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- 2013 - February - 19th -

Compiled by Karen Brune Mathis

Mellow Mushroom proceeding in Avondale

Mellow Mushroom has filed plans with the City to develop the Avondale restaurant it has long proposed. Now that it reached agreement with a neighborhood group, the pizza chain has submitted plans for its restaurant at 3601 St. Johns Ave.

Plans show an existing two-story building will remain and be renovated while the former gas station next to it will be removed and a new structure will be built closer to the street, opening the cleared gas-station space for parking. AVA Engineers is the project engineer.

The restaurant's Facebook page indicates a June opening.

The restaurant will take over space previously occupied by the 'Town restaurant, the Emly Benham upscale footwear store and the former gas station. Mellow Mushroom initially said it wanted to open by October last year, but neighbors who said it would generate more traffic in the busy area lodged opposition. Public hearings and negotiations continued.

The Florida Times-Union reported in January that a neighborhood group fighting the restaurant dropped its opposition after a settlement agreement lowered the number of seats from a total capacity of 238 to 204 for both indoor and outdoor dining areas. The group was opposed to a shortage of parking that could drive patrons to park along neighborhood streets. Mellow Mushroom also agreed to a number of requirements for the architecture and the operation of the restaurant.

A spokesman said at the time that the restaurant could be open by summer. John Valentino IV is the manager of the ownership group, MM Avondale LLC.

Valentino also owns the Mellow Mushroom restaurants in Deerwood Park, also known as the Tinseltown area; Jacksonville Beach; and Fleming Island.

Waffle House plans Clay County site

Waffle House proposes construction of a 1,875-square-foot restaurant at 700 Blanding Blvd. in the South Blanding Village area. The engineer and agent is Taylor & White Inc. Waffle House Inc. of Norcross, Ga., is shown on the St. Johns River Water Management District application as the applicant and owner.

• Meanwhile, the Waffle House planned in Arlington is shown on site plans with the City as a 38-seat restaurant on 1.02 acres between the O'Reilly Auto Parts store and the Community First Credit Union. The 1,794-square-foot restaurant's address is shown as 7652 Merrill Road.

Red Lobster signs

The City approved signs for the Red Lobster restaurants in Baymeadows and Regency. Approved were 13 signs for Red Lobster, Fresh Fish, Live Lobster, Shrimp, Scallops and Crab at the 8720 Baymeadows Road location at a project cost of $2,900. Four signs for Red Lobster, at a project cost of $2,600, were approved at 416 Commerce Center Drive in Regency. Southeastern Lighting Solutions Inc. is the contractor at both locations.

Convenience store planned at Herlong

Energy Unlimited of Orange Park proposes a convenience store on 2.84 acres between Herlong Road and Normandy Boulevard. The engineer and agent is Eisman & Russo. An application was filed with the St. Johns River Water Management District.

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