There’s a ton of scrumptious restaurants coming to the area in 2017, here’s seven of our most anticipated new spots.
Aptly named “Cowford” after Jacksonville’s original name, the Chophouse’s food and design is aiming to channel the culinary culture of the city. Featuring steaks, seafood and a raw bar, this locally sourced menu promises to serve up the soul of the region in a historic building downtown.
The skinny: Located at 101 E. Bay St., the Cowford Chophouse is currently under construction. Ownership is replacing the roof and adding a second and third floor. The two-story dining room and rooftop terrace bar/lounge will be available to customers later this year. An exact opening date has yet to be released.
Hawkers Asian Street Fare
The popular Asian “street food” restaurant in Five Points will be expanding to Neptune Beach. Specializing in dishes from across the continent, Hawker’s serves up the traditional regional staples in a hip, urban environment. The new location will be a “bar-centric” version of the Five Points location, adding a full bar with craft cocktail selections like a Malaysian Mule and Five Spice Old Fashioned.
The skinny: Construction is underway at 241 Atlantic Blvd. It is set to open by the end of summer. *UPDATE: This location is now open!*
Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen
Based out of Irving, Texas, Cheddar’s has 165 locations that span across 29 states. The varied menu specializes in made-from-scratch ingredients that includes everything from burgers to New Orleans-styled pastas.
The skinny: Cheddar’s will occupy the Strand development at the southwest St. John’s Town Center Parkway and Big Island Drive. It is due to open late this year.
Coop 303 Southern Bistro and Spirits/Al’s Craft Pizza
Many changes are in store from the 25-year-old Al’s Pizza location in Atlantic Beach. First, it will be moving its tried-and-true restaurant from the Beaches Town Center to the space formerly occupied by Taco Bell (next to Denny’s). In its place, the owner, Al Mansur, will be opening a new restaurant called Coop 303 Southern Bistro and Spirits. Mansur is still developing the menu for Southern Bistro, but said he will look to create “a modern take on local ingredients.” In addition, Mansur will be retooling the Al’s towards a new craft beer and pizza restaurant called Al’s Craft Pizza Co.
The skinny: Al’s Craft Pizza Co. is scheduled to open its doors around March. He has stated that the transition from Al’s Pizza to Coop 303 Southern Bistro will take nine to 12 months.
Adapting flavors from the family-operated food carts and corner markets that are sprinkled around Italy, Piada Italian creates fresh modern Italian food in a fast-casual environment.
The skinny: Piada will join the new Town Center Promenade early this year.
Texas de Brazil
Originating from the Lone Star State, Texas de Brazil is a Brazilian-American steakhouse. This “churrascaria” restaurant combines the flavors of Brazil with Texas-style meat preparation.
The skinny: Texas de Brazil will join a string of other restaurants to be opened in the new Town Center Promenade this spring.
Asia’s deep-fried rebuttal to McDonald’s, Jollibee is a Filipino-inspired multinational fast-food chain that specializes in everything from spaghetti to burgers. Try some Chickenjoy fried chicken or Fiesta Noodles served with garlic sauce, pork cracklings, shrimp and a boiled egg for a truly enterprising take on a quick bite to eat.
The skinny: Jollibee is set to open “soon” according to the company’s Facebook reply to the eager fans of this Asian fast-food restaurant (though they have been saying that since December). Construction is already underway at the destined location of the former Kentucky Fried Chicken and A&W at 11884 Atlantic Blvd. in Kernan Village. *UPDATE: Jollibee is set to open in March 18*