- February 17, 2022
Local restaurant groups Firehouse Subs, Southern Grounds & Co. and Burrito Gallery are chosen to open new locations or replace existing offerings at Jacksonville International Airport.
The Jacksonville Aviation Authority board voted Jan. 24 to award a lease to Host International Inc., which operates as HMSHost, and Lee Wesley Group of Orlando, to develop, manage and operate three more food and beverage concessions.
Host International and Lee Wesley Group responded to a JAA request for proposals for the three food and beverage concessions. They proposed the three Jacksonville concepts.
HMSHost already operates at the airport and responded to the RFP for the changes in locations. The responses were due Dec. 7.
“All three of these restaurants are proven successful Jacksonville-based brands,” said Jeff Taylor, JAA properties manager.
He said each is an active participant in the community.
“I know it’s been a long time in the making but I think it’s awesome,” said board member Giselle Carson.
The three are expected to be under construction this year and open in 2023.
Two of the new locations are post-security and one is pre-security.
Firehouse Subs, which will lose its existing post-security space during construction of Concourse B, will move to Concourse C to replace “The Local,” a grab-and-go concept operated and leased by HMSHost next to Gate C3.
The request for proposals said the 868-square-foot Firehouse will be a quick-service concept offering fresh food in either an assembly line or made-to-order format, as well as offer some grab-and-go items.
It will be larger than the current Firehouse spot.
A 849-square-foot Burrito Gallery will open in Concourse A to replace the “Ciao” grab-and-go market, also by HMSHost.
It also will be a quick-serve concept and offer grab-and-go products.
Southern Grounds, which is preparing to open a coffee shop Jan. 29 in Concourse A, will take over pre-security space now occupied by Starbucks, Made in JAX and parts of the airport gallery.
The Southern Grounds will be larger than the post-security location and offer alcohol.
“It will be double the size of the Southern Grounds on Concourse A and will have much wider offering,” Taylor said. It also will have a full-service bar and its blueberry bakery to provide gourmet pastries and desserts.
The space, totaling about 2,400 square feet, includes diner seating.
Southern Grounds plans an all-day menu as well as some craft beverages such as beer, wine and/or liquors.
“Our goal with redeveloping our in-terminal restaurant spaces is to exceed the traveling public’s expectations and needs for food & beverage by providing a more diverse concessions mix, a higher quality of dining offerings, and an experience that’s truly unique in the gateway to our community,” Taylor said in October.
Any qualified business, including HMSHost, could respond if it met the mandatory requirements in the RFP, Taylor said.
Taylor said the strategy in redeveloping the grab-and-go locations at each end of the concourses “is to fulfill the increasing demand for additional quick-service restaurant offerings in the terminal.”
He said that many of the grab-and-go selections already can be found throughout the terminal in stores and restaurants.
“We intend to redevelop these two concessions with enhanced concepts in order for these restaurant locations to offer a better and wider variety of food and beverage menu items that are fresh and made-to-order,” he said.
Southern Grounds will open in Concourse A this month and another restaurant, BurgerFi, is expected to open in the new Concourse B.
“We hope our travelers will get to enjoy new flavors and a fresh dining experience each time they fly through Jacksonville.”