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The Vero Beach ABC Fine Wine & Spirits store is one of the company's newest prototypes and similar to the new Roosevelt Boulevard store in Jacksonville.
Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Apr. 18, 2017 2 months ago

Jacksonville on tap for ABC prototypes

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by: Karen Brune Mathis  Managing Editor

ABC Fine Wine & Spirits intends to open its next stores, including one to replace an existing location along San Jose Boulevard, with its newest prototype.

The Orlando-based privately held company said the inside design is the latest for ABC Fine Wine & Spirits stores.

“This model has a central guest services counter with wine taps, a growler filling station, a register and the ability to sample spirits,” company spokesman Meghan Guarino said by email.

The Vero Beach prototype, whose grand opening is Wednesday, offers a wine-tasting station with 12 taps, a walk-in humidor and a Brew Stop growler filling station with up to 12 taps of draft beer.

The store offers a choice of more than 1,000 beers, 3,000 wines, 2,900 spirits and 500 cigars.

The prototype already exists in Jacksonville at the 6313 Roosevelt Blvd. store, which opened Jan. 25 to replace a nearby location.

The Roosevelt Boulevard store was the first in the state to be built with a new center experiential area, which will be replicated in the San Jose store.

ABC Fine Wine & Spirits will keep its existing store at 9436 San Jose Blvd. open as it builds the new one on-site. When the new store opens in October, the existing one will be torn down.

Site plans filed with the city say the 11,289-square-foot store on 1.6 acres at northwest San Jose Boulevard and Sunbeam Road will come down. It was built in 1984.

It will be replaced with a proposed 13,005-square-foot store, plans show.

Privately held, the company was founded in 1936 in Orlando and incorporated in 1950 as ABC Liquors. It began using ABC Fine Wine & Spirits in 1993.

It operates about 130 retail locations in Florida with about 1,500 employees.

ABC Fine Wine & Spirits operates 18 stores in Northeast Florida.

ABC Fine Wine & Spirits also plans a store at The Crossing at Town Center. Chief Marketing Officer Bob Gibson said the location has been temporarily put on hold while the company completes the design on that property.

“We want to be there. We’re still working on the site plan. It’s just a matter of how to make the store look right on the property,” he said.

The company said it always fine-tunes its stores.

“As we remodel store locations, we see what works best or what could be done better in the next location,” Guarino said.

Gibson said that with a company founded 81 years ago, “you end up having a variety of prototypes.”

Guarino said each prototype is a new generation or evolution of stores. “You can definitely see the evolution from our older stores to our newer locations,” she said.

Gibson said the company found that some of the older buildings don’t suit the new designs and features.

In that case, the company will rebuild the store on the same property if the site remains viable to the market.

Otherwise, it will buy another property nearby and build a new store.

He said the Roosevelt Boulevard store was built new as it closed the former store about a mile north at 5541 Roosevelt Blvd. Guarino said that site is available for lease.

The family that owns the company tends to own the properties and will sell or lease sites no longer in use.

Other than the San Jose and Roosevelt stores, Gibson said the company will review each of the other area stores individually to determine the need for an upgrade.

He calls it a rolling plan throughout the state. As a private company, it pays as it goes.

ABC Fine Wine & Spirits prioritizes based on business needs, he said. Other area stores have been built or rebuilt over time.

“This is a process that we have been going through for years,” Gibson said.

Gibson said the company does not disclose its investment costs.

Guarino said ABC Fine Wine & Spirits will be remodeling and building more ABC stores around Florida this year “than we ever have before.”

She said much of the focus will be in South Florida, with a few locations in Central Florida and the Panhandle “getting some much-needed attention.”

She also said Northeast Florida is on the radar for future renovations and construction.

Gibson said ABC Fine Wine & Spirits is working on a potential new store in St. Augustine.

Former defense lawyer Bailey to talk strategy

F. Lee Bailey, a former defense lawyer who was disbarred, is scheduled to present “Cross-Examination: Art & Science” at a CLE Luncheon Friday at The River Club Downtown presented by Precise Reporting Services.

Bailey, 83, served on the defense teams for the Boston Strangler, Patty Hearst and O.J. Simpson.

Marguerite D’Andrea Keller, owner of Precise Reporting Services, said she worked with Bailey for many years as his stenographer.

Bailey has made much news over the decades.

Among the clients he defended were murder suspect Sam Sheppard, Boston Strangler suspect Albert DeSalvo, U.S. Army Capt. Ernest L. Medina, publishing heiress Hearst, and Simpson.

In 2001, however, Bailey was disbarred in Florida over mishandling client assets, and Massachusetts issued a reciprocal disbarment in 2003, reported the New York Daily News.

The news site said Bailey’s bid to gain admission to the Maine bar failed in 2014 when the Maine Supreme Judicial Court reversed a judge’s ruling that would have allowed him to practice law in that state.

Bailey filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation in Maine last year in an effort to discharge an IRS debt of more than $5 million.

He has been working with Bailey & Elliott Consulting in Yarmouth, Maine. It advises small and medium-size companies in start-up counseling, financial structure, outside financial resources, efficiency and productivity, and other areas.

The Friday lunch starts at 11:45 a.m. with the presentation at noon. Cost is $95. For information, email [email protected] or call (904) 373-0175.

Land sold for Wawa on Beach Boulevard

A Jacksonville investment partnership paid $2.1 million for property at Beach Boulevard and Central Parkway for development of a Wawa Inc. gas station and convenience store.

The buyer, Beach Boulevard and Central Parkway LLC, also took out a $2.425 million mortgage with Ameris Bank.

The deed and mortgage were executed Thursday and recorded Friday with the Duval County Clerk of Courts.

The LLC’s managers are Leonard Grunthal III and William Schueth Jr. They operate the Grunthal & Schueth Properties real estate company.

They bought the property from Number One Vending Service Inc.

Last spring, agent EnVision Design Engineering filed a preliminary site plan with the city for a 6,119-square-foot Wawa on 2.7 vacant acres at the site at southeast Beach Boulevard and Central Parkway.

It was designed with 16 fueling positions and 68 parking spaces.

Pennsylvania-based Wawa wants to open 40 Northeast Florida stores over five years. It plans to open three by year-end in Duval and Clay counties.

Pavilion at Durbin Park to get permit

The St. Johns River Water Management District gave notice that it will grant a permit for the 88.4-acre Pavilion at Durbin Park in northern St. Johns County.

The initial 700,000 square feet of development will include Wal-Mart Supercenter and Home Depot, along with more than 350,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and junior anchor-tenant uses.

Gate Petroleum Co. and Gatlin Development Co., both based in Jacksonville, are launching the Pavilion at Durbin Park within the much larger Durbin Park project.

The first phase, estimated at a $125 million investment, is expected to start opening in 2018 and be completed in 2019, developer Frank Gatlin said previously.

[email protected]

@MathisKb

(904) 356-2466

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