This week in Building Up Jax, we share our thoughts on the hot news of the week: Sbraga & Company’s abrupt closure at 220 Riverside. Also, the soon-to-be-remodeled Mandarin South shopping center has another future tenant on board, and several other notes.
Sbraga & Co. is no more
Obviously, the big story this week is the closure of Sbraga & Company.
The closure was sudden, but not entirely unexpected. The restaurant, owned by nationally-acclaimed chef Kevin Sbraga, had been struggling to draw in customers. They had recently scaled back their hours.
The whole situation is still very confusing right now. Sbraga insists the closure blindsided him as much as anyone, but he had to have known the restaurant was struggling. The closure was apparently initiated by landlord NAI Hallmark, which suggests that they were behind on rent.
None of the Unity Plaza restaurants have been drawing large crowds, although Brixx has been promising in its short time there. Hobnob has edged out Sbraga largely as a result of stronger marketing.
Whatever replaces Sbraga will need to appeal to the nearby demographic much better than the current options do. Unity Plaza’s position near several major office buildings suggests a lunch spot would be ideal, while the young residents of 220 Riverside and The Brooklyn at Riverside want something fun and hip. Sbraga failed on both counts, but whoever comes in next will need to take this into account if they want to stick around.
Mandarin South update
Petsmart is looking to move to the Mandarin South shopping center, according to Jax Daily Record.
The pet supply store would join grocer Earth Fare as a future tenant for Mandarin South, which is expected to undergo a large-scale renovation soon.
The store is expected to open in the fall of 2017.
- The St. Johns Village shopping center, and the Commander apartment building adjacent to it, were purchased by Chance Partners LLC according to multiple sources. They plan to redevelop the property.
- Mastermind Escape Games will open in Southside’s Cypress Business Center, according to Jax Daily Record.
- LA Fitness filed permits for a $5.5 million build-out at Old St. Augustine Plaza, via Jax Daily Record.