Grub Burger Bar, a Bryan, Texas-based player in the burgeoning fast-casual concept of big burgers and signature drinks, wants to open in Jacksonville.
It would be at least a $1 million investment.
“We are actively looking,” said owner Jimmy Loup, who started the concept in 2012 with business partner Tom Kenney. Both are former Outback Steakhouse executives.
Loup said Wednesday the company wants to open five to seven restaurants in Tallahassee, Gainesville and Jacksonville. It has eight locations, comprising five in Texas and one each in Atlanta, Philadelphia and Lafayette, La.
Loup said two are slated to open in Tallahassee and Gainesville and a Jacksonville site could be identified within six months.
He hopes to be open in the state by next summer and will continue to expand in the market.
Grub Burger Bar’s Atlanta menu includes beef burgers along with burgers made of ground turkey, chicken and shrimp and chopped salmon. Snacks, sides and salads round out the food menu.
Drinks include shakes – including spiked shakes such as bourbon and caramel and Moonshine American Pie made with Apple Pie Moonshine.
Grub Burger Bar also offers margaritas, cocktails, beer, wine and soft drinks.
Loup said Grub Burger looks for “retail drivers” in choosing a site that include demographics to patronize the lunch-and-dinner business.
Grub Burger invests $1 million to $1.3 million in each location, which averages about 50 employees and 120-seat, 4,000-square-foot restaurants.
Hours are 11 a.m.-10 p.m. seven days a week.
Grub Burger is part of the movement of burger bars such as BurgerFi, which plans at least two stores in Jacksonville — at St. Johns Town Center and at Brooklyn Station on Riverside — and Jacksonville operators such as The Blind Rabbit, M Shack and Epik Burger.
They’re on the cutting edge of the burger business.
Burgerbusiness.com proclaimed Grub Burger Bar as one of the 14 concepts to watch this year.
“The burger category continually remakes itself. New concepts are created. One-offs morph into multi-unit endeavors. Small chains spread out and away from their home markets. New names become familiar brands,” it said, stating that BurgerFi already was well known.
Burgerbusiness.com said “Grub” stood for “Good people, Real food, Unique vibe and Big flavors.”
Westside Industrial Park sees stronger market
In another sign of an improving industrial real estate market, Westside Industrial Park is considering a $6 million project to more than double the size of a warehouse building at 4300 Bulls Bay Highway to make way for more tenants.
The existing building is about 262,000 square feet, of which 200,000 square feet is occupied by BoxSeat Inc.
Park owner Pattillo Industrial wants to add almost 339,000 square feet – creating a more than 600,000-square-foot structure to lease to multiple tenants.
If Pattillo Industrial decides to move ahead, construction could take six months.
Pattillo Industrial also is laying the groundwork to build a 237,000-square-foot distribution center at 4948 Bulls Bay Highway in the West Jacksonville business center. The building will be designed for a single tenant, although no user has been identified. Construction could take six months and the project cost could be about $4 million.
Peter Anderson, vice president of Pattillo Industrial Real Estate, said the Jacksonville industrial market is still in recovery, “but it is clearly improved from 24-36 months ago.”
He said the national market generally has recovered and most major markets are growing.
“We hope the Jacksonville industrial market will pick up momentum over the next 24 months,” he said, which is why Pattillo Industrial is preparing to build new space.
Pattillo Industrial owns more than 7 million square feet of industrial space in Jacksonville, which Anderson said makes it the owner of the largest industrial real estate portfolio in North Florida.
Face-lift in play at Harbour Place
Retail centers are putting on new faces.
Harbour Place Shopping Center at 13170 Atlantic Blvd. is in line for a $248,000 face-lift. Façade renovations are planned at the Atlantic and Hodges boulevard retail center, which is anchored by Publix Super Markets Inc. Facility Construction Corp. is the contractor.
Speaking of face-lifts, the Publix at Cobblestone Crossing should open Oct. 30, customers are being told at the Merrill Road Publix near Southside Boulevard. The Publix at 2771 Monument Road closed in January. It was demolished and a larger one built to replace it — and the entire center gained a new façade.
BrandMortgage opens doors in Jacksonville
Saying the housing market is on a definite upswing, BrandMortgage, based in Lawrenceville, Ga., branched into Jacksonville with a Southside office at 10151 Deerwood Park Blvd.
Mortgage bankers Dane Addison and Brad Koenig are leading the office. Addison is the son of Duke Addison, the longtime and well-known president and CEO of Jacksonville-based Addison Commercial Real Estate Inc.
BrandMortgage serves homebuilders and homebuyers and cited an increase in pending housing sales, a rise in house prices, a decrease in inventory and a subsequent increase in housing starts as reasons to enter the market.
“With the growth in home prices over the past year and the lowering of FHA loan lending limits, there are expectations that new home construction activity will continue to grow over the next few quarters, making it easier for first-time homebuyers to enter the market,” said a news release.
The company has 23 additional branch locations in Alabama, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia.