If you’re a fan of Kickbacks Gastropub in Riverside on King Street, they could really use your help to fight the decision of the Riverside Avondale Preservation association to appeal the construction of their new restaurant. We believe that this is a terrible decision for the revitalization of Jacksonville (Click Here to read our previous article). PLEASE show Steve your support. He has had our backs, and now it’s time to show Goozlepipe & Guttyworks some love at their next public meeting.
WHERE: City Hall
WHEN: February 22nd, 2012 at 5 pm.
From Steve at Kickbacks:
“As many of you know, we are in the final stages of planning a new restaurant next door to Kickbacks called Goozlepipe & Guttyworks. Hundreds of you have asked how you can help and here is your chance…
The city’s planning and zoning department is overwhelmingly in support of our project and the city’s planning commission voted unanimously in October to grant us a parking deviation that we needed.
The Riverside Avondale Preservation Association (RAP) has filed an appeal of the planning commission’s decision to the Land Use Committee of the City Council (LUZ) and is attempting to make our project a political issue. They have been knocking on doors, sending emails, making phone calls, flyering the neighborhood, starting on-line petitions and engaging in an all out campaign of lies and distortion in an effort to win the support of the neighborhood and the city council. RAP wants to be the voice of the neighborhood, they want to represent YOU. We feel that RAP can have a voice…their OWN voice. They can represent themselves and their members but they aren’t the voice of the public. The public fills our seats every day and night, our neighbors come by car, foot, bike, shuttle, cab, stroller, rickshaw and skateboard.
Just so we are clear, we are building another restaurant. One that the neighborhood can be proud of, that families and people of all ages can enjoy. A new restaurant that will create 35 new jobs within the neighborhood. We are not building a strip club, night club or pool hall.
In the worst economy in any of our lifetimes, we plan to invest over $1,000,000 in a commercial corridor that most people agree was stimulated by our original investment of money, time, blood, sweat and tears over 6 years ago.
A few years ago, a “zoning overlay” was written and introduced covering most of our neighborhood. The intent of the overlay was to allow any restaurant to open in any existing contributing structure in Riverside/Avondale without having to provide ANY parking spaces. The overlay also gave a 50% parking reduction to any new construction in the neighborhood. We are tearing down a non-contributing duplex next door and building new construction. According to the overlay, we would have to provide 19 or 33 parking spaces, depending on your interpretation of the technical language within. We are providing only 8 new parking spaces, but they technically don’t count because they are in our alley. The city planners recognized that it would be physically impossible to provide this many spaces and after considering a list of mitigating circumstances, allowed the exception. If we built a parking lot instead of a new building, we could only build 8-10 parking spaces on the entire lot.
There is an increasingly long list of restaurants that are planned or have opened in the King St. district since we first proposed this project. Pele’s, Carmines will open a new restaurant in the Jackson’s space, The Garage, Dahlia’s Pour House, Alpha Dog…and more coming. That’s just in the last 9 months. What do they all have in common? None of them are new construction and therefore none of them had to provide ANY parking! RAP wants to “protect the neighborhood” from our customers but has zero concern for the cumulative effect of all the other restaurants? That makes no sense. The overlay was written such that every single building can be a restaurant, of varying sizes, and none of them need to provide any parking. RAP has no concern for the parking and traffic generated by businesses in old buildings but only wants to “protect the neighborhood” from the one business constructing a new building? They call our project “irresponsible”! They say our customers urinate in peoples yards, litter and block driveways…have any of you done that? Is it possible that these people are coming from other businesses?
Despite the fact that we were granted the parking deviation, we continue to work on providing parking solutions for our customers and for the district as a whole. We recognize that we will not succeed as a business if people can not make it to our front door safely.
What can you do to help? Plenty. We’ve resisted your offers for months out of respect for your time and the time of the LUZ. We are now asking you to let the LUZ know how you feel about our project. We want you to email them (please cc us) and call them. We want you to show up at our next public hearing on February 22nd at 5pm at City Hall. Please send us your contact information and let us know if you can make it!
Reginald Brown- Chair
Ray Holt- Vice Chair
Phone: (904) 630-1396
The subject line can be Kickbacks Gastropub/Goozlepipe & Guttyworks “Zoning Exception and Administrative Deviation E-11-54 & AD-11-58”
It can be a bit confusing, so let me be clear. If you are in support of the new restaurant, then you are against the appeal.
We have supported RAP throughout our careers, and will continue to do so, but we feel that their efforts should focus on preserving contributing buildings. Despite the fact that their support and membership have plummeted in recent years, they have a very loud voice and have focussed considerable time and financial resources on trying to stop our project.
As a small business owner in Jacksonville we are deeply disturbed by the appeal that has been filed by RAP. With the difficult economic times we all face and the existing regulations imposed by the city, the last thing we need is a glorified homeowners association telling the city how to run the city government. The planning Commission is a group of professionals that have been appointed to make these decisions. Small businesses have a hard enough time providing jobs for this great community. Please ask the LUZ to vote no on the appeal and allow the new restaurant to be built without further delay.
Please call or write with any questions. We are happy to speak with you or meet with you anytime. Thank you so much.”
Believe in ghosts or not, St. Augustine Ghosts abound around the town, and the Castillo De San Marcos haunted ghosts are some of the most easily observed and detected. On a recent ghost hunting trip to San Diego, we were amazed to participate in a new form of ghost tour, an actual ghost hunt. The difference between a ghost tour and a ghost hunt is simple: Ghost tours attempt to tell a good spooky story to the casual paranormal enthusiast, whereas a ghost hunt actually goes out to seek proof in the existence of the paranormal.
Now, we’ve always heard that the Castillo De San Marcos was haunted, and decided to do a little research on the subject. After all, several regional paranormal investigative teams and ghost hunting shows have documented evidence of paranormal happenings inside the old fort. Since we didn’t have access to the inside of the fort at night (we don’t have that kind of pull on such a short notice), we decided to just explore the exterior grounds around the moat of the Castillo.
The Castillo itself is square-shaped and has a lengthy filled-in sand moat along it’s girth. Some of the more active spots are said to be along the bay facing wall, where strange lights, EVP’s and other phenomenon have been documented. On our trip, we caught several EVP’s while asking simple questions in both Spanish and English. Just preceding our first EVP, I had just asked in Spanish, “Yo Deseo hablar con usted,” which translates in english to “I desire to talk to you.” My response was a simple name, “Maria.” Here is the disembodied voice saying Maria: St Augustine EVP 1 Maria
Established originally as a Spanish fortification, the Castillo has been used by the Spanish, The British and as a Civil War fort. It’s built almost entirely of coquina (a shell based concrete) which was quite resistant to musket and cannon fire. The Castillo has seen a dark history in that it was also home to several executions by firing squad (along the inner walls), had dark dungeons and also housed Native American converts and slaves. Our second EVP is that of a young lady’s voice, who must have been observing me and commented, “he’s not a ghost.” Here is that spectral voice: St. Augustine EVP 2 Hes not a ghost and here’s another saying, “walking further:” St Augustine EVP 3 Walking Further
While we were in San Diego, our ghost hunting guide took us to the grounds of the original mission de Acala (adjacent to the Serra Museum), where it is claimed that you can feel spirits interacting with you. The experience is said to feel like cobwebs tugging on your face. The ruins of the original mission lay in an overgrown field and include the original cemetery. While my Wife did feel the cobwebs, I didn’t get to feel that experience. In this EVP from the cemetery area, my Wife was teasing me about how much the “ghosts don’t like you.” I responded to her by saying, “they like you…” Later, during playback, we heard a very nasty spectral growl from the grave. Here is the growl: San Diego EVP 1 Serra Museum unexplained growl
Are ghosts real? I can’t say for sure, but I can say that the evidence we’d recorded is genuine and wasn’t faked. We sure are starting to believe.
Call it Avondale Jacksonville or call it Riverside Jacksonville; One of the most interesting revitalizations in the west riverfront in Jacksonville neighborhoods is occurring right now in a formerly run down business district off of King Street. What was once derelict and decrepit is now new again, and quite the hotspot for hipsters from baby boomers through millennials. Over the past handfull of years, a bevvy of new growth has happened to King Street owed largely in part to the success of two new Jacksonville breweries: Intuition Ale Works and Bold City Brewing. Each brewery produces fantastic local craft beers for our local market, and their continued success has attracted new business and new jobs to the area. Since the location has become more desireable, property values in the vicinity are on the rise. The success of the craft beer movement in Jacksonville, Florida means essentially that a rising tide floats all economic boats.
Nationwide, the craft beer industry has expanded at a 30% rate for the past ten years. Consumers of adult beverages are foregoing the largest beer companies and are interested in finding quality beers which only craft breweries can produce. This is reflected like a solar flare one of the few bright spots in an otherwise bleak economy, a massive amount of growth and interest in craft beer. Jacksonville is no exception. People along the first coast love their local breweries and have not only sought them out, but also are interested in the restaurants and bars that carry the best selection of local craft goodness. The best of these are listed below:
With an extensive menu of gourmet quality food and craft beer at reasonable prices, Kickbacks Gastropub has become the mecca for all things culinary. With over 85 craft beers on tap and thousands of bottles on site, Kickbacks appeals to conniseurs of craft. Set to expand into their new concept restaurant next door (called, “Goozlepipe & Guttyworks”, a high concept art restaurant with a steam-punk theme) in 2012, Kickbacks will very shortly be the most unique and notorious pub of amazement in Jacksonville, FL.
You may have noticed something new on the corner of King Street & Park Street. The ancient shell that was once the King Street drug store has been reborn like a phoenix from the ashes as Pele’s Wood Fire grill. Pele’s is a gastronome’s dream with wood fired modern italian cuisine.
Good Pizza in Riverside, impossible.
More than possible, Carmine’s pie house has the most outstanding array of both New York and Chicago style pizza and traditional italian favorites. And what’s better than a slice of `za and a craft beer? Nothing, my friend.
Help! Where can I Park on King Street?
It’s true, the neighborhood sure is popular. The best way to assure a parking space along King Street is to call ahead to each establishment. Several have special after-hours parking agreements with local businesses (leased lots at the nearby banks, etc.) and Kickbacks even has a long standing program where they will pick you up if you need a ride. How’s that for service? A quick, efficient sober ride to and from your current location with no fuss and no muss.
So what’s all the controversy about parking?
That is unknown. You would think that anyone with half a brain would be interested in supporting local efforts to revitalize a commercial area. Who could possibly be against the creation of new jobs and the elevated desire to live in this neighborhood? Local businesses such as bed and breakfasts and retail locations should be seeing a tremendous boom to their business. And with property values on the rise, more money for revitalizing residential areas is sure to follow.
With the influx of warmer spring weather, Jacksonville Beach Fishing is starting to see some action. Warmer weather means warmer waters which betters fishing all along the first coast. The further south, the better the inshore fishing is getting, and the fishing from Saint Augustine northward is looking great.
SA Fishing Northward? What are they biting on?
As mud bugs and crustaeceans begin to emerge from their winter’s hibernation under the mud and sand banks of the swashes and marsh lands, fishes are starting to stir. You’ll find the most common bait items are critters like hermit crabs, mud snails, pea crabs, white shrimp and the like. Look for wamer waters above 50 degrees f. and bait your hooks or use look-a-like lures that closely resemble these crustaeceans. Hold off on inshore baits like shiners and insects until the weather begins to warm up a little warmer in March and April.
What are the best times for Jacksonville Beach Fishing, and where should I be fishing?
Right now, the best times to be fishing are during the tide changes. Seek out the inlet areas where fingerlings of the St. John’s river system extend out to the open ocean and along the coastline where the brackish waters meet the seas. These areas see a large influx of saltwater fish pour in and out with the tides, and positioning your fishing in these areas will help you catch these fish as they swim inshore and offshore with the tide. Tide charts are available on the weather pages at your favorite local news websites, such as CBS Action News or Fox 30 Jacksonville.
Offshore fishing is still good, and gulf stream fishing is usually always good throughout the year. Charter boats such as the Mayport Princess go out daily with other private charter boats going out from weekdays to weekends to the usual ‘boil up’ spots. There are still plenty of shrimps and bait fish in the water, and we recommend collar hooking bait fish for top water upwellings and trolling with live baits in the gulf stream.
While the DW and I were in San Diego for a convention last week, we rented a car and made the haj up to Escondido to visit Stone brewing. Stone is hidden alongside a medical plant, just past a crop of auto dealerships and repair shops at the crest of a hill. We arrived at about 11:45 am last Sunday.
Stone is a large and unassuming building, which you could easily mistake for any modern new office building. There’s very little signage, but they’re the only building on the street with their own bamboo garden, overflow parking lot and valet parking out front.
Walking down from the parking lot, you can enter from the bamboo garden along a stone pathway, with several natural stones inlaid into the path. Arches and trellises with Japanese bell lamps were a nice touch. They have several man made water features such as a waterfall and pond areas in the garden. It was chilly cold that morning, so we didn’t linger in the gardens.
Walking in, you enter the gift shop and growler fill room with the dining room/bistro off to the right. The gift shop is medium sized and filled with the usual brewing schwag. They have several types of t-shirts, hoodies, hats, glasswear, stickers and other schwag throughout. Their growler bar sells growlers in three different sizes/prices and has their full production line of annual beers. I didn’t note anything “tasting room specific” other than oaked arrogant bastard.
The tours on Sunday start on the hour every hour. Tickets were free (bonus!) and we had about fifteen minutes to kill, so we headed for the bar in the bistro and had a look at the menu over brews. The bistro is dutch modern in style and well appointed with lots of bar space, and the brewery itself serves as a glassed backdrop on one side and the gardens illuminating through on the other side.
Their draft last was actually smaller than I’d anticipated, with about 40 regional craft beers on tap. Their bottle list was also likewise modest, but what they offered was quality over quantity. They had several selections of their own brews, collaboration brews, and such notable choices as offerings from Lost Abbey, The Bruery in Placentia and 50/50 to name a few. We didn’t try the food, but the prices were reasonable and the choices were plentiful. Think American gastropub fusion food.
About 30 people assembled at noon for our tour, in which we were lead into the brewery past their control room (no penguins) to two stone pedestals in front of their massive mash tun. One pillar supported a stone bible with their words of wisdom etched within, one supported bottles of their annual beers and three snifters of barley, a snifter with whole hops and a tulip of arrogant bastard. All were guarded by a stone gargoyle riding on top of an oak barrel.
The tour itself was basic and meant to explain the brewing process to noobs. We were allowed to sample some cracked roasted barley malt (mmm, grape nuts) and see the wort sparging out of the mash tun (pumping to a fermentation tank). We also saw two worker bees add two five gallon buckets full of centennial pelleted hops into another mash tun. Other worker bees were cleaning out a huge dry hopper into floor drains. Nice and hoppy beer.
At the end of the tour, we were allowed to sample four of their beers (levitation ale, smoked porter, arrogant bastard and double AB), all for free, 2 oz. pours. If you’re in the San Diego, CA area, definitely go check out Stone. It’s worth it!