Work last week was halted on the Cowford Chophouse, the Downtown construction project turning the historic building at 101 E. Bay St. into an upscale steak and seafood restaurant.
The stop was caused by a change in contractors. Elkins Construction was out, with a yet-named company stepping in to finish the job.
Danis Construction on Tuesday was announced as the new general contractor by Chophouse owner Jacques Klempf.
Danis and Klempf worked together to renovate the interior of II Desco, an Italian restaurant in Riverside. Danis also has other Downtown projects tied to its name, including the Jessie Ball duPont Center and Jake M. Godbold City Hall Annex.
Work will resume on the Chophouse late this month.
Molly Curry helping launch JaxKids Book Club
Molly Curry, wife of Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, will help launch the 2016 JaxKids Book Club today by reading to students at The Salvation Army of Northeast Florida in Downtown.
The Jacksonville Children’s Commission’s book club program is a free early literacy program funded by local organizations and corporations to promote the importance of early literacy.
Since its inception in 2004, the club has provided more than a million free books to more than 95,000 4-year-olds in the city.
Nineteen states and 40 municipalities have consulted with Jacksonville officials to create similar programs in their cities.
To register through Aug. 16, visit jaxkidsbookclub.net/registration. Children enrolled in a voluntary pre-K program do not need to register.
For more information, visit jaxkidsbookclub.net.
Jacksonville not a hot staycation spot, website says
School is almost out, time for a family vacation. Or maybe a staycation?
According to personal finance website Wallethub, people in Jacksonville don’t have the opportunities of their Florida peers when it comes to sticking close to home for vacation.
The site listed Jacksonville No. 127 of the 150 most populated cities in the U.S. for staycation spots. Rankings were based on three categories.
Recreation rank accounted for amenities like public golf courses, tennis courts, basketball hoops and swimming pools. Jacksonville placed No. 79.
Food and entertainment weighed movie and bowling costs, nightlife, museum and restaurant options per capita. Jacksonville was No. 112 there.
And rest and relaxation options reviewed criteria like the cost of housecleaning services and beauty salons, the availability of wellness and spa centers and public beaches. Jacksonville came in nearly dead last there at No. 144.
Other Florida cities came in at the top. Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa came in Nos. 1-3. Chula Vista, Calif., Oxnard, Calif., and New York City filled out the bottom of the list.
DVI hosting meeting on parklets project
From parking spots to parks. Downtown Vision Inc. is hosting a public meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday at Zodiac Grill to talk about converting some of Downtown’s on-street parking into miniature parks — a step advocates say encourages activity through ways like adding seating, bike racks and landscaping.
Downtown Vision began researching parklet programs in 2014 and a year later secured a grant from the Urban Land Institute to fund development of a program manual for building the amenities.
Baptist Medical Center Beaches receives women’s honor
Baptist Medical Center Beaches has received the 2016 Women’s Choice Award from America’s Best Hospitals for Orthopedics.
The award went to hospitals that provide comprehensive orthopedic services, including arthroscopy and joint replacements.
It’s an evidence-based designation that identifies institutions based on criteria, including female patient satisfaction, clinical excellence and opinions of what women want from hospitals.
In all, 426 hospitals received the designation from the America’s Best Hospitals for Orthopedics organization.
ACE highlights Laura Street Trio, awards scholarships
The ACE Mentor Program of Northeast Florida had its 10th annual year-end event attended by more than 260 high school students, teachers, parents and industry representatives from Clay, Duval and St. Johns counties.
This year’s project had a Downtown feel — students were assigned a historical revitalization challenge involving the development of the Laura Street Trio.
Developer Steve Atkins and Marketing Director Lisa Goodrich gave students access to existing drawings and resources of the design and construction team during a site visit.
Students then presented their design and construction concepts to judges for categories of best overall, best approach and best presentation.
Creekside, Lee, Middleburg and Orange Park high schools participated, as did homeschoolers.
The event also featured ACE Mentor Program scholarships worth $19,200 going to high school seniors and junior mentors pursuing careers in architecture, construction or engineering.
Children’s Chorus offering free preschool music class
The Jacksonville Children’s Chorus is hosting a series of free preschool music classes in mid-June, open to children and their parents or caregivers.
The classes are 9:30-10:15 a.m. June 13-15 for children 18 months to 21/2 years old.
Classes for children ages 21/2 to 4 years of age have classes 10:15-11 a.m. the same days.
Preregistration is required and space is limited. To register or for information, call (904) 353-1636, ext. 1. Classes will be at the Children’s Chorus offices in the education building of First United Methodist Church on Duval Street.
Crowley Maritime named year’s top ship operator
Crowley Maritime Corp. received the Ship Operator of the Year distinction from Lloyd’s List North American Maritime Awards last month during a ceremony in New York.
The business information service dedicated to the maritime industry named the Jacksonville-based company tops in the ocean-going category. Director of Port Operations Karen Dempsey accepted the award on the company’s behalf during a dinner featuring more than 300 people in the industry with ties to Canada, the U.S., Mexico and Caribbean.
The award was given to Crowley for the company’s 124 years of operations and fleet of more than 200 vessels that includes tankers and tugboats.
Museum of Science & History unveils Darwin & Dinosaurs exhibit
The Museum of Science & History is presenting its summer exhibit, Darwin & Dinosaurs, where patrons will learn about the story of evolution and the life of Charles Darwin.
Included in that will be “Ava,” a dinosaur specimen discovered several years ago but only recently reassembled.
The ceratopsian (horned dinosaur) has two horns unlike its three-horned triceratops brethren. It’s the first time the yet-unnamed species is on display away from the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center.
The seasonal exhibit will have 42 touchscreens to learn about Darwin; a model of the scientist’s ship, the HMS Beagle; and games to demonstrate micro-evolution.
Other dinosaur exhibits include a T-Rex skull and a Pterandon, a flying dinosaur that will be hanging from the ceiling.