Well, it’s finally here …
After countless hours of hard work and dedication, the Cowford Chophouse is open and ready for business. Those eager to check out Jacksonville’s classiest new dining destination no longer need to wait. As of Thursday, Oct. 26, the steakhouse is open to the public.
If you’re unfamiliar with the restaurant or maybe just forgot about it, the Cowford Chophouse is located downtown right across from the Main Street Bridge in the old Bostwick Building. The painstaking process of restoring this iconic structure (like removing and replacing it brick-by-brick) ended up costing more than an entirely new building, but having seen this magnificent restoration in person, I can tell you it was definitely worth it.
Curious about more info on the layout of Cowford? Peruse these facts they sent to us for a full breakdown:
- The Cowford Chophouse building dates back to 1902 and was designed in the Renaissance Revival style. Many details — including the historic arched windows, exterior bricks, metal cornice, and 300-year-old heart of pine lumber used throughout the restaurant — were restored to their original glory as part of an extensive two-year renovation.
- Interior finishes were selected to complement the existing architecture, while reflecting the vision of the owner, the city of Jacksonville, and the St. Johns River in a classic style to stand the test of time. The two prominent patterns used are Herringbone and a rectilinear pattern, which was found on the original safe deposit boxes discovered in the vault.
- The Cowford Chophouse building was among the first projects to be granted a construction permit following the Great Fire of 1901. Upon entering the first floor lobby, guest are immediately greeted by burnt wood detailing on the host stand, inspired by the Shou Sugi Ban technique.
- Other details inspired by the building’s unique history include a wine locker display in front of the host stand, which nods to the original bank vault that was present prior to construction; the ceiling design at the first and second floor levels, which were inspired by the original tin coffers found in ruins; and original paintings by Jacksonville artist Jim Draper, whose jaguar mural once spanned across the building’s boarded-up windows.
- While the first floor features a casual environment highlighted by large community tables bearing an artistic nod to the St. Johns River, the second floor features more intimate tones and a seven-seat “River Bar” with a dramatic gold leafed glass face and Silver Egeo Marble top.
- Framed photographs line the ornamental stairway, depicting the original building and various phases of its extensive transformation — from the foundation to the rooftop terrace, where guests can enjoy unimpeded views of the city that inspired this one-of-a-kind destination.
For the food, you’ll find a nice mix of steaks, of course, seafood, appetizers of all types, elegant soups and salads and a dessert menu actually worth entertaining. Their wine selection is another highlight of the menu, though the cocktails are worth noting too.
Check out cowfordchophouse.com for more info on the restaurant where you can also see their full menu.