Former filling station to house Nashville barbecue franchise

Former filling station to house Nashville barbecue franchise
Rendering of proposed barbecue restaurant in Venetia area
A 60-year-old gas station was demolished at Roosevelt and Ortega Boulevards to make way for a new restaurant.

A 60-year-old gas station was demolished at Roosevelt and Ortega Boulevards to make way for a new restaurant.

First Coast Energy, which owns and operates Daily’s convenience stores, recently demolished a long-defunct station at 5344 Ortega Blvd. to make way for a business of a different kind.

Instead of putting in a Daily’s, the company will lease the property to Ortega residents Virginia and Todd Ogletree, who will own the first Jacksonville franchise of Edley’s Bar-B-Que.

This will be the sixth location for the nationally-recognized eatery, based in Nashville and founded by Virginia Ogletree’s sister and brother-in-law in 2011. The family-owned business is named after the brother-in-law’s grandfather, Edley Newman.

The Ogletrees originally looked at trying to work with the former gas station, but “it was like trying to put a square peg in a round hole,” said Virginia, who is a realtor and active at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and Day School. “I don’t sit still very well,” she said, referring to plans to be active in the restaurant.

The Ogletrees are working with Finial Custom Builders of St. Augustine, using a plan from one of Edley’s newest Nashville locations. Although the property did not take on water during Hurricane Irma, they want to raise the floor higher than what the gas station had.

Edley’s will seat 150 indoors and on an outdoor patio, serving traditional barbeque as well as Mexican cuisine. A full bar will offer craft beer on tap and Southern cocktails.

Aiming to be open mid-summer, the Ogletrees plan to serve lunch, dinner daily and breakfasts on weekends. The décor will include a nod to Jacksonville’s military and nautical industries, and Virginia Ogletree said she hoped to attract business from Naval Air Station Jacksonville. “We want to be supportive of all our First Responders, including those on the base,” she said.

The former gas station, built in 1958, was torn down in January by Lockwood Quality Demolition Inc. at a cost of $10,000. First Coast Energy’s predecessor, Petro Distributing, bought the property in 1993 from BP Oil Company. Then in 1997, that and 18 other parcels in Duval County were granted to First Coast Energy, when the company began to build Daily’s convenience stores in Jacksonville.

Immediately north of the former gas station is a decommissioned JEA 4KV substation. When asked whether JEA intends to sell the 4,800-square-foot property, a spokesperson said, “I don’t believe we are actively selling that property.”

By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News

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