Firebirds Wood Fired Grill intends to open its first North Florida restaurant next year in The Strand shopping center near St. Johns Town Center.
An executive with the restaurant and steakhouse, based in Charlotte, N.C., said the Jacksonville location will open in the third quarter at southwest St. Johns Town Center Parkway and Big Island Drive.
“Jacksonville has been on our radar for quite some time,” said Stephen Loftis, vice president of marketing.
He said The Strand’s location matches Firebirds’ profile and the area’s demographics fit its offerings.
Firebirds will employ about 100 full- and part-time workers at the estimated 6,500-square-foot restaurant, which will seat 225.
Hours will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Loftis said it will be the third Firebirds in Florida. The first is in Orlando and another will open in Pembroke Pines. After the Alpharetta, Ga., restaurant opens next week, there will be 39 Firebirds in 15 states.
Firebirds offers lunch and dinner and has a full-service bar.
The restaurant’s menu includes steaks, seafood, salads, pasta, a gluten-free menu, specialty cocktails, beer and wines.
Loftis said the items are prepared over a wood-fired grill and the restaurant maintains a scratch kitchen, meaning food is prepared fresh daily.
Loftis said all of its locations are corporately owned. As a private company, it does not disclose its investment.
The Firebirds restaurant website describes it as a polished-casual restaurant atmosphere “offering top-notch service and upscale dining at a modest price.”
Lunch prices on the Orlando menu range from $5 for a cup of soup to almost $29 for filet mignon. Salads, burgers and sandwiches are $8 to $17. The highest price on the dinner menu is $45 for a surf and turf of lobster and filet.
While there probably won’t be a second Firebirds in Jacksonville, the company might look at Tallahassee or Gainesville for another North Florida location.
Firebirds said it was named one of 10 “Breakout Brands” in 2014 by Nation’s Restaurant News and received a 2014 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor.
Firebirds joins Hobby Lobby as confirmed tenants at The Strand, which is under development by Preferred Growth Properties.