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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Mar. 13, 201806:20 AM EST

True Food Kitchen coming to St. Johns Town Center

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Healthy-living concept moving into the former Mitchell’s Fish Market location, building permit application shows.

Phoenix-based True Food Kitchen might bring its healthy-living restaurant concept to the former Mitchell’s Fish Market in St. Johns Town Center, according to a building permit application.

True Food Kitchen, with 26 locations in 12 states, calls itself “a health-driven, seasonal restaurant” with a bar and an open kitchen.

The company has not returned a call or email to confirm or comment on the project. A spokesman for landlord Simon Property Group said it had nothing to say because its policy is to not comment until it has a fully executed lease.

The city is reviewing plans to demolish interior and some exterior space at the 11-year-old 5205 Big Island Drive restaurant to prepare for True Food Kitchen.

A contractor would demolish 7,540 square feet of interior space and 1,064 square feet of exterior space at a cost of $25,000 at the free-standing restaurant.

The build-out for True Food Kitchen would be permitted separately after the demolition.

True Food Kitchen has 26 restaurants in 12 states. The restaurant was developed with alternative medicine celebrity doctor Andrew Weil.

The online menu features starters like kale guacamole and edamame dumplings; salads; pizzas, including Brussels sprouts and wild mushrooms; grains, pad thai, quinoa and curry bowls; sandwiches that include burgers; and entrees featuring grilled salmon, sustainable seabass, Moroccan chicken and lasagna Bolognese.

The menu rotates regularly “to let guests experience great-tasting ingredients at the peak of their freshness,” says truefoodkitchen.com.

There also is a brunch menu, cocktails, seasonal wines, local beers, coffee and tea.

Included on the menu are gluten-free, naturally organic, vegetarian and vegan offerings.

The website says that physician Andrew Weil helped establish True Food Kitchen on a set of principles known as the “Anti-Inflammatory Diet” that “encourages simple changes in eating habits to avoid and counteract chronic inflammation: a root cause of heart disease, many cancers, Alzheimer’s disease and more.”

“It is a way of selecting and preparing foods based on science that can help people achieve and maintain optimum health over their lifetime,” the site says.

True Food Kitchen operates two restaurants in Florida, in Boca Raton and Naples.

The Naples restaurant opened in March 2017 as the first True Food Kitchen in Florida. The almost 7,300-square-foot, 290-seat restaurant also has a 1,200-square-foot patio with an indoor-outdoor bar.

It is open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.

The Naples menu shows prices range for salads from $10-$14; pizzas from $12-$15; sandwiches from $12-$16; and entrees from $14 for spaghetti squash casserole to $26 for sustainable seabass.

The Kansas City Star reported in February that True Food Kitchen would replace a Plaza III restaurant scheduled to close last weekend.

True Food would open in early 2019.

Kansascity.com said True Food Kitchen was co-founded by Weil, a leader in alternative medicine, author and spokesman, and Sam Fox, a James Beard Award-nominee for Restaurateur of the Year in 2018.

Regarding design, the 7,000-square-foot Kansas City restaurant will feature natural woods, local artwork, containers to house fresh herbs and spices, dining chairs made of recycled soda bottles, an open kitchen and a 475-square-foot patio. 

It also will have wine, local craft beers and seasonal cocktails made from fresh-pressed fruit and vegetable juices and organic spirits.

After a decade in business, Mitchell’s Fish Market closed over New Year’s weekend. Its parent company, Landry’s Inc., cited its lease expiration.

Mitchell’s Fish Market opened in 2007 when St. Johns Town Center’s second phase was completed.

Mitchell’s operated at the southern end of St. Johns Town Center next to J. Alexander’s and near The Capital Grille and Cantina Laredo. 

The first phase of St. Johns Town Center, at Butler Boulevard and Gate Parkway, opened in 2005 and the third phase, anchored by Nordstrom, opened in 2014.

 

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