The Jacksonville Beach location will be redeveloped into a two-story, 12,000-square-foot structure.
By Katie Garwood, Staff Writer & Karen Brune Mathis, Editor
Ruby Beach Brewing announced Feb. 11 it would relocate from Jacksonville Beach to Downtown Jacksonville after its Jacksonville Beach building was sold in January, making way for redevelopment.
The brewery will move into the former Letter Shop building at 228 E. Forsyth St. With build-out coming in phases, Ruby Beach will begin brewing at the Downtown location by May and open its taproom in July.
“With the amount of support from city leaders and the community, there’s no question that downtown is going to be reinvigorated and thrive like never before. We’re all in on the city’s vision for downtown Jacksonville, and Ruby Beach Brewing is excited to be a part of it,” said owner Mark Vandeloo in a news release.
Its Beaches location will close in May, meaning there will be a two-month break in its taproom operations.
Investors Marc and Beth Angelo paid $1.85 million for Ruby Beach Brewing’s Jacksonville Beach building at 131 First Ave. N.
Through 127 1st Avenue North LLC, they bought the 6,000-square-foot building on 0.14 acres from investor Chris Hionides through Our Family Investments Inc. on Jan. 9.
Petra, a Hionides company, owns the 5,347-square-foot Downtown building that Ruby Beach will lease. It was built in 1904.
The taproom and production facility will be on the 2,500-square-foot ground floor. It will have an outdoor patio adjacent to the taproom with its own bar. The second floor will be used for event space.
The Downtown location will not serve food, but will have food trucks on-site. According to the release, focusing on serving beer will allow Ruby Beach to increase its production and serve a wider variety of beers.
Vandeloo said the brewery will double its tank capacity and leave room to add additional fermenters later on.
“We’ll also be able to offer more small-batch beers, and we plan to begin a barrel-aging program in the basement,” Vandeloo said. “Plus, by forgoing a kitchen space, we’ll be able to start canning, making it easier for everyone to pick up Ruby Beach beers at local stores in the future.”
Ruby Beach Brewing will retain its name. It has been open in Jacksonville Beach for five years.
Future of Jacksonville Beach property
Ruby Beach’s Jacksonville Beach location sits adjacent to the closed Campeche Bay Cantina restaurant at 127 First Ave. N. that the Angelos bought Aug. 8 for $1.95 million. That almost 7,000-square-foot building is on 0.15 acres.
The Ruby Beach building was built in 1952 and the Campeche Bay structure in 1940, according to property records.
Marc Angelo said Feb. 11 that he plans to remove the buildings and redevelop the site at First Avenue and Second Street, about a block off the Atlantic Ocean.
He said a new two-story, 12,000-square-foot structure will include a few tenants, including a restaurant with a second-floor patio.
“We are going to tear the buildings down and have a walkway corridor area in the middle to allow light into the Campeche Bay side,” he said. The structure will reach the maximum restricted height of 35 feet at Jacksonville Beach.
Angelo anticipates the project will take about two years.
He said he is working with David Laurie of Strategic Sites Clifford Commercial to lease the project.
Angelo said the architect is Design Cooperative with managing principal Logan Rink and principals Mike Kleinschmidt and Milan Malinovic.
“We’re very bullish on the future of Jacksonville Beach,” Angelo said.