Coop 303 in Atlantic Beach has a new look and purpose upstairs

The Living Room Lounge combines upscale cocktails with a small bites menu.

The Living Room Lounge is at is 303 Atlantic Blvd. in Atlantic Beach. It is on what had been the second floor of Coop 303.
The Living Room Lounge is at is 303 Atlantic Blvd. in Atlantic Beach. It is on what had been the second floor of Coop 303.
Photo by Brandon Forschino/Out of Dust Marketing & Communications
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Coop 303 in Atlantic Beach has become two distinct restaurants in the same building.

On May 31, owner Al Mansur opened The Living Room Lounge in what had been the second floor of Coop 303. 

The restaurant is at 303 Atlantic Blvd. Coop 303 remains the same on the first floor and in its rooftop dining space.

The Living Room Lounge is a cocktail-centric space furnished with love seats, stuffed chairs and bar seating. It is meant to be a space for those of a certain age who want to have a before- or after-dinner drink or sample from the small plate menu.

It offers items like Wagyu beef sliders, scallops, tuna tartare, cheese plates and truffle fries.

“My wife (Suela) and I travel all the time and we’re at different places. We realized we don’t have a place here like that for our age group,” Mansur said.

Al and Suela Mansur have build a cocktail lounge where an older clientele can relax and enjoy upscale cocktails and small bites.
Photo by Brandon Forschino/Out of Dust Marketing & Communications

He is 58, she is 48. They were looking for a place to relax and have conversations in the busy restaurant district where Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach meet.

“It’s not for the 21-year-old kind of crowd. There are not too many places to go for cocktails at the beaches for a little bit older crowd. We don’t want to go where our kids are hanging out,” Mansur said.

That said, Mansur explained that he is creating an atmosphere that invites conversation.

“We're targeting the people who are out for dinner or coming up before or after dinner for cocktails, that's our target audience. You know, I don't want to put a number on the age,” he said.

“We want to elevate people's life experience, coming out, meeting friends or finishing off their night at the Living Room.”

The transition took a little more than a month to complete. The renovations, furnishings and restocking the bar with premium spirits cost about $300,000, he said.

The Living Room Lounge has a separate 10-person bar and waitstaff. The staff are all trained bartenders and can switch positions during different shifts. Mansur also hired a new beverage director.

The room is somewhat dark with subdued lighting. A deejay plays lounge music as well as some hits from the 1980s and ’90s beginning at 8 p.m. The balcony facing Atlantic Boulevard is dedicated to the Lounge and has four tables and seats eight.

The Coop 303 menu is served in its space and the cocktails and small bites are served in the Living Room Lounge, Mansur said. If a customer wants to visit both restaurants, tabs must be paid before adjourning to the other restaurant.

Cocktails in the Lounge are more upscale and range from $14 to $18.

The dress code is relaxed. Mansur prefers not to see customers in beach attire, flip-flops or baseball hats in the Lounge.

He also owns the white-tablecloth Mezza Luna Ristorante around the corner in Neptune Beach. He said it took some time for people to understand they should make an effort to dress up for dinner.

“It has changed a little bit but we are still at the beach so it’s hard to say no shorts,” Mansur said.

“People are traveling from Jacksonville to see beautiful places. We do have a lot of people who have moved from other places and they’re coming in. The beach has really gone up and really gotten better and better over the last few years.”

The Living Room Lounge is open from 5 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Thursday-Saturday.

Coop 303 is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

On days when the Living Room Lounge is not open, that space can be reserved for private gatherings. It will be open for Sunday Night Football during the NFL season.

Comfort and relaxation is the mood being set in the Living Room Lounge.
Photo by Brandon Forschino/Out of Dust Marketing & Communications



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