Permit issued for City Grille & Raw Bar at former Wine Cellar

Fasanelli Construction will renovate the Southbank restaurant for a targeted fall opening.

City Grille & Raw Bar is planned for the former Wine Cellar restaurant at 1314 Prudential Drive in the Downtown Southbank.
City Grille & Raw Bar is planned for the former Wine Cellar restaurant at 1314 Prudential Drive in the Downtown Southbank.
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City Grille & Raw Bar is renovating the former Wine Cellar restaurant on the Downtown Southbank.

The city issued a permit July 13 for Fasanelli Construction Inc. of Ponte Vedra Beach to renovate the space at 1314 Prudential Drive at a cost of $160,000.

T. Lamell Architect of Jacksonville is the architect.

Fasanelli will renovate 3,695 square feet of enclosed space and 784 square feet of unenclosed space.

A June application with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation shows it will open Sept. 1 and seat 152 patrons. 

Plans show a new raw bar and seating to the left upon entering. A “velvet room” is to the right.

The kitchen and restrooms continue on the right.

Down the hallway on the left are the Amalfi and Darden rooms. The Tree House Room is in the back.  A rear patio remains.

The owners also own Eleven South and 3 Palms Grille at the Beaches.

Karen Belloit Thomas and John Nagy said in April they plan a fall opening of the restaurant, where the Wine Cellar operated for 47 years before closing in October 2021 as the owners retired.

Nagy and Thomas are managers of City Grille LLC, which they registered with the state Jan. 12, 2022.

Nagy said in April that City Grille will be open for lunch and dinner six days a week with Saturday and Sunday brunch a possibility depending on demand, he said.

The menu will include fresh seafood, steaks and other seasonal specialties, as well as an extensive wine list from wine regions around the world, he said.

Belloit Thomas and Nagy are leasing the space from Ronald Rettner, who paid $1.04 million for the property in October 2021. 

Belloit Thomas and Nagy, who are married, bring more than 50 years of restaurant experience to the project. 

“It will be trendy but have an old-school feel,” Nagy said.

He estimates an investment topping $1 million.

The restaurant will employ a staff of about 60, he said. 



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