Closed Beach Road Chicken Dinners headed for demolition

Contractor J.B. Coxwell and developer Corner Lot seek a permit to remove the 84-year-old restaurant for apartment development.

Beach Road Fish House & Chicken Dinners at 4132 Atlantic Blvd. closed in February.
Beach Road Fish House & Chicken Dinners at 4132 Atlantic Blvd. closed in February.
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 A closed Jacksonville landmark restaurant that opened 84 years ago will be coming down for apartment development.

The restaurant started in 1939 as Beach Road Chicken Dinners and served its last fried chicken and fish in February.

The city is reviewing a permit application for J.B. Coxwell Contracting Inc. to demolish the closed Beach Road Fish House and Chicken Dinners at 4132 Atlantic Blvd. at a cost of $79,300 for Jacksonville-based developer Corner Lot.

The Duval County Clerk of Courts recorded a notice of commencement Sept. 20 for J.B. Coxwell to demolish and remove the almost 4,500-square-foot building and parking lot sign and perform general cleanup.

Through St. Nicholas MF Partners LLC of Jacksonville, Corner Lot bought the property Feb. 27 for $1.9 million.

Beach Road Chicken Dinners started in 1939 and closed in February 2023. In 2019, new owners changed the name to Beach Road Fish House and Chicken Dinners.

Restaurant owners and spouses Nathan Stuart and Margo Klar sold the restaurant through Fish House Holdings LLC. 

St. Nicholas MF Partners paid almost $2.8 million among four sales to assemble more than 7 acres for the project.

City Council approved legislation Nov. 9, 2022, rezoning the property to planned unit development. 

A concept plan dated July 25, 2022, shows an outline for 285 apartments in a five-story building that wraps around an amenity area with a pool and plaza. There also is a dog park. The number of units has changed.

The city issued a mobility fee calculation certificate July 25, 2023, for development of 253 apartments on 7.22 acres. It calculated a fee of $144,941 to mitigate the project’s traffic impact.

The site is at Atlantic Boulevard and Art Museum Drive. Connelly & Wicker Inc. is the civil engineer.

Stuart and Klar took over Beach Road Chicken Dinners in 2019, leasing the property from owners Ken and Tena Ferger.

A concept plan filed with the city shows the outline of a proposed 270-unit apartment community on 6.63 acres on the site of the closed Beach Road Fish House and Chicken Dinners at 4132 Atlantic Blvd.

The couple bought 1.43 acres of the almost 4-acre parcel from the Fergers in October 2021. Fish House Holdings LLC bought the restaurant site, while the Fergers kept the remaining undeveloped property and has sold it to Corner Lot.

Two other property owners also sold their land for the development.

Stuart and Klar have several other restaurants with the Fish House or related names: ; New Berlin Fish House & Oyster Bar in North Jacksonville; OP Fish House & Oyster Bar in Orange Park; Creekside Dinery in St. Augustine; partial ownership with Stuart’s father in Seafood Kitchen at the Beaches; and a licensed location in Tallahassee.

Stuart said in August 2022 that they planned for an early spring closing but would be looking for another smaller location in the area.

Beach Road Fish House and Chicken Dinners closed after the restaurant said in a Facebook post it would close after its property was sold.

A Feb. 27 Facebook post read: “We are permanently closed. We appreciate all of you that came out to enjoy and say goodbye with us! We look forward to seeing you all again very soon !”

Corner Lot is an active apartment and residential developer in Jacksonville with apartment, housing, hotel and mixed-use projects.