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Jax Daily Record Friday, Mar. 23, 201806:15 AM EST

'Hipping it up'

Bar owner Ian Ranne taking over Mark’s club Downtown with legal theme, art, games and a dose of MD 20/20.

Ian Ranne will be back behind the bar Downtown when he and his partners open The Justice Pub, a law-themed lounge along East Bay Street.

The logo calls it the “Justice For All Public House.”

Ranne, who runs three bars in Springfield, Five Points and Murray Hill, is leasing the former Mark’s Jacksonville Downtown club and lounge at 315 E. Bay St. in the historic Hutchinson-Suddath Building.

Mark’s bar closed in June after 12 years in business. 

With a justice-themed wall mural, the removal of the Mark’s VIP area, redecorating, rearranging space for a game area and a few other tweaks, Ranne is preparing to make his case.

“I’m ready to get it up and running,” he said.

The 38-year-old pub veteran said his method of design is seeing a space “and then hipping it up.”

Ranne has opened seven bars over the years, with three - Shantytown Pub in Springfield, Nighthawks along Roosevelt Boulevard on the edge of Murray Hill and Rain dogs on Park Street – operating.

The Justice Pub will be the fourth.

Ranne’s experience also includes co-owning Burro Bar at Adams and Ocean streets and managing its predecessor tenant, the London Bridge Pub. He started at the London Bridge at the age of 23.

Ranne is known as a DJ, entrepreneur, club owner and a supporter of music and art.

He hopes to open The Justice Bar about April 15, pending permitting and licensing to sell beer and wine, not liquor.

While he calls it a “hipster dive bar,” Ranne prefers to consider it an art pub. The mural of Lady Justice and related art is by artists Shaun Thurston and Mark “Cent” Ferreira.

“I try to appeal to the neighborhood and put my hipster spin on it,” Ranne said.

The Justice Pub theme is inspired by the neighborhood, including the former Duval County Courthouse across Bay Street.

While judicial functions moved to the new county courthouse several blocks west, many legal firms remain in the Bay Street area.

“The law offices are still down here,” Ranne said, and those lawyers might want to stop in for a spell.

Ranne also realizes the potential from a possible convention center on the old courthouse site. He already sees roaming visitors in town for work or conferences.

“I see groups of people in business suits walking around,” he said.

Several bars and restaurants line the East Bay and Ocean streets area, called The Elbow. Ranne expects spillover from those into The Justice Pub.

Ranne welcomes everyone and considers his niche market those people age 21-40 who are “highly into music and art.”

At the start, the bar, with 40-50 seats, will operate 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Wednesday-Saturday and during Jacksonville Jaguars games. It also will have four TVs and two projector screens for televised events such as soccer games.

Ian Ranne is converting the former Mark’s Jacksonville Downtown bar into a “hipster dive bar” and art pub.

The game area will include pool tables, pinball, dart boards and ‘80s video games. The game area can be rearranged when there’s a DJ and dancing. There also could be live music.

Ranne intends to work behind the bar and his design focus is comfort for the customers.

High-tops, couches and tables are for seating, along with the bar stools. Blue, gold, gray and wine mural designs soften the tone.

Comfort also is the theme of the menu, categorized for simplicity.

The beer menu is divided among “cheap beer,” “classic beer,” “classic import/craft beer,” “fancy beer” and “super fancy” beer, ranging from $2 to $9 in bottles and cans.

Draft beer prices range from $4 to $8. 

Mimosas, sparking wines, homemade sangria and “house” and “fancy” wines will be available.

Ranne considers the specialty and frozen wine-based drinks as satisfactory quenchers for those who might desire hard liquor.

Those include the sake mojito – sake, bubbles, mint, lime and simple syrup – and the frozen house rose wine slushy, or fro’se.

Among “other crazy things we sell” on the menu are two flavors of MD (Mad Dog) 20/20 and Smirnoff Ice, along with 32-ounce cans of Corona and other choices.

Soft drinks, Red Bull, water and black coffee are offered, along with bar snacks.

Ranne said his business partners are his cousin and landlord Jessica Miller and her husband, Judd Miller.

Ranne intends to split his time at night where  he’s needed among the four bars, while he travels between them during the day, "like running a bread route."

The Justice Pub applied for a Certificate of Use as a new business and the city is reviewing a building permit application for the 3,848-square-foot project.

The permit shows the building ownership as Bay Street Warehousing LLC, led by President Julia Suddath and with Jessica Miller as secretary and Joy Lee as vice president.

Jessica Miller is listed as the owner of the bar.  She, Ranne and James Miller are the authorized members of The Justice Pub LLC, registered with the state Jan. 23.

“I’m the face of it,” Ranne said. 


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