by: admin in Weekly Update No Comments  

The following is this week’s issue of the #DTJax Weekly Update e-newsletter. To receive this in your email inbox each week, sign-up here.

__________________________________________________________________________

Instagram of the Week 

 

Have you seen these around? We love these unique additions popping up around the #DTJax, Springfield and Riverside neighborhoods. Next time you see one, snap a picture and use #BeBoldJax.
 
 
 

Photo by @grumpygypsy
 

 

 

Tag your Downtown photo #DTJax for a chance to be featured.

 

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Things To Do Downtown

 

Arts & Culture

Saturday, December 15

 

Family Fun

Monday, December 17

 

Live Music & Nightlife 

Friday, December 14
Saturday, December 15
Sunday, December 16
Monday, December 17

 

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Get Involved

 
 
 
 

Each year Downtown Vision evaluates the state of Downtown Jacksonville and collects data on how to improve the Downtown experience. If you live or work in #DTJax (Northbank, Southbank, Brooklyn/Riverside Avenue, LaVilla or the Stadium District) we want to hear from you!
Complete our survey and be entered to win a $100 gift certificate to the Downtown restaurant or retailer of your choice. Two winners will be chosen and contacted by the email address provided.

 

 

COJ City Council Meeting 

 
Join the City of Jacksonville for a City Council Meeting. Details.
When: Tuesday, December 11, 5 p.m.
Where: City Council Chambers
Sheriff’s Watch Meeting 
 

Join JSO officers and community members for monthly discussions about crime issues facing our neighborhoods and hear progress updates. Details.

When: Wednesday, December 19, 11 a.m.
Where: Main Library, 303 N. Laura St.

 

 __________________________________________________________________

 

#DTJax News

 

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

New businesses in #DTJax:

 

150 Riverside Ave. #307
211 N. Laura St.
Now Open! (through the holidays)
400 N. Hogan St.
Now Open!
223 N. Hogan St.
Now Open!
Coming Soon
120 E. Forsyth St.
Coming Soon
345 E. Bay St.
Coming Soon
120 E. Forsyth St.
Coming Soon
225 E. Coastline Dr.
Coming Soon
112 W. Adams St.
Coming Soon

 

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Stories From BlogDTJax.com

 

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

DVI Updates:

 

 

Photo by: @kddreamin

 
 
 
 
 
 

There was a 100% chance of snow in #DTJax…
Thank you to everyone who attended our Spirit of Giving #ArtWalkJax last week! We hope you had a fantastic time playing in the snow, taking horse-drawn carriage rides, viewing the Annual Tree Lighting and all the other exciting activities throughout the night.
A HUGE thanks to VyStar Credit Union for sponsoring this event and making it possible to bring 15 tons of snow to the urban core!
We’d also like to thank Council President Aaron Bowman and VyStar Credit Union President/CEO Brian Wolfburg for leading the Annual Tree Lighting at Hemming Park and for their continued support of Downtown.
In case you missed the fun, check out this fun video by First Coast News.
We look forward to the new year, full with new possibilities. Don’t miss the Dress the pART #ArtWalkJax on January 2, 2019. Details.
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Congratulations to the 2018 #DTJax Award Winners!
Thank you to all who attended for celebrating the 4th Annual #DTJax Award winners at the 2018 #DTJax Awards Breakfast this morning!
Downtown Vision created the #DTJax Awards in 2015 to celebrate the people and projects making Downtown Jacksonville a better place to live, work, visit and invest. Learn more about the awards here.
2018 Winners
Ambassador of the Year
Michael Ryan
Downtown Project of the Year
20West FSCJ Housing and Cafe
Downtowners of the Year
Ambassador John D. Rood and Steve Moore
Vestcor
Downtown Achievement Award
Aundra Wallace
Downtown Investment Authority
Thanks to all the great Downtown Jacksonville supporters who came out to The River Club to honor the winners, including our DVI board and elected officials.
We’d also like to thank our sponsors again for their support in making this event a possibility:
Event Sponsors
Ambassador Award Sponsor
Sponsors
Media Sponsors
We also announced the theme for our 2019 #DTJax Gala…Havana Nights, Neon Lights!
We hope to see you at our upcoming 2019 #DTJax Gala on Saturday, February 23 at Novel Coworking (formerly Level Office). Tickets and sponsorships can be found at DTJaxGala.com

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
NEW: 2017-2018 Annual Report is here!
Have you ever wondered, what exactly does DVI do in a year?
From expanding the Ambassador program by 50% to installing 80,000 LED lights for the “Lights on Laura” to topping 100,000 followers on @DTJax social media, check out our latest Annual Report, which highlights accomplishments and financial information for fiscal year 2017-2018. Read or download the PDF here.
2017 State of Downtown Report
 
It’s an exciting time for Downtown Jacksonville. As we watch Downtown “potential” turn into action, we have a lot of successes to celebrate. Read about current development, employment and residential trends in this 12-month look at the Downtown Jacksonville progress. Read or download the PDF here.
 
 
 
 
 
2018 Art Walk Sponsorship Opportunities

 
Downtown’s signature monthly event, First Wednesday Art Walk attracts 5,000 people each month, spans 15+ blocks with 35+ galleries, museums, cultural venues, restaurants, bars and businesses. In its 15th year, Art Walk celebrates the local art scene by featuring hundreds of artists, performers and live music acts. Be a partner today! Download the kit here.

by: admin in Uncategorized No Comments  

You don’t have to be a tourist to check out these seven #DTJax hotel restaurants that bring their A-game when serving visitors and locals alike.  There’s something for every taste, budget, and style.  BONUS: you can totally book a room in the hotel if you eat too much and need a nap.  Now that’s convenience!


Juliette’s Bistro and J-Bar

Omni Jacksonville Hotel

245 Water Street

 

 

When entering Juliette’s Bistro from the brilliantly sunlit atrium lobby of the elegant Omni Jacksonville Hotel, there is a shift in the theme: from a minimalist, tropical paradise to a delightfully comfortable, mid-century vibe.  Warm woods, parquet floors, reflective brass wall sconces, fun patterns, and pops of colors excite but do not overwhelm in this intimate, yet open dining room and bar. Oh, and their shrimp and grits are something out of this world.

Erin Goodyear, Head Hostess at Juliette’s, waxes rhapsodic about the restaurant: “we want our guests to be at home here, the Omni corporate architects design every hotel to have a familiar, cozy feel that blends with the style of the city in which they are located, and we do our best to accommodate that with our menu as well.  When people come here, it can be stressful being away from the comfort and familiarity of home; so if they get up, have a cup of coffee, some eggs, and turkey sausage, we want to offer that to them to make them feel as relaxed and at home as we possibly can.”

That at-home feeling is available 365 days a year, as well: because of Juliette’s location in the Omni, they are open on holidays with themed menus to give diners a complete sensory experience of the day.  The upcoming theme for December is “Cookie Cocktails,” with six artisan libations sure to please Santa while he’s leaving presents under the tree. Foodies may also be pleasantly surprised to learn that Juliette’s locally sources their ingredients in order to emphasize both thoughtful presentation and preparation of the meals they serve to guests, be they local or hotel patrons from afar.

Erin does caution, however, to keep an eye on the Times Union schedule: “reservations on show nights are highly encouraged, and we do stop taking them at some point, so try to plan in advance!”  The Omni Hotel is directly across the street from the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts, and the staff at Juliette’s are well-versed in ensuring patrons can get dinner, make it out in time for curtain, and encourage them to return for a little after-show drink and dessert bite.  If you’re due for a theater night, check the schedule at Times-Union, book your tickets, and immediately call Juliette’s for a reservation, it will make for an incredible night on the town.


Shor Seafood Grill & Tavern

Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront

225 E Coastline Drive

Upon entering the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront, it’s hard to miss the seating for Shor, the dining area is mostly open-air under the vaulted ceilings, with only minimal structuring separating it from the rest of the lobby.  Recently renovated after Hurricane Irma had her way in 2017, the restaurant and bar are still in a state of flux while they switch out and update furniture, but looking at it today, the style is contemporary without being too boring, and cozy without being too casual.  It’s classy here, relaxed and just a bit refined.

Open from 6 am to 10 pm daily, the main dining room closes mid-afternoon for menu and kitchen turnover, and the Shor Tavern bar behind it takes over the serving of customers between 2:30 and 5 pm and staying open until 2 am.  The full menu is available at the bar, as well as a plentiful assortment of libations to please just about everyone’s tastes. The bartender, Amie, is sweet, friendly, and more than happy to recommend some items from the menu: blackened mahi-mahi fish tacos with shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, avocado crema, served with a choice of waffle fries or coleslaw; roasted cauliflower and kale salad with feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, and a house ranch dressing made with Intuition Ale; assorted flatbreads, including four cheese, red grape and prosciutto with mozzarella, or bacon, clam, and burrata.

The majority of Shor’s ingredients are locally and thoughtfully sourced, and their Chef de Cuisine, Jeffery Coil has built the menu from the bottom up using his experience in Seattle to create a new urban style menu.  Not only are all offerings available at the bar, but the bar is extremely well-designed with customers in mind. There are plenty of purse hooks for one, which should be standard but somehow never are, and there are USB and standard outlets under the bar so you can quite literally stay plugged in while you sit and sip.  The solid glass pendant lights above the bar cast a warm glow and almost look like ice, a pleasing addition to the overall decor. A small but impactful detail is the bar’s use of colored paper straws, which aren’t just a fancy touch, they’re also more eco-friendly than typical plastic disposable straws. The grill and tavern are also wallet-friendly: patrons can get parking validation for the hotel garage, a great incentive to pay the hotel a visit and spend an evening along the Northbank Riverwalk, which will also have boat slips installed next year for the yachting enthusiasts, and is within walking distance of the renowned Florida Theatre.  So much thought has been put into the design, presentation, and experience of the restaurant, it’s “Shor” to please just about everyone. 


Hyatt Regency Market

Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront

225 E Coastline Drive

 

 

For the Downtown 9-5 crowd who are too busy to sit down and relax over a lunch meeting (shame, but understandable), those who are peckish at 3 am, and those who crave Starbucks at all hours, The Market has what you’re looking for.  A 24 hour a day, 7 days a week café in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront serves up soups, sandwiches, flatbreads, pastries, quiches, and chicken pot pies, just to name a few. They carry a multitude of beverage options including Starbucks coffee, tea, espresso, and frappuccinos; beer, wine, and cocktails; as well as a host of soft drinks and juices.  Everything is made fresh daily, making The Market a great grab-and-go option any time of the day or night.


Ruth’s Chris Steak House

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Jacksonville Riverfront

1201 Riverplace Boulevard

 

 

 

If you crave an upscale, date-wowing, moan-into-your-fork eating experience, you are looking for all that is Ruth’s Chris.  With stunning views of the St. Johns and John T. Alsop Jr. Bridge (pro tip: get there just before sunset in order to watch the sky become a riot of color and the Main Street Bridge light up blue!) Ruth’s Chris exhibits their world-famous, impeccable white-glove service, and sizzling, USDA Prime steaks.  Make sure you check out the vintage photos and menus on the walls as you approach the hostess station and marvel at their prices from 1965: $6.50 for a filet, ribeye, or sirloin, or $13.00 for a porterhouse for two!

Ask anyone familiar with the establishment: Ruth’s Chris is an experience.  From the time you step through the double doors and into their intimate dining room, all senses are given a luxurious treat.  Tables covered in double white linens, sparkling glass, ceramic, and silverware, candlelight and softly glowing sconces on the walls, as well as “VIP red” carpet, evoke luxury everywhere one looks, in addition to the stunning river view and impeccably dressed staff.  It’s quiet here, guests and waitstaff alike speaking in hushed murmurs as though the very space were sacred, and it is: this is the Holy Church of Steak. It’s hard not to let out a gratuitous “Hallelujah!” when the sound of perfectly seared, sizzling steak hits your ears and you realize you are the lucky recipient of a perfectly cooked cut of top-grade beef.  The smells are enough to hijack your mind: steak crackling in butter on a 500°F plate, whole-pound baked potatoes piled high with all the toppings, and even just a whiff of their signature crème brûlée is enough to make you forget your diet forever and hope you wore your “big pants.”  The clear frontrunner of the Ruth’s Chris sensory experience, however, has to be the moment the first bite crosses your lips. Perfectly prepared, presented, sourced, and seasoned flavors are a sumptuous gift to the taste buds.  The simple but rich flavors don’t overwhelm but immerse in a thoughtfully opulent, gustatory escape that compels one to close their eyes and savor each bite for as long as possible. Ruth’s Chris is truly the pinnacle of “treat yourself” culture.


St. Johns Provision Co.

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Jacksonville Riverfront

1201 Riverplace Boulevard

 

 

Tucked away on the left end of the main lobby of the DoubleTree Hilton Riverfront Hotel, restaurant St. Johns Provision Co. elicits an air of privacy and seclusion next to an equally intimate lounge.  Together, they serve up craft cocktails, beer, and coffees from local distilleries, breweries, and roasters, as well as food from a bill of fare described as “southern staples with coastal flair.” Plenty of seafood dishes nestle alongside comfort food favorites on the menu, which has a beautiful image of Downtown and the St. Johns drawn in 1876.  Menu items that stand out include the “Mayport Martini,” a shrimp cocktail elegantly served in a large martini glass with horseradish chili sauce and a slice of lemon; “Cowford Poutine,” a callback to the original name for Jacksonville before 1822; and the “Mayport Fish,” a “‘wich” consisting of fresh catch-of-the-day, fried, blackened, or grilled on a toasted bun with lettuce, tomato, and remoulade dressing.  House desserts like “Chef Lou’s banana puddin’,” which is made fresh every day, and a mouthwatering orange dreamsicle cake called “The Orange Grove” will round out your meal with something sweet.

The lounge also offers happy hour specials Sunday through Thursday from 4 pm— 7 pm with $2 off appetizers, $3 domestic beers, $4 craft beers, and $5 house wines and well drinks.  A weekly signature cocktail, concocted by their excellent bartenders, typically features and highlights the local spirits of Manifest, Carve, and St. Augustine distilleries.  If you’re looking for something with a few more hops, you can always grab a Bold City Brew or Intuition Ale, and if you’re a total teetotaler, the tapsters would be more than happy to craft you a latte or americano made with local Martin espresso.

On the other side of the hotel, the expansive pool terrace has stunning views of the historic location of Cow Ford Crossing on the St Johns.  If you happen to get peckish or crave a libation while you’re by the pool, St. Johns Provision Company has you covered. Saunter up to the outdoor cabana bar and order from the same delicious appetizer and drink menu found in the lounge, but with distinctly tropically-sounding new names: Slip-N-Sliders, Poolside ‘Dilla (quesadilla), and Cha Cha Chicken (wings or tenders), to name a few.  If you find yourself there from 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm on Thursday evenings, check out their excellent happy hour during the weekly Riverfront Live! event. Live local artists perform for pool-loving locals and hotel guests, adding to the “tropical resort” feel of the terrace. An excellent reason to always keep a pair of flip flops and some sunscreen in your desk for some post-office, Friday-Eve relaxation.


Southbank Johnnie’s

Lexington Hotel and Conference Center Jacksonville Riverwalk

1515 Prudential Drive

 

 

The lobby of the Lexington Hotel and Conference Center in Southside beautifully blends “light and airy” with “functionally industrial,” a dichotomy that somehow totally works.  Light, distressed wood floors, a plethora of contemporary seating, and modern accenting decor blend with 40-foot vaulted ceilings that showcase I-beams, skylights, and exposed metal rafters.  A pair of dueling baby grands in black and white flank a shaftless, exposed elevator at the back of the space which makes for a stunning focal point. The clean lines, open feel, and slight industrial look are recent: last summer, Lexington completed a $30 million renovation of the entire interior of the hotel and conference center: Five floors.  323 guest rooms. 18 suites. 35 thousand square feet of banquet space.

To the left of the entrance is a sprawling bar accompanied by a smattering of tables tucked into two alcoves.  This is Southbank Johnnie’s, the pride of the Lexington. Open from noon to midnight during the week and until 2am Friday and Saturday nights, Johnnie’s has the longest happy hour in Downtown, from 4 pm – 9 pm.  The craft-obsessed will love the bar’s commitment to serving exclusively local beer, and the foodies will dig the full menu that reflects simplicity and attention to detail. Their “Morsels of the Sea,” fried grouper bites with a Cajun-spiced remoulade, have a reputation on their own, and their fully customizable gourmet burgers feature three protein options, three types of buns (or a lettuce wrap for the low-carb crowd), four kinds of cheese, and eight premium toppings.

With a River Taxi port in front, Kings Avenue Skyway station in the back, and the termination of Route 1 at Prudential Drive, Aaron Holley, the hotel’s Food and Beverage Manager, proclaims: “All roads lead to Lexington!  It’s so easy to get here, we would love to see the lunch crowd come in and see what we have to offer.” Not only are patrons welcome to dial in to the hotel’s guest wifi, but there are USB charging ports set straight into the bar, making it an ideal place to host a working lunch.  If you eat a little too much, walk it off on the stunning Southside Riverwalk, just steps away from the front door. Additionally, the bar will validate parking for their patrons, so there’s really no excuse not head to Southbank for a sip and a bite.


Pier 1515

Lexington Hotel and Conference Center Jacksonville Riverwalk

1515 Prudential Drive

 

 

The other eatery found at the Lexington Hotel and Conference Center is Pier 1515 (that’s “one-five, one-five,” not “fifteen-fifteen,” FYI).  A nod to the hotel’s street address, Pier 1515 serves breakfast daily, with a simple but varied menu.  Standouts include a house corned beef hash and a carnitas (pulled pork) breakfast burrito, complete with refritos and tomatillo.  The restaurant itself is on the first floor of the hotel and will soon boast outside patio seating for the bistro dining-inclined, in addition to its spacious, casual dining room and an extra anteroom space that is typically used for expansive buffet spreads.  Aaron emphasizes that while Pier 1515 is a functional, full-service restaurant, the hotel is designed as a conference center and was made for private events large and small. The 35 thousand square feet breaks down quite nicely, from intimate spaces for a dozen or so to a 600 person ballroom, and any adjacent areas can be booked together in order to accommodate large groups with distinct, functional areas.

Pier 1515 handles all of the catering and room service for the Lexington, including their rooftop and pool deck events.  Once a month or so, Aaron books a band or a DJ to play poolside, sets up a full-service bar, and has loads of food brought out.  There’s even bottle service available for the first-floor pool suites, which come with their own private pool-adjacent patios and cabanas.  “It’s the ultimate venue for birthdays, bachelor/bachelorette parties, or just a fun weekend hanging by the pool, it’s a great space” Aaron remarks.  Those portable bars and chafing dishes will be present at the new Topsider Brunch that Aaron is starting on the fifth-floor rooftop patio along with a stunning panoramic view of the St Johns River.  Aaron encourages locals, especially the hotel’s neighbors living in The Strand, The Peninsula, and Broadstone River House (opening in 2019), to come in for a visit and make Southbank Johnnie’s and Pier 1515 their new favorite standby for after-office drinks, a quick date night, rooftop brunches on the river, and poolside parties.

by: admin in Weekly Update No Comments  

The following is this week’s issue of the #DTJax Weekly Update e-newsletter. To receive this in your email inbox each week, sign-up here.

__________________________________________________________________________

Instagram of the Week 

 

Photo by @ecisivekat

 

Tag your Downtown photo #DTJax for a chance to be featured.

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

Things To Do Downtown

 

Arts & Culture

Tuesday, December 4
Thursday, December 6
Friday, December 7
Saturday, December 8

 

 

Live Music & Nightlife 

Friday, December 7
Monday, December 10

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

Get Involved

 

Each year Downtown Vision evaluates the state of Downtown Jacksonville and collects data on how to improve the Downtown experience. If you live or work in #DTJax (Northbank, Southbank, Brooklyn/Riverside Avenue, LaVilla or the Stadium District) we want to hear from you!
Complete our survey and be entered to win a $100 gift certificate to the Downtown restaurant or retailer of your choice. Two winners will be chosen and contacted by the email address provided.

COJ City Council Meeting 

 
Join the City of Jacksonville for a City Council Meeting. Details.
When: Tuesday, December 11, 5 p.m.
Where: City Council Chambers
Sheriff’s Watch Meeting 
 

Join JSO officers and community members for monthly discussions about crime issues facing our neighborhoods and hear progress updates. Details.

When: Wednesday, December 19, 11 a.m.
Where: Main Library, 303 N. Laura St.

 

 __________________________________________________________________

 

#DTJax News

 

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

New businesses in #DTJax:

 

150 Riverside Ave. #307
211 N. Laura St.
Now Open! (through the holidays)
400 N. Hogan St.
Now Open!
223 N. Hogan St.
Now Open!
Coming Soon
120 E. Forsyth St.
Coming Soon
345 E. Bay St.
Coming Soon
120 E. Forsyth St.
Coming Soon
225 E. Coastline Dr.
Coming Soon
112 W. Adams St.
Coming Soon

 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Stories From BlogDTJax.com

 

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

DVI Updates:

 

Tickets are going fast for the inaugural #DTJax Awards Breakfast!
 
Celebrate the people and projects making a difference in Downtown Jacksonville on Tuesday, December 11, from 7:30-10 a.m. at The River Club.
Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door and include breakfast and complimentary parking. Buy your tickets or table today.
VyStar Credit Union Presents: Spirit of Giving Art Walk NEXT WEEK
Give the gift of local this holiday season when you shop at #ArtWalkJax. There’s plenty to do and see with the entire family this month including:
  • Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony in Hemming Park with Council President Aaron Bowman at 6 p.m.
  • Don’t miss these performances at the Hemming Park Main Stage:
    • Jacksonville Symphony Brass Quintet, 5:00-6:00 p.m.
    • Scott Jones School of Dance, 6:30-7:15 p.m.
    • Poetry reading by local student Miracle Singleton, 7:30 p.m.
  • Holiday fun in Hemming:
    • Take a traditional horse-drawn carriage ride around Hemming Park.
    • Bring the kids to play in 15 tons of real snow North Pole Play Area.
    • Visit the Art Walk tent in Hemming Park for a $5 wristband that gives access to both.
    • Pick up Free 3-D snowflake glasses and candy canes at the Art Walk tent in Hemming Park while supplies last.
  • Dazzling sights to see:
    • Stroll down Laura Street for the annual “Lights on Laura” display featuring 80,000 LED holiday lights and nearly 100 LED-lit garlands, made possible by Downtown Vision.
    • Holiday windows return to Downtown for the first time in years with The Looking Glass: Holiday Windows of Art featuring decorated windows in your favorite #DTJax businesses organized by Wolf & Cub.

Want to know more? Get the details here.

DVI is looking for fun, talented interns for the Spring!
 
2017 State of Downtown Report
 
It’s an exciting time for Downtown Jacksonville. As we watch Downtown “potential” turn into action, we have a lot of successes to celebrate. Read about current development, employment and residential trends in this 12-month look at the Downtown Jacksonville progress. Read or download the PDF here.
2016-2017 Annual Report
 
Have you ever wondered, what exactly does DVI do in a year? Check out our latest Annual Report, which highlights accomplishments and financial information for fiscal year 2016-2017. Read or download the PDF here.
2018 Art Walk Sponsorship Opportunities
 
Downtown’s signature monthly event, First Wednesday Art Walk attracts 5,000 people each month, spans 15+ blocks with 35+ galleries, museums, cultural venues, restaurants, bars and businesses. In its 15th year, Art Walk celebrates the local art scene by featuring hundreds of artists, performers and live music acts. Be a partner today! Download the kit here.