Restaurateurs use rooftop, increase options in Riverside

Restaurateurs use rooftop, increase options in Riverside
The rooftop of the nine-story Summit Tower at Riverside Avenue and Post Street will soon be home to a new restaurant and bar, River & Post.

Whether it’s a sidewalk café or a rooftop bar, Jacksonville restaurant patrons love open-air dining.

In 5 Points, residents have long enjoyed sipping and supping outdoors at Mossfire Grill’s intimate four-table rooftop dining or the sunset-laden rooftop bar at the Black Sheep.

Just in the past year and a half, diners have added to their list of “eagle’s nest” eateries the Burrito Gallery in Brooklyn Station and Hoptinger Bier Garden and Sausage House in 5 Points. Coming this fall, yet another rooftop will offer diners and drinkers spectacular views of the St. Johns River. 

After signing the construction contract in early April, partners Jeff McCusker and Bob Fleckenstein began the process to convert the ground floor at 1000 Riverside Ave. to a 233-seat dining room plus outdoor dining for 48, but the pièce de résistance will be the ninth-floor bar with 122 seats outside and 32 inside.

“The first time I visited the building, I thought ‘Wow, this is a wonderful location for a restaurant,’” said McCusker, who is the managing partner. “The rooftop view really makes you appreciate Jacksonville.”

The project began when Padgett Premiere Properties, LLC received City Council approval Feb. 28 for its rezoning application of the nine-story Summit Tower to allow retail usage in the office tower.

With little opposition during public hearings, the application was granted with a minimum of conditions. The City of Jacksonville Planning and Development Department requested the 60-space parking lot across Post Street be landscaped with a continuous evergreen hedge along the Post Street and Riverside Avenue sides of the lot, reaching a height of two to three feet within three years.

Additionally, the planning staff indicated the application did not present evidence of a need for excessive signage, and recommended additional signage of two 575-square-foot wall signs and a 60-square-foot blade sign be deleted from the written description. 

McCusker indicated he and Fleckenstein, who is the financial partner, will share with the building owner the cost of the parking lot landscaping.

The construction is approximately 20 percent complete, according to McCusker, who is hoping for a late September/early October opening.

Riverside Avenue view of outdoor seating at River & Post.

Riverside Avenue view of outdoor seating at River & Post.

Post Street side of future ground-floor restaurant in the Summit Tower.

Post Street side of future ground-floor restaurant in the Summit Tower.


By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News

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