New Restaurant Moving in to Replace Lava Grill

By Scanlan, Dan | The Florida Times Union, February 15, 2006 | Go to article overview

New Restaurant Moving in to Replace Lava Grill


Scanlan, Dan, The Florida Times Union


Byline: DAN SCANLAN

Another restaurant will soon dock at the property next to the Mandarin Holiday Marina at the south end of San Jose Boulevard, a few months after the last one set sail.

In an interesting turn of fate, the new eatery will be operated by relatives of the landowner, whose family has occupied the land next to Julington Creek for decades.

Busy Bees Bridgeside Dining should open in mid to late March at 12760 San Jose Blvd., operated by a mother/daughter team who ran the five-year-old Busy Bees Cafe and Catering at 11413 San Jose Blvd. until recently. It replaces the Lava Grill, which shut down over the summer, the fifth dining spot there in a decade.

Jerri Andreu and her daughter Glenda Collins have been hard at work renovating the site, and said they really hope the fifth time is the charm for the waterfront site.

"I know it can be a successful place. It has been in the past. I feel the problem before is they spent too much time pushing the bar and not the restaurant area," Jerri Andreu said. "We plan on staying here for a while."

Property owner Wally Andreu says he is "absolutely" pleased that it is "back in the family, full circle."

"I am sure she will do fine. They had built the [Busy Bees] business from scratch up there, so they have experience going in," Andreu said. "It's going to be upscale and a lot more than what it's been. They will be an asset."

The restaurant site is on land bought by the Andreu family in 1931. It once included a house, garage with apartment, sawmill and fish camp. The main house, where Wally Andreu and his siblings were born, was torn down to make way for the current San Jose Boulevard bridge. The marina was built in the 1970s. The first restaurant showed up in the 1950s in the garage apartment. A place called Mandarin Seafood opened later and stayed there for a while, said Andreu. The Thirsty Camel operated through the late 1990s, followed by Corky Bell's Seafood Bar and Grill for two years, then Shepherd's -- Everything Under The Sea for 10 months. Donna Burnside and Vicki Finney opened a 152-seat Lava Grill in early 2001 with a full liquor license. …

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