Work underway at 5Loaves 2Fish Café in Riverplace Tower Downtown

The space on the concourse level at 1301 Riverplace Blvd. is being renovated for a new 174-seat restaurant.
The space on the concourse level at 1301 Riverplace Blvd. is being renovated for a new 174-seat restaurant.
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Preliminary work began Monday to transform the ground-floor restaurant space at Riverplace Tower into the 5Loaves 2Fish Café.

Chef Toben Stubee said he anticipates a $310,000 investment to turn the 10,000-square-foot space on the concourse level in the Southbank riverfront tower into a 174-seat café that should open in late October or November.

Stubee intends to continue to operate his 5Loaves 2Fish Mobile Kitchen food truck, but trim the schedule. He expects to hire 12-14 employees to start at the café and double that when he begins to offer dinner.

Hours will start with breakfast and lunch 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday. He will add a weekend brunch, probably on Sunday, after a few months and offer dinner starting in the second year.

Stubee also has catering space on the plaza level directly above the café that can accommodate 250 people.

He started the mobile kitchen in June 2014. His wife, Debbie, is a teacher and helps when she can. He said she will more than likely come to the restaurant full time “once things are going well.”

The riverfront space offers a skyline view of the Northbank. River City Contracting is the contractor and Hota Design Studio LLC is the architect.

The said the menu is inspired by what’s in season and it never uses frozen, packaged or pre-made products. It calls the food “Contemporary Regional American,” which incorporates modern cooking techniques with regional and ethnic influences.

The café menu will include most of the food-truck favorites plus a chop-chop menu, expanded entrée selections, soups, a full coffee bar and pastries. Stubee said the average check will be $14.

He says on the site he grew up in Miami and was exposed to Latin and Caribbean cuisines. He spent 25 years in fast food, corporate dining, fine dining and as a private residence chef. He also caters.

Stubee has a bachelor’s degree from The Culinary Institute of America in Restaurant Operations and has worked in Miami, New York, Orlando, Jacksonville and St. Augustine.

He was the chef at Opus 39 in St. Augustine, Matthew’s Restaurant in San Marco and Eleven South in Jacksonville Beach.

A sample food truck menu includes a cheeseburger, mahi sandwich, Cuban sandwich, grilled chicken caprese, shrimp po’boy, sides and drinks.

Stubee can count on some high-profile former customers patronizing his new venture.

Jacksonville-based Stein Mart Inc. Chairman Jay Stein said Monday that Stubee had cooked for him and his wife, Deanie.

“He’s the best chef I have ever known. He’s fabulous,” Stein said.

He wishes Stubee well and “absolutely plans to go to his new restaurant.”

It won’t be far because Stein Mart Inc. is headquartered across the street at 1200 Riverplace Blvd.

The 5Loaves 2Fish Café filed its Fictitious Name with the state on Friday for the 1301 Riverplace Blvd., C102, space. The filing was made by 5Loaves 2Fish Mobile Kitchen LLC, which was created in 2014.

Woodsman expanding with $2.7M warehouse

The owner of Woodsman Kitchens and Floors wants to build a $2.7 million office-warehouse center near its 11732 Beach Blvd. showroom.

New Vision Properties Inc., led by Woodsman Kitchens and Floors President Rick Woods, wants to build a 45,000-square-foot center on 3.5 acres at 3621 Beachwood Court, according to a construction permit application.

The office-warehouse would include 2,800 square feet of office space.

New Vision bought the Beachwood Court site in May. Woods said construction should start by mid-October for completion by mid-April. The company needs additional distribution space, he said.

A site-clearing permit for $25,000 also is in review.

Live Oak Contracting LLC is the contractor. Kurt Jensen Architect is the architect.

Woodsman Kitchens and Floors, founded in 1983, provides kitchen cabinetry, countertops, flooring and design services.

In 1996, it built its showroom and warehouse at its Beach Boulevard location.

New Vision owns two buildings at the showroom address comprising almost 35,400 square feet for the retail store and the warehouse on 2.6 acres. It also owns an almost 23,800-square-foot warehouse built in 2001 at 11744 Beach Blvd.

It leases additional space that will not be needed when the new building is completed.

The construction will boost its presence to more than 100,000 square feet.  Woodsman Kitchens and Floors employs 155 people. Woods doesn’t expect to add staff as a result of the new warehouse.

McDonald’s customers can score free food

Jacksonville McDonald’s owner-operators and the Jacksonville Jaguars announced last week that with every 10 points the team scores each game this season, fans who have downloaded and registered the McDonald’s app can score free food the next day at restaurants in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia.

Ten points would be worth a free six-piece Chicken McNuggets; 20 points would be a free double cheeseburger; and 30 points earn a free Big Mac.

The app can be downloaded from the App Store or on Google Play. The promotion is valid through Jan. 2. No purchase is necessary.

Restaurants on tap for Town Center area

The city issued Conditional Capacity Availability Statements for three restaurants at the new Town Center Promenade and The Crossing at Town Center, both along Town Center Parkway near St. Johns Town Center.

At Town Center Promenade, Red Robin International Inc. intends to build a 5,704-square-foot restaurant on 1.55 acres and Taco Bell wants to open a 2,258-square-foot unit on 0.62 acre.

At The Crossing at Town Center, PDQ intends to operate a 3,312-square-foot restaurant on 1.64 acres.

Both centers are expected to be developed and opening stores starting in the spring.

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