The King Street corridor in the Riverside/Avondale has become a real beer destination. With two breweries, Pele’s Wood Fire boasting 50 taps, Kickback’s with 84 taps, European Street, Dahlia’s Pour House opening soon with 50 taps, and at least two other destinations opening soon, if you cannot find a good beer to drink in that area, you are not trying very hard.
A few months ago, I wrote about the Sierra Nevada Beer Dinner held at Kickback’s. I also mentioned that during that dinner Steve Flores, the owner of Kickback’s, announced his plans for a new restaurant to the immediate left of his current establishment. Today the Florida Times-Union is running an article on their website — http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2012-01-23/story/kickbacks-expansion-fuels-riverside-controversy — about the new eatery with details that sound very interesting indeed.
The main article at the link above details a controversy going on with Riverside Avondale Preservation. I will not go into that here; you can read that part of the article if you want. But, the new place Steve has planned does sound amazing. I cannot wait to claim my throne in the Belgian bar.
Roger Bull, of the Times-Union writes this about the new place:
Here’s what the owners have planned for the new restaurant next door to Kickbacks Gastropub:
Two stories and a basement for a total of about 10,000 square feet, with a kitchen that Kickbacks will share.
It’ll have 249 seats. Seventy-six of the seats will be outside, including 24 on the sidewalk and 52 on the front covered patio.
The basement will be a Belgian beer bar with 50 seats.
The food, Steve Flores said, will have “75 items from around the world that haven’t been seen much on a menu in Jacksonville.”
He mentioned five flavors of moules-frites (that’s mussels and fries for those who haven’t seen it on a menu before) along with vegetarian and vegan dishes.
Much of the emphasis will be on beer. Kickbacks already has 84 on draft and more than 600 in bottles.
The downstairs bar will be for serious sipping and there will be storage for 1,000 kegs.
“I don’t think Dogfish 120 should be served until it’s at least five years old,” Flores said, “so I’ll store it at least that long.”
For me, this place cannot open fast enough! The food sounds awesome – true Belgian fare in Jacksonville? Yes please! A dedicated Belgian basement? It may be in a basement, but – as a Belgian beer lover and some say expert – it will be heaven for me.
Jacksonville is growing up. We are finally getting the kinds of restaurants and entertainment options other cities have enjoyed for years. And, as far as beer culture, we are nearly afloat in it.