Beaches Construction Update: August 2011

August 18, 2011 8 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Here's a look at new businesses, closings, and renovations this month in the Jacksonville - Neptune- Atlantic Beaches area.

M Shack

Local fine dining chef Matthew Medure is opening a new restaurant concept called the M Shack in the Beaches Town Center at the eastern end of Atlantic Boulevard.
Medure’s soon-to-be neighbors are also starting to hear about the M Shack, which will offer freshly made fast food fare like burgers, fries and shakes - and they say they’re looking forward to it.
“We’re very excited that he’s coming next door,” said Cathy Wagner, the general manager of Ragtime Tavern - Seafood & Grill. “I think he’ll be a great addition to the neighborhood.”
The M Shack, which has already started demolition work on the space at 299 Atlantic Blvd., is moving into space that has been empty since August 2010, when The Bookmark relocated to another space within the Beaches Town Center.

The Bookmark

The bookstore, a local favorite, moved just down the road from its former location to the corner of 1st and Orange Streets, next to Sliders Seafood Grille.

Atlantic Boulevard Plaza

TCBY is now open for business next door to the recently new Hurricane Grill & Wings.

The soon to come Smashburger, a Denver-based, fast-growing burger chain. The company is reported to have seven locations in Jacksonville by 2015.

The menus of the more than 100 Smashburgers around the nation all include at least one specialty burger on the menu that reflects their region, and the soon-to-open first Florida Smashburger will be no different.
The Sunshine bacon and cheese Smashburger will include citrus orange barbecue sauce, applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese and haystack onions on an artisan egg bun. A marinated chicken breast version of the Sunshine will also be on the Neptune Beach menu when the restaurant at 628 Atlantic Blvd. opens Aug. 18.

Fifth Third Bank

The bank sits to the right of the aforementioned plaza, facing it on Atlantic Boulevard.

Poe's Tavern

The new restaurant is making progress - they were originally slated to open in June.

A South Carolina restaurant named after famed author and poet Edgar Allan Poe is opening a second location in the Beaches area. The original Poe’s is a homage to Poe, who was stationed at Fort Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island for 13 months while he served in the U.S. Army under the pseudonym Edgar Allan Perry, according to the restaurant’s website. His time on the island inspired “The Gold Bug,” according to the restaurant’s website, which is a story about a mystical beetle that led to buried treasure.
Known for its burger and drink selection, according to its website, Poe’s menu items are named after Poe’s works, such as the Gold Bug burger or chicken sandwich that comes with cheddar, Monterrey Jack or swiss cheese. There’s also a Starving Artist burger or chicken sandwich that is bunless and comes pimiento, toasted garlic blue, sweet pepper goat or jalapeno Jack cheese.
The menu also includes salads, fish tacos, hand cut French fries and quesadillas. Entrees range from $8 to $13.

Interior photos courtesy of

Vacant Strip on 6th Ave. N.

The strip that once housed the old tax collector's office is now being marketed for a redesign project by Integrated Construction,LLC.

Convenient Store

The store is finally up and running on the corner of 11th Ave. N. and 3rd Street.

Smoothie King

The new drive-thru location is open for business off 3rd St. S.

First Watch: The Daytime Cafe

The brunch chain, based in Bradenton, is soon to open in the South Beach Parkway Plaza off A1A and Marsh Landing Parkway, to the right of J.T.B. East. Another location will be on San Jose Boulevard in the Mandarin-Riverplace Shopping Center. The two new Jacksonville locations will make the total number operating 87.

Boom Shaka Laka's

The new Hawaiian-themed eat-in is now open in the North Street Plaza off Atlantic Blvd. It replaces the old Tijuana Flats location.

Parent company The Spirit of Hospitality, now brings you “Boom Shaka Laka’s Food Shack” to Atlantic Beach Florida!  ”Traditional southern breakfasts with authentic Hawaiian favorites is what you will find in this new and exciting concept” says Spirit of Hospitality Chief “Hospitality” Officer and Owner Bernard Santiago.

“We wanted to bring another breakfast and lunch option to the beaches, somewhere where families and friends can gather and enjoy great food in a fun atmosphere!  We are looking to create a unique dining experience where the guests experience is our top priority!” Said Santiago

Oh and don’t forget the food!  Grind on B’s signature Hawaiian Pulled pork and Teriyaki Beef Shorts Ribs, or how about Hawaiian Sweet Bread french toast with eggs, and choice of bacon, country sausage or a Hawaiian favorite…portuguese sausage or SPAM with freshly brewed “Boom Shaka Laka’s Kona Blend” coffee!  

Interior photos courtesy of

Other Updates:

- The Fiji Tan salon has moved from the strip on 3rd St. N. and 10th Ave. N. (that just recently underwent renovation if you remember) to its new location on 3rd St. S. and  8th Ave. S., next door to the now closed Cabo's Island Pizza (which still sits vacant).
- The new Ross location in the South Beach Regional Shopping Center, off 3rd Ave. S. by JTB, has finally opened after months of anticipation.
- A new jazz/blues restaurant is coming to the beach soon. Metropolis at the Beach will go into the former Lubi's Hot Subs location on N. 3rd St., opposite NAPA auto store and across the street from Rita's.

*Editor's Note: We failed to mention in the June Update that a former local favorite has come back to life. Cyclone's Tex-Mex Cantina on the corner of 3rd St. S. and 12th Ave. S., was once Cyclone Anaya's more than a decade ago. It's housed a number of Mexican restaurants since that time, but none long-term. It's back in business as of June and has been coined "the best Tex-Mex this side of the Intracoastal."

Also, Atlantic Beach dessert shop Bite Me Cupcake Bar opened in June. It was opened by a mother-daughter team, in an effort to pay for the youngest sons medical bills. Portions of proceeds go to Make-A-Wish Foundation.

How does the cupcake bar work? We customize your cupcake when ordered at our cupcake bar. Pick your flavor of cake, pick a filling and frosting then choose your toppings. Our products are baked daily with fresh organic ingredients. Cupcakes are frosted with Buttercream or Vegancream. Now offering traditional, gluten free, dairy free, vegan & sugar free cupcakes and treats.

We are prone to miss things sometimes. If you know of other ongoing construction, please feel free to share.

News Shorts

Jarboe Park Draws The Line
The Neptune Beach City Council unanimously approved a resolution Monday calling for tighter rules for large groups using Jarboe Park.
A moratorium on the use of the park at Florida Boulevard and Third Street was enacted by City Manager Jim Jarboe in May after large crowds were overrunning the facility. Jarboe provided a list of more restrictions on large groups, which the City Council endorsed.
The resolution imposes a $250 deposit before any large group can use the park and that money will be forfeited if the group doesn't clean up afterward. The rules also redefine a large group as 25 people or more, instead of the previous 40 people.

Candidates Chat
The Beaches Watch community organization will host a candidate forum for Atlantic Beach candidates vying for office in this month's city election.
The forum is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18, at the Atlantic Theatres, 751 Atlantic Blvd., Atlantic Beach.
The event is open to the public and will give voters the opportunity to meet the candidates and learn about their platforms and positions. Voters can also talk individually to the candidates.
Candidates for Mayor Seat 1 are Mike Borno and Mark Tomaski. John Fletcher and Maria Mark are running for Commission Seat 2. And Mark Beckenbach and Paul Parsons are running for Seat 3.

A Dog Eat Dog World
Dog owners would face stiffer penalties if their animals run free and pose a threat under a law that the Neptune Beach City Council will consider Monday.
The proposed revised ordinance says the owner of a dog that has bitten someone must pay to have the animal tested for rabies as well as pay the victim compensation. Among other issues, the owner must comply with tag requirements before the dog is released after city animal control officers impound the dog following an attack. Violations of the ordinance would be punishable by a non-criminal citation of $500.
The council meeting begins at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 116 First St.

Truck, Truck, Truckin...
Jacksonville Beach City Council members will review the trade-in value of a city utility bucket truck Monday.
A memo from Director of Beaches Energy Services Roy Trotter says the bucket truck has extensive rust, high mileage and excessive engine wear. Trotter said the truck is valued at $24,000 and wants to trade it in and purchase a new truck, which is funded in the city's budget.
The council meeting begins at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 11 Third St. N.

Money Wrap-Up
Atlantic Beach and Jacksonville Beach city managers are proposing to hold the property tax rates steady for the next fiscal year, while Neptune Beach is looking at a slight increase.
Atlantic Beach and Jacksonville Beach will make some staff cuts and both cities site declining tax revenue as a major challenge. Neptune Beach officials are still waiting on state funding allocations to be finalized before they finish their spending plan for 2011-12.

Update by Sarah Gojekian.