Permit issued for Nineteen Thirty Seven Spirits & Eatery to renovate closed Florida Cracker Kitchen in San Marco

Corner Lot and Heartfelt Hospitality are converting the property at 1842 Kings Ave. into a neighborhood seafood and coastal cuisine restaurant.


Nineteen Thirty Seven Spirits & Eatery will replace the closed Florida Cracker Kitchen at 1842 Kings Ave. in San Marco.
Nineteen Thirty Seven Spirits & Eatery will replace the closed Florida Cracker Kitchen at 1842 Kings Ave. in San Marco.
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The city issued a permit Feb. 1 for Opus Group to renovate the closed Florida Cracker Kitchen in San Marco into Nineteen Thirty Seven Spirits & Eatery at a project cost of $362,831.

The concept will open at 1842 Kings Ave. with a lunch and dinner menu focused on seafood and comfort food.

Travis Norman, owner of Jacksonville-based Heartfelt Hospitality Group LLC.

“We are building it from scratch right here,” said Travis Norman, owner of Jacksonville-based Heartfelt Hospitality Group LLC, in November.

The group will operate the restaurant, whose website is 1937sanmarco.com.

Norman said the menu concept “is rooted in what thrives in North Florida and the traditions we celebrate.”

The menu includes fresh, local seafood and sustainable seafood and specialties such as quail, gator and hearts of palm.

The restaurant partnered with area produce growers, flour and rice millers, and bakeries.

“We are trying to bring recognizable coastal low country fare to San Marco but present it in a way where it is elevated to fit the targeted demographics in the area,” said consulting chef Trey Hartinger, who is developing the menu and operating systems.

“We know we have to offer value. That is what keeps the doors open in a lot of restaurants in Jacksonville. We want to be focused on flavor and deliver fun, elevated coastal fare,” he said.

With food costs fluctuating, Hartinger said prices will be determined closer to opening.

Jacksonville-based property owner Corner Lot said the new restaurant “will embrace a family-friendly, fast-casual seafood restaurant vibe that also features a great bar for the adults.”

A menu shows beginnings, salads, handhelds, baskets, plates and housemade sides.

The concept will specialize in locally caught seafood provided by vendors that include Mayport C&C Fisheries. Local produce also will be emphasized.

There also are drink specialties.

Trey Hartinger is developing the menu for Nineteen Thirty Seven Spirits & Eatery.

Hartinger owns Cast Iron Grit, a catering and restaurant consulting company. He is a former executive chef at Marker 32 and Blackfly Cafe.

Hartinger will remain a consultant and work closely with the ownership. Norman said the group will hire a chef.

Heartfelt Hospitality Group operated the Florida Cracker Kitchen.

CLDG Kings Commercial LLC, led by Corner Lot CEO Andy Allen and COO George Leone, bought the property in June 2018 for $1 million from Anna Wimpee Champeau. 

The San Marco Florida Cracker Kitchen served breakfast and lunch. It opened in May 2020 in the former Wimpee Fuel Oil Building. It closed June 17, 2022.

Corner Lot and Heartfelt Hospitality are no longer affiliated with the Florida Cracker Kitchen, Norman said upon the closing.

He said the split was amicable. He said tight employment made it difficult to prepare the Florida Cracker Kitchen menu.

Heartfelt Hospitality rebranded the Florida Cracker Kitchen restaurants at 14329 Beach Blvd. at San Pablo Road and in Keystone Heights as Orange Blossoms Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch.

Heartfelt put together an investor group for the 1937 restaurant and Heartfelt will operate and manage it.

Norman said his group is playing off the architectural heritage of the building.

The “1937” name is a tribute to the year the building was developed. Property records show it was built in 1942, but Norman said the original documents from the owners show 1937.

He said the interior and exterior of 1937 will be redesigned into a fresh and different look. 

Bold Line Design is the architect. 

Plans refer to the restaurant by the description “San Marco Seafood.”

Norman said it would employ 30 to 35 people to start.

Norman said the interior flow of the building will change and service will be a hybrid fast-casual. There is a central bar.

Customers have several options to order: a walk-up counter, with food and drinks delivered to the table; seat-yourself at a table and ordering from the table through the QR code menu; or full service with seating at the bar.

The seating plan for Nineteen Thirty Seven Spirits & Eatery.

Norman said the restaurant will open at 11 a.m. daily, closing at 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and at 10 a.m. Friday-Saturday.

He said it also will offer takeout and catering.

Norman said the group will open up the space and provide a family kid zone in the back.

He estimates it will seat 150 inside and 24 on the front porch and have a few seats in the back.

He said there will be 15 TVs in the main bar area to cater to customers wanting to watch sports, such as college games.

The 1.06-acre site also offers a commodity in San Marco – parking.

“I think it will be a perfect fit for San Marco,” Norman said.

“We will be that go-to local San Marco eatery with recipes that are indigenous to Jacksonville,” he said.

Marketing materials say the team “will make you feel like you are part of the family.”

Residents of the greater San Marco area are the core base.

Norman wants to attract Downtown and area office workers for lunch.