Voodoo Brewery Co. opens in San Marco Square on July 13

The Pennsylvania-based brewery places importance on the food as well as its beer.

Voodoo Brewing Co. is opening at 1974 San Marco Blvd. on July 13.
Voodoo Brewing Co. is opening at 1974 San Marco Blvd. on July 13.
Photo by Karen Brune Mathis
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Voodoo Brewing Co. is opening its first Jacksonville franchise July 13 in San Marco Square.

The two-story, 8,646-square-foot pub and restaurant at 1974 San Marco Blvd. will offer full service on both floors.

The franchisees are Ryan Locke and Chris Rudin.

Ryan Locke

The building is owned by Sleiman Enterprises.

The more than $800,000 renovation for Voodoo took 18 months to complete. Tim Young Construction Inc. of Jacksonville is the contractor. Permits were issued in the spring.

The 99-year-old building needed new plumbing, electrical and air conditioning. Old pipes running into the building were replaced. It has new floors and ceilings. An elevator replaced the downstairs square bar that was in the middle of the room. The red brick walls remain, Locke said.

In addition to craft beer, Voodoo has a full liquor license.

“Customers want to be able to get everything. So they want to get great food, they want to get craft cocktails, all that stuff. So I think the food is crucial in executing a restaurant franchise at this point,” said Tony Lang, Voodoo Brewing Co. chief marketing officer of franchising.

Chris Rudin

It premakes craft cocktails that are barrel-aged before being placed in kegs. The practice began to comply with Pennsylvania liquor laws to allow for a brewery to sell liquor, Lang said.

Little of the food is frozen, Locke said. The location will feature locally procured seafood including Mayport shrimp.

“We get to add about 20% to 25% of our own menu items,” Locke said.

Other offerings include pizza, burgers, sandwiches and salads.

Voodoo Brewery makes its beer in Meadville, Pennsylvania, and ships it to its more than 25 restaurants working with area distributors. It has franchises in Virginia, Texas, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Idaho and Colorado. The two other Florida locations are in Fort Myers and St. Petersburg.

Brewing the beer in one location saves franchisees the cost of building an in-house brewery. It also ensures that the beer comes from the same water supply, Lang said.

The restaurant will employ about 30 and have a seating capacity of 195. Its hours are Monday-Wednesday, 11 a.m.- 9 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m.- 8 or 9 p.m.

The logo for Voodoo Brew Pub in San Marco.

On weekends, bands will perform. 

“The hours may change a bit. We’ll see how the late-night crowd is,” Locke said.

The brewery invites families to bring their children. There is an arcade and board games available on the second floor.

“When people hear ‘brewery’ they think the business is not for families. We are the complete opposite,” Locke said.

Voodoo Brewing Co. brews its craft beer in Meadville, Pennsylvania, and delivers it to its brewpub franchise locations.
Voodoo Brewing Co

Voodoo Brewing has a list of 10 beers that will always be on tap over the year and it may brew as many as 50 specialty, seasonal beers, Lang said. It has five or six “guest taps” that will feature a rotation of beers from other local craft breweries.

It will not sell national brands like Anheuser-Busch, Miller or Coors. It does brew its own version of light beer called Empty Calories.

The building was formerly occupied by Bohemian Lounge, Indochine and Square One.



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