Local entrepreneur putting handprint on 5 Points

Local entrepreneur putting handprint on 5 Points
While a lot of hoops are to be jumped through and red tape dealt with, Steve Williams has a dream for an Oak Street property that may re-purpose a shipping container similar to this concept.

Although still working through his due diligence on the property at 1030 Oak Street in 5 Points, entrepreneur Steve Williams has a dream for the spot where Richard’s Sandwich Shoppe served breakfast and lunch since 1980.

Richard Abboud, owner of the popular lunch spot, entered into a tentative agreement with Williams in April to sell the property. The restaurant’s last day of business was May 27.

Closing on the 6,250 square-foot lot is scheduled for June 3 if all stars align. Williams, along with his father, Roger Williams, hopes to put in a gourmet sandwich shop or an establishment similar to the Butcher and Bee, a company with restaurants in Charleston, South Carolina, and Nashville, Tennessee.

“It’s not a slam dunk yet,” said Steve Williams, CEO of Harbinger Sign and owner of Florida Mining Gallery, about the purchase. “It’s a dream for sure,” he said, referring to the possibility of putting in a restaurant that could incorporate the trend in re-purposing shipping containers.

Williams also owns the former Peterson’s 5 & Dime, at 1037 Park St., which is behind Richard’s Sandwich Shoppe, and where he has put his first handprint on the 5 Points neighborhood.

The Park Street building dates back to the 1920s and formerly housed a tea company, a hardware store, F.W. Woolworth, a 5 & Dime under three names, a variety store and flower shop and, in its more recent incarnation, Fuel Coffeehouse.

Williams purchased the vacant building in 2015 with the intention of finding a restaurant tenant. Hoptinger Bier Garden & Sausage House, which has a location at Jacksonville Beach and another in St. Augustine, will lease the ground floor and rooftop, where the beer garden will be located.

The German/American restaurant is scheduled for a late summer opening, according to Aaron Meisenheimer, managing partner in Hoptinger’s.

Editor’s Note: The statement above was not confirmed, despite multiple attempts to reach Mr. Meisenheimer, and was printed in error. 

By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News

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