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A former KFC and A&W restaurant has been renovated for Jollibee, now expected to open in March.
Jax Daily Record Thursday, Feb. 16, 201712:00 PM EST

All signs point to Jollibee's opening


Signs, literally, are heralding the upcoming opening of Jollibee, the Philippines-based fast-food chain that is building-out at Atlantic and Kernan boulevards.

The city approved 15 sign permits Tuesday for the chain at 11884 Atlantic Blvd., including “Jollibee Home of the Famous Chickenjoy” and its bee logo.

Jollibee North America Brand Manager Dianne Yorro said by email Wednesday the store is scheduled to open in March, but there is no specific date.

The store initially was expected to open by now, but there appear to be significant renovations — and an exterior redesign — of the former Kentucky Fried Chicken and A&W Restaurants.

The Jacksonville location will be the forerunner for expansion of the largest fast-food chain based in the Philippines.

A Jollibee representative said in December it will be its first in Florida with more to come. It has 35 U.S. locations, with nearly half in California, and 1,111 stores worldwide.

The restaurant’s menu features Chickenjoy, which is fried chicken, as well as Jolly Spaghetti, a sandwich collection that includes Spam and corned beef, and Chicken Dippers.

Fogo de Chao and Firebirds in permitting

Travelers at St. Johns Town Center see the walls going up at The Strand at Town Center at Town Center and Gate parkways.

More will be visible soon now that permit applications were filed for Firebirds Wood Fired Grill and Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse.

Venture Construction Co. is the contractor for the $1.9 million building for Firebirds at 4826 Town Center Parkway.

Plans show 212 interior seats and 30 patio seats at the more than 7,200-square-foot structure, including the patio and cooler.

Firebirds, based in Charlotte, N.C., focuses on steaks, seafood, salads, pasta, a gluten-free menu, specialty cocktails, beer and wines.

The name comes from the restaurant’s food preparation on a wood-fired grill. Firebirds maintains a scratch kitchen, meaning menu items are prepared fresh daily.

No contractor was specified for the $2 million building for Fogo de Chao at 4784 Town Center Parkway.

That 10,130-square-foot building comprises 8,995 square feet for the restaurant and 1,135 square feet of unenclosed space.

Dallas-based Fogo de Chao Inc. specializes in preparing meats using a Brazilian cooking technique of fire roasting and grilling, then carving the meats tableside.

Its menu includes steaks, chicken, lamb and pork along with seafood; the Market Table of seasonal salads, cheeses, cured meats and more; sides; and desserts.

Loop nearing opening in Sadler Point center

The Loop Pizza Grill’s opening in the Sadler Point Marine Center isn’t just a relocation — it’s an evolution.

The city is reviewing a permit application for the restaurant that shows the new design, including community tables, which debuted recently at the Jacksonville-based chain’s original store in San Marco.

River City Construction Group is listed as the contractor for the $300,000 project to renovate 3,082 square feet for the Loop at 4669 Roosevelt Blvd.

The Loop is one of the first tenants to sign at the center, a former nautical marine and retail building near the Sadler Point Marina.

The Sadler center Loop is a relocation of the business from Avondale in St. Johns Village, which is under demolition for site redevelopment as apartments.

The neighborhood fast-casual chain was founded in 1981 and has 14 locations in two states.

Food notes:

• Dick’s Wings & Grill in Lakewood seeks a zoning exception and waiver to sell all alcoholic beverages. The restaurant, at 1610 University Blvd. W., currently serves beer and wine.

• The building where La Nopalera is expected to open in Bartram Park is in for permitting. The city is reviewing an application for renovations to the former Daruma Japanese Steakhouse at 12640 Bartram Park Blvd. Plans show the 9,150-square-foot building will accommodate a restaurant and two retail stores. The $190,000 interior work doesn’t include specific tenant improvements, which will be permitted separately.

• Dairy Queen also is headed to the Bartram Park area. Plans filed with the St. Johns River Water Management District show the ice-cream shop could open at 13966 Village Lake Circle in Bartram Village. It would occupy a 3,290-square-foot building that would be developed on almost 1.7 acres.

Wawa, RaceTrac in gear

Site plans were filed to redevelop the Southside Estates Shopping Center at 9731 Beach Blvd.for a Wawa convenience store and gas station.

Those plans show much of the existing center will be demolished for the 6,119-square-foot Wawa and 16 fueling positions.

A 10,700-foot-existing building adjacent to the north will remain.

Wawa is targeting high-profile and high-traffic intersections in Northeast Florida for its market entry this year and subsequent expansion. This site is at northeast Beach and Southside boulevards.

The RaceTrac convenience store and service station is in for permitting at 8441 Philips Highway.

Venture Construction Co. is the contractor for the $1.25 million project.

It would include an almost 5,500-square-foot store along with a patio as well as the canopy and fuel pumps.

Regency Pointe upgrading property

Regency Pointe, the shopping center at 9428 Arlington Expressway, is set for a facelift. A $700,000 “new face” for the building is in city permitting review. The 66,127-square-foot shopping center property is where Skechers USA is opening a footwear outlet store.

It’s another spark of redevelopment in an area simultaneously losing and gaining retailers. Retailers moving in nearby include an Aldi grocery store, The Juicy Crab restaurant and Chipotle Mexican Grill, while Outback Steakhouse has closed.

Aldi will occupy a former Bed Bath & Beyond store; Juicy Crab is taking a former Sweet Tomatoes restaurant; and Chipotle would open in a new building at the site of a closed Pier 1 Imports.

Development notes

• Dollar General will build in Arlington at 5855 Fort Caroline Road. The 7,545-square-store is a $322,000 construction job, a pending permit shows.

• Mattress Firm is building out at Town Center Promenade. The city is reviewing a permit to renovate 3,750 square feet in part of the building at 4474 Town Center Parkway.

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