Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Restaurant Openings and Closings in '04

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Restaurant Openings and Closings in '04

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Macdonald, Times-Union food editor

*****************CORRECTION January 4, 2005

The Cheesecake Factory plans to open this spring in Jacksonville. There has been no announcement that a Macaroni Grill will be opening here this year. Also First Street Grille, which had planned to close after the Super Bowl to make way for condominiums, is remaining open until a dispute over construction plans can be resolved. Because of a reporter's errors, this information was incorrect in Weekend's Dining Notes Friday.

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When it comes to eventful years in the world of restaurants, 2004 would be considered a so-so year. Especially when we look ahead to 2005 and the arrival of the long-sought-after PF Chang's and Macaroni Grille, both set to open in the first part of next year.

However, 2004 did see more restaurants open than close. New to the area is Eddie Bahamas in the site of the former Manatee Ray's in Jacksonville Beach. That spot on the strip needs to be open. We have too few outdoor eating places at the beach.

The Beaches saw the return of Tony Pels, former chef at the Augustine Grill in the Marriott Sawgrass. He came back from a stint in California to buy Mezza Luna.

The spring saw the closing of a Beaches landmark, R. P. McMurphy's. But the space didn't stay empty long. It is now the Caribbean-themed sports restaurant Bob Marlin's.

Other openings included Danny's at the Beach and Hookah's Kabob House, as well as the expansion of the Wine Warehouse (a third Warehouse location opened in Miramar as well)

The First Street Grille property has been sold to make way for condos. It plans to close soon after the Super Bowl.

Bear Rock Cafe, a hearty sandwich shop, opened in the Tinseltown area, as did Ker's Wing House, Milton's Big City Hot Dogs and Wild Noodles.

Downtown Jacksonville saw plenty of growth. …

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