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Jax Daily Record Friday, May. 13, 201612:00 PM EST

Bono's barbecue, local beer and entertainment planned for Springfield site

by: David Chapman

Scott Adeeb has plans for Springfield’s neglected 9th & Main building, ideas both familiar and new.

The familiar: A Bono’s Pit Bar-B-Q would fill the restaurant space where patrons once dined at Henrietta’s. Adeeb’s brother, Joe, took over for Bono’s founder Lou Bono in 1980. Scott Adeeb knows the business well and owns the location on San Pablo Road and Beach Boulevard.

The new: A brewpub that Adeeb believes would nicely fit into the building’s former bar area and the neighborhood. There also would be a home for private events, music and The 5 & Dime theater company in 9th & Main’s theater room. Also new would a beer garden and fire pit in the outside fountained patio area.

Overall, it’s a “fun and interesting challenge” Adeeb said he’s ready to take on.

“I want to keep as much of the history as possible, while bringing an upbeat vibe to the area,” Adeeb said of the building, which has been vacant and city-owned since being foreclosed almost a decade ago.

A series of garage doors from when the building was an automotive center would be restored, he said.

On nice, sunny days, the ambiance would be a perk for diners devouring pulled pork or ribs and brewpub patrons partaking in local beers.

The back-patio beer garden would add to the atmosphere, while the central stone fountain could be converted to a fire pit where people can relax.

The building’s theater, still largely intact from its uses of yesteryear, might be a spot for bands to play, fans to watch Jacksonville Jaguars games or be reserved for private events. It also would be a home for The 5 & Dime, the theater group with nomadic roots.

“It’s really hard work and we’ve always wanted a place to call home,” said Lee Hamby, the managing director and a founder of the volunteer group.

The theater company would rent the space from Adeeb for rehearsals and performances, but would continue traveling the city to perform at other venues, said Hamby.

He’s spent some time in the Springfield venue that also was formerly Boomtown.

“It will bring a whole different crowd to us,” he said of the Springfield venue, should it come to fruition.

Before any barbecue is eaten, beers are drank or performances enjoyed, there are quite a few issues that need to be addressed.

Adeeb was the only respondent to the city’s call for interested parties that ended in March. There could be a number of reasons why.

The building isn’t in the greatest shape after sitting vacant for so long, but there’s also the specter of possible environmental complications stemming from the former car center.

Kirk Wendland, the city’s Office of Economic Development director, said negotiations with Adeeb won’t move forward until a couple of environmental reports come back.

The city is applying for a grant that would help with that checkup and Wendland said he expects to hear back in about a month on the issue.

Results would be a factor in negotiations, with the city and Adeeb having to come to some agreement on who would cover what.

Still, both sides are optimistic about the possibilites.

“It’s just an opportunity not only from a tax-roll standpoint, but also getting some activity in that area,” said Wendland. “It’s a good, reputable local company and the use made a lot of sense.”

Adeeb’s initial proposal is to pay $1,000 for the building, $96,000 to cover the back taxes and investing $300,000 in the remodel. Another $100,000 would be set aside for environmental cleanup.

However, Adeeb said those numbers were preliminary.

If all goes well, he said he’d like to see negotiations completed by the end of the year. He expects rehabilitating the building to take another month or two after acquisition.

“So far, the response has been very positive from the neighborhood,” he said. “We’re looking forward to help revitalize the area … we want to be a pioneer down there.”

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