Goozlepipe & Guttyworks construction under way

By Steve DiMattia
Resident Community News

The large crane towering over 914 King St. in Riverside signaled the start of construction for Goozlepipe & Guttyworks restaurant.
“Depending on weather delays, particularly rain during basement construction, we hope to be substantially complete in nine months. Sometime in October would be my guess [for opening],” said Ed Salem, co-owner along with Steve Flores, in an email.

That would mark one year after Salem and Flores were initially granted approval by the planning commission to build Goozlepipe next to their current restaurant, Kickbacks Gastropub.

That approval included provisions for parking credit from the demolition of the then-existing, non-contributing structure, which kicked off a firestorm of controversy and legal appeals from Riverside Avondale Preservation and local residents.
It took until May for the two sides to reach an agreement and city council to give final go head for the project, but only after Salem and Flores were able to provide 30 to 31 off-site parking spaces by securing the lot behind Panda House Chinese Fast Food on Post Street.

“We always strive to be good neighbors and hope that upon completion [of the restaurant] many of the fears that some of our neighbors had will prove to be unfounded,” Salem said.
Moving forward, tree removal on the parking lot site has begun and will be used for construction staging prior to the completion of the parking improvements.

Construction costs on the 9,881-square-foot restaurant will be $1.5 million including parking lot and all kitchen equipment. The final building will be three stories encompassing a 3,309-square-foot basement used largely for beer storage, a 3,309-square-foot main restaurant level including an outside patio, and a 2,669-square-foot upper level with a balcony and office space.

The restaurant will have 249 seats, but Salem said the agreement with RAP allows flexibility as to their location. His current guess is 181 inside, 50 on the patio and 18 on the sidewalk. It will operate seven days a week, 20 hours a day and Salem anticipates 30 or more new employees, although only about eight in addition to their existing Kickbacks staff will be needed at any one time.

As for some of the finer details, other than offering all items currently available at Kickbacks, the menu remains a work in progress. Salem did note that he is working with a local artist who is constructing “Steam Punk” artwork that will be displayed prominently throughout the restaurant.

“Upon completion, we hope to have a restaurant that will be unique and inviting to the residents of Jacksonville,” Salem said.
Toney Construction Co., Inc. is doing the construction. The architect is Lane Architecture and the food-service design is by JAX Design Group, Inc.

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