 20 years ago by Steve Collins, an experienced pilot and native of Jacksonville, the primary flight company Acadia Air Tours was first developed in Bar Harbor, Me. With a desire to extend his business closer to the place he calls home, Collins decided to form St. Augustine Air Tours in November 2011. The company also has a third location at The DeKalbPeachtree Airport in Atlanta. Over the past three years, the entire Acadia Air Tours aircraft line has experienced a 10 percent increase in fuel usage (11,000 gallons in 2009, 14,000 gallons in 2010, and 17,000 gallons in 2011). The first flight at the company’s newest location occurred on Jan. 14, 2012. Full-time pilot Dave Genet is responsible for managing the flights on the St. Augustine location’s single Waco aircraft, af-

fectionately referred to as a historic time machine. Designed for two passengers sitting together side by side up front with the pilot flying from the rear cockpit, the 1935 model Waco aircraft, which was recently re-badged with the 450th logo, is a brand new FAA-certified production aircraft powered by a 7-cylinder Jacobs radial engine. Those who volunteer to take flight will travel back in time to the golden age of aviation sharing the sights, sounds and spirits of adventure experienced by famous aviation pioneers such as Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindbergh. Flight instructions aren’t presently offered, however, with St. Augustine Air Tours, solo flyers will have the rare opportunity to “take the stick” and fly the biplane with the expert guidance of an assigned pilot. This flight option is only available with single passengers and is limited to 20 minute or longer flights.“Sunset flights” are also highly recommended for a memorable visual experience. Currently, St. Augustine Air Tours is rapidly booking anywhere from one to 10 flights a day or more, which is contingent upon the time of year. The city’s tourist attractions and beautiful, year-round sunny weather, along with the unique ceiling decorations above the information center that showcase various types of planes were a literal and metaphorical “sign from above” for Collins and his team. At St. Augustine Air Tours, providing an opportunity for non-fliers, beginners and experienced fliers to enjoy historic scenery from creative flight angles and creating lasting memories for visitors and tourists are the main objectives. While describing the features of the 1935 Waco aircraft model, and obviously noticing the bewildered look on my face, I’ll never forget the moment Pilot Dave looked at me and asked,“Would you like to go for a ride?” That windy Saturday afternoon when I spontaneously ended up 1,000 feet in the air will always be a reminder of the time that I was brave enough to simply say “yes.” All aerial adventures depart out of St. Augustine Airport (just north of town off U.S. 1). The Waco plane operates from 9 a.m. to sunset (weather permitting), and earlier flights can be arranged. Scheduling is recommended but walk-ups are always welcome.Visit www.staugustineairtours.com for more information or call (904) 819-0002 to reserve your flight.

FIRST COAST REGISTER | APRIL • MAY 2012 21


TEAM TEAL:

TAKIN’ IT TO THE STREETS BY LILTERA R. WILLIAMS

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o generate excitement and recruit fans for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Team Teal has scheduled four pep rallies across Northeast Florida as part of the community initiative to revive support and pride in the team and increase ticket sales. Since 2010, the long-term initiative to reconnect the Jaguars with the Jacksonville community and surrounding areas has been extremely effective, intensifying awareness, excitement and energy for fans and supporters. The organization’s success has resulted in no blackouts for the past two seasons, as well as steady growth in fan participation and enthusiasm. “I want every fan in Jacksonville to be a part of this unforgettable season, and that starts with building our momentum at these Team Teal Rallies,” said Team Teal Commissioner Tony Boselli. During the St. Johns County Team Teal Rally held at World Golf Village on May 24, Boselli delivered a motivational speech to those in attendance. He urged fans to continue to have faith in the personnel shifts and constantly expressed his gratitude to fans for supporting the team through various adjustments. “One of the reasons we do the rallies is to say thank you and to remind you that you are important to the success of this organization,” Boselli said. Fan support is indeed a critical component to the game day experience and also a determining factor in the decisionmaking process, which is evident when examining the improvements in defensive and offensive strategies. The Jaguars defense finished the 2011 season ranked No. 6, and the team also completed negotiations to acquire Justin Blackmon, the No. 1 receiver in the 2012 NFL draft.

To further the team’s development, Team Teal is committed to bringing back the feeling from previous years, when the Jaguars showed promise in being a consistent, playoff-caliber franchise. “Our goal is to fill every seat in the entire stadium, to create the home field advantage that our team needs and make sure the fan experience and outreach is second to none,” Boselli continued. Boselli then introduced new wide receiver Laurent Robinson to speak on behalf of the players. Robinson shared details of his struggles as a free agent, and the importance of maintaining a positive attitude as he battled injuries and short stints on three different teams before having a breakout season last year. Robinson recently signed a five-year, $32 million deal with the Jaguars, proving their dedication to improving the team’s offensive weaknesses. Before introducing the Jaguars new head coach Mike Mularkey, Boselli complimented Mularkey on his leadership techniques, comparing his calm demeanor to the team’s first coach Tom Coughlin. He noted that Mularkey’s attention to detail, focus and accountability would keep the team on the right track. “Don’t let the nice guy impression fool you,” Mularkey joked as he approached the podium. Mularkey informed fans of the positive responses on the practice field during high-tempo, twohour workouts and reassured them the players are doing their best to exemplify the team’s new motto,“all in.” “If there’s failure, it won’t be because we haven’t tried. We’re going to make this upcoming season a great experience for everyone,” he promised. The Jaguars will begin mini-camp in mid-June, and then en-

FIRST COAST REGISTER | APRIL • MAY 2012 17


joy a five-week break before training camp. Fans will be able to attend the open camps to witness the team’s progress firsthand. At the conclusion of the Northeast Florida rallies, Team Teal plans to embark on a seven-city caravan tour to appeal to fans in surrounding areas, including the Georgia cities of Valdosta, Brunswick, Waycross and Savannah, as well as Gainesville, and Flagler and Volusia Counties. Each rally will be family-friendly and include appearances by coaches, players, ROAR cheerleaders and Jaxson De Ville. Activities include free food, interactive and inflatable games and drawings for prizes from the Jaguars and local vendors. Team Teal members, both individual and corporate, can earn points in return for helping introduce new ticket owners that make them eligible to win special rewards and prizes. Additionally, as season ticket owners, Team Teal members are eligible to receive cash rebates with the Jaguars’ new “Refer A Fan” program. For more information about Team Teal, visit www.myteamteal.com, www.facebook. com/myteamteal or www.twitter.com/ myteamteal.

18 JUNE • JULY 2012 | FIRST COAST REGISTER


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FIRST COAST REGISTER | APRIL • MAY 2012 19


Jacksonville Jaguars UNDER KHANSTRUCTION BY LILTERA R. WILLIAMS

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es we Khan!” the crowd of almost 7,000 fans chanted as new owner Shahid Khan made his way to the stage during the impromptu Ready To Rise Rally, a kickoff celebration held at Everbank Field on January 17, 2012 to signify the rebirth of Jacksonville’s main

attraction. A slew of “Khan puns” followed thereafter, including “It’s Khantagious”,“Khan you dig it?”, and “Yell as loud as you Khan!”, as well as a crowd pleasing mustache “Khantest.” Ready To Rise was hosted by former Offensive Tackle and the first Jaguars player to be inducted into the Pride of the Jaguars Hall of Fame, Tony Boselli. “Once you’re a Jaguar, you’re always a Jaguar,” he proclaimed as he addressed the excited hopefuls. The Rise celebration opened with fan submitted videos welcoming both Khan and new Head Coach Mike Mularkey to Jacksonville. Filled with memorable and clever messages for the city’s most cherished treasure, including a creative “blood, sweat, and teal” reference, each video showcased on the stadium’s maximized HD screens was a testament to the strong support system the |

Jaguars have acquired over their 19 year existence. After performances from the D-Line FEEL THE BEAT Drummers and ROAR cheerleaders, a few key players who gave it their all on the field every Sunday were introduced, including Cornerback Derek Cox (#21), Fullback Greg Jones (#33), Tight End Zach Miller (#86), and Special Teams Ace Montell Owens (#24), who urged the attentive and optimistic fans situated near the Bud Zone end of the stadium not to despise small beginnings. Boselli then offered fans a recap of the highlights from last season, most notably Maurice Jones-Drew’s accomplishment of securing the NFL rushing title and breaking the franchise’s single-season rushing record with a final tally of 1,606 yards. Unfortunately, the Jaguars ended the 2011 season with a losing record of 5-11, barely escaping a repeat of their worst franchise finish (4-12) during the team’s inaugural year. Last season’s turbulent changes proved to be a challenge for the young and inexperienced squad of ambitious players. Former Quarterback David Garrard was abruptly released a week before the regular season was scheduled to begin. His replacement, rookie Blaine Gabbert, was rushed into the leadership role and led the Jaguars to a mere 3-8 start, which


resulted in Head Coach Jack Del Rio being ousted with just five games remaining in the season. On the same day that Del Rio’s departure was announced, news that the team would be sold to Pakistani businessman, Shahid Khan began to spread, along with speculation that the Jaguars would not remain in Jacksonville. Khan put every rumor to rest when it was his turn to speak at the Rise Rally. “Jacksonville, I’m all in… We’re going to have a lot of fun together and we’re going to win together,” he promised. Fans cheered in excitement as he smiled from ear to ear, stretching the corners of his risingly popular mustache. “I’m absolutely with every fiber of my body committed to putting a winner and a Super Bowl right here in Jacksonville,” he continued. Jaguars General Manager, Gene Smith shared his sentiments by expressing his admiration for new Head Coach Mike Mularkey. “This guy knows offense and he knows how to assemble a strong staff,” Smith said.“Going through the head coach search, there were certain things Mr. Khan and I were looking for. I truly believe Mike Mularkey has all the traits you look for in a leader, starting with the first thing, integrity.” On Jan. 10, 2012, Mike Mularkey was officially offered the Jaguars head coaching position. “I’m really excited to be a part of this organization. I’m excited about being a part of this community and I’m really excited about being home,” he openly told the crowd at the rally.

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25


Mularkey is a Miami,Florida,native who played Quarterback in high school and went on to attend the University of Florida. He was later drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 1983 and played 9 years in the NFL at the tight end position. His 18 year coaching experience and titles include: Offensive and Defensive Quality Control Coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tight End Coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Head Coach of the Buffalo Bills for the 2004-2005 season, and Offensive Coordinator for the Miami Dolphins and Atlanta Falcons. During his 8 years as an Offensive Coordinator, the majority of Mularkey’s teams advanced to the playoffs. Additionally, Mularkey’s son, Patrick, has been a member of the Jaguars scouting staff for the past two years and will likely assist his father in a quest to immediately attack staff hiring. The new Head Coach’s first ordered staff changes occurred when he promoted Defensive Coordinator Mel Tucker, who was welcomed with a standing ovation and cheers of “defense”, to Assistant Head Coach and former Atlanta Falcons Quarterback Coach, Bob Bratkowski, to Offensive Coordinator. Tucker filled in as interim Head Coach after Del Rio’s sudden exit and supervised the team’s 2-3 finish. However, his previous efforts did not go unrecognized, as the Jaguars defense ended the season ranked number 6 in the league overall. Mularkey defended his decision by declaring, “To the last

Left: 19 year Jacksonville Jaguars fan. Above: Tony Boselli introducing Coach Mularkey, Gen. Manager Gene Smith and Owner Shahid Khan

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Coming in April:

Saturday, April 21, 9am to 5pm Sunday, April 22, 10am to 4pm St. Johns County Agricultural Cntr.

WRITER TO WRITER Q&A with Bestselling Author Brenda Jackson

BY LILTERA R. WILLIAMS

(I-95 & SR 16, Exit # 318)

And, the Merrill Lynch’s

Saturday, April 28, 12-8pm St. Augustine Amphitheatre From gardening enthusiasts to lovers of great cuisine and music, we’ve got you covered! Visit:

www.epiccommunityservices.org

to learn about these great events or call (904) 829-3295. (Attend either event and you’ll also receive discounts to local attractions!)

As the first African-American romance author to make the USA Today and New York Times Bestseller’s List and the first African-American author to have a novel published under Harlequin’s Silhouette Desire line, Jacksonville native Brenda Jackson has firmly secured her place in the writing world. She was recently nominated for her first NAACP Image Award for outstanding literary works – fiction for her novel A Silken Thread and faithfully lives by the motto “If you can conceive it, you can achieve it.” The former State Farm supervisor turned full-time writer is a prime example of how following your dreams can ultimately result in destined success. She recently shared details about her passion for writing with EU. EU Jacksonville: What is life like now that you are a full-time writer versus when you were juggling writing and maintaining your position at State Farm? Brenda Jackson: When I worked as a supervisor, I got up at three in the morning and wrote from 3 am to 6 am and I would edit when I got home. So I really had two hats on at once. Now, I get up when I want and I’m governed by deadline. My next deadline is March 30th and I move right into another book, so I’m constantly writing.

EU: How do you prepare for your writing sessions and what rituals do you follow to awaken and expand your thoughts? BJ: Because my books are character-driven versus plot-driven, I try to create a plot that I think will fit each character. The first thing I do is get down to my research. I already have an idea of a synopsis and what the story will be about, so I just write. I typically write eight hours a day, even on the weekends. Sometimes if I’m busy, I may limit it to six hours, but I pretty much write every day. EU: How do you discipline yourself to steadily manage your creative ideas? BJ: This is my 17th year writing and I’m on my 92nd book. It’s really just the gift of storytelling, knowing what you want to write and writing it. That doesn’t mean it can’t change midway. I’m OK with that as long as it doesn’t do anything to offset my characters. That’s when I get writer’s block, when I’m trying to force my characters to do something they shouldn’t do. The biggest challenge is if you’re trying to change a character. You can’t change a character to fit the plot. EU: Do you simultaneously advance your connected storylines or is each series constructed separately in chronological order? BJ: They’re not all developed once. I introduce a family and try to deal with the oldest member first because they’re the ones I want to marry off first. I build up the popularity of the characters so that by the time their story comes out, I’ve already developed a following for that character. EU: How do you develop the background details and personalities for your characters? BJ: Most of the time I write from a man’s perspective, so most of the characters are men, and I’m typically writing for a female audience, women who want men that treat them right. They don’t necessarily have to be the good guy in the beginning. In fact, they prefer him to be the bad boy because they want to see his transformation and how he falls in love. That’s where we get the power as a woman to conquer the male, so to speak. In romance novels, women like reading

16

MARCH 2012 | eu jacksonville monthly

about the guy who plays around because, in the end, the heroine is the woman who brings him to his knees. EU: What particular themes do you try to incorporate into your books and how do you think those themes symbolize real-life events in relation to the romance genre? BJ: Long-lasting relationships mostly. I’ve been married for 40 years, so I like to incorporate into my books that there is such a thing as happily ever after. The characters go through things, but in the end there’s a happy ending. For some people, as soon as it gets rough, they get going and my books show that it doesn’t have to be that way. EU: How do you balance the demands of such a strenuous profession? BJ: Time management and just keeping it together. Sometimes I do get off schedule, but I just get back on it the next day. It’s all about making sacrifices. You have to discipline yourself and stick to your deadlines. The main thing that you want to do is write a good book and not just throw anything together for your readers. They deserve more than that. EU: What advice would you give to young, beginner novelists? BJ: Believe in yourself and believe anything is possible. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it, and don’t get discouraged by rejection. Stay dedicated and seek advice from other writers. I attended writers conferences and learned this trade. My degree is in Business Administration, but I went where the writers and publishers were. My expectation was for them to share their knowledge and give me advice. It was up to me whether I used it or not. Mrs. Jackson recently released the film version of her novel Truly Everlasting and is currently working on book number 22 of her Westmoreland series, Texas Wild, scheduled for publication in 2013. Visit her official website, www.brendajackson.net,for more details about upcoming releases.

#WriterGrind™  

A compilation of LRW's freelance work.

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