At the 2018 #DTJax Gala: Vintage Circus, we presented the third annual #DTJax Awards to celebrate the people and projects that make Downtown Jacksonville a better place to live, work, visit and invest. The Downtown Project of the Year award recognizes a project that has significantly enhanced the economic revitalization of Downtown through the activation of underutilized resources, job creation or leading design practices.
This year’s winner is a project over three years in the making, opening its doors to Downtown this past October. Incidentally, it also brought the first rooftop bar to the Downtown core. Cowford Chophouse is housed in the two-story, century-old, fully restored Bostwick Building at the foot of the Main Street bridge. The renovation of this nearly 6,000 square-foot landmark was tedious. Park of the roof had been missing for years, the foundation had sunk, and the exterior had to be fully restored, and rebuilt brick by brick in places. But all that work paid off.
The result is a new Downtown showpiece for revitalization that captures the heart of Jacksonville and sets the bar for fine dining in our city. It’s elegant and modern, yet thoroughly connected to Jacksonville’s history. The Klempf’s even donated artifacts recovered during the renovation to the Museum of Science and History. Thank you, Alex and Jacques Klempf, for bringing Cowford Chophouse to life and for being invested in the future and past of Downtown Jacksonville.