Cinemark USA Inc., which expects to complete the addition of luxury loungers to its Tinseltown theater by the end of July, is closer to adding another amenity — beer and wine.
Plano, Texas-based Cinemark applied to the city for a zoning exception for the retail sale and service of alcoholic beverages for on-premise consumption at its 20-screen theater at 4535 Southside Blvd.
Bryan Jeffries, Cinemark vice president of marketing and promotions, said Monday the alcohol service is in the planning stage and there was no timetable for its development.
He said that after the recliners are installed, Cinemark planners will start to look at an upgrade to the lobby and concession area in the fall.
In the zoning application for the alcohol service, Cinemark said that in response to a growing trend and to remain competitive, it offers alcoholic beverages in more than 70 locations in the United States and Canada.
“Our customer feedback tells us that the movie-going experience for many adult customers is enhanced when they have the option of enjoying an alcoholic beverage with their movie,” said the application for the exception.
It stated that since the chain began serving alcohol, it has not experienced any “perceivable increase in disruptive behavior among our customer base.”
Cinemark said it does not find that people come to see a movie with the intent of just drinking.
“As a practical matter, most customers will get their drinks and concession items and will not leave their seats after a movie starts to get more concession items or beverages,” it said.
The Cinemark.com website shows that the chain serves beer, wine and frozen and specialty cocktails. It also advises that “if you’re under 40, don’t forget to bring your ID!”
Tinseltown would join several other area theaters offering alcohol.
In March, Cinemark USA landed a $2.5 million permit to upgrade its Tinseltown seating with electronic recliners. Because of their size, seating will shrink from about 3,700 to 2,100, plans show.
Jeffries said Cinemark is working on a few auditoriums at a time, closing and opening each week. He said eight auditoriums are open with the new recliners.
Eilerson Development Corp. is the contractor.
FSCJ names its culinary Downtown café 20West
A banner sign is up at 20 W. Adams St., where Florida State College at Jacksonville is developing student housing with a ground-floor café that will be open to the public.
It states that “20West Café, An FSCJ Culinary Dining Experience” is coming soon.
The city is reviewing a permit application for Danis Construction LLC to build-out the 5,072-square-foot restaurant space at a construction cost of $1 million.
FSCJ expects to open the 20 housing suites and the 90-seat café as soon as possible.
The café will operate as a “farm to table” counter-service restaurant and open for breakfast and lunch five days a week.
It also will be available nights and weekends for private events.
Philanthropist Jim Winston donated $100,000 in support of the cafe’s 12-seat private dining area, which will be called The Winston Room. Those seats are part of the 90 total.
The 20West Café name could be changed for a donor if an individual or organization wants naming rights to the restaurant.
Aldi hiring event in St. Augustine
Aldi will host a hiring event from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at its store at 1773 U.S. 1 in St. Augustine.
The discount grocery chain is hiring for its stores in Jacksonville and St. Augustine.
Opportunities include store associate and manager trainee positions.
Associates will make $12 an hour and manager trainees will earn $49,920 a year, with an opportunity to make $75,000-$85,000 a year as a store manager.
Applicants must be at least 18 years old with a high-school diploma or GED and be able to work anytime from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Staff members averaging more than 25 hours a week are eligible for full health insurance benefits and dental coverage. All employees can participate in the 401(k) program.
Promenade apartments OK’d
The city granted permits for TriBridge Residential Construction to build the Town Center Promenade apartments at 4450 Tropea Way.
TriBridge will construct the 287 apartments among three buildings at a cost of $27.28 million. One of the three buildings contains the leasing and amenity areas and outdoor pool.
The city approved site clearing March 1.
No final name has been chosen yet for the total $49 million project along Town Center Parkway, across from St. Johns Town Center.
The three four-story buildings will comprise one at 159 units and two of 64 units each. Rents will average $1,450 a month.
TriBridge said previously that the project should be completed in 24 months.
It will include a resort-style pool, including a lounge and lap pool, a dog park with dog-wash stations and an outdoor party porch.
TriBridge is partnering with Sefira Capital for the project.
Publix renovating at Town Center
Renovations were OK’d for Publix Super Markets Inc. to upgrade its store at 4413 Town Center Parkway. Elkins Construction Inc. is the contractor to remodel the 45,176-square-foot store at a cost of $720,150.