JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --- If you’ve been down First Street North in Jacksonville Beach near Eighth Avenue, you may have noticed a pair of new restaurants.
Chef Kenneth Gilbert has partnered up to bring Gilbert's Hot Chicken, Fish & Shrimp and Gilbert's Southern Kitchen and Bar.
“We feel there was something missing,” Gilbert said.
Gilbert is bringing southern style eats to the beach to add to the existing options in the area.
“We’re focused on local, local seafood, local craft beer, local spirits, something affordable, but also kicked up a notch," he said.
When asked, several residents seem pleased.
“I think the choices for eateries have grown exponentially over the last ten years, there are lots of choices," George Babish said.
Gilbert’s has only been open two days, but Babish and Carl Simcox are already excited to add another bar directly off the beach.
“Even in Neptune Beach here there’s not a lot on the beach, so I’m looking forward to a nicer restaurant, good prices, good food, consistency and allows us to sit close to the beach that’s what we’re looking for,” Simcox said.
Gilbert’s isn’t the only one making noise. The empty lot next to Casa Marina restaurant could become Jacksonville Beach’s biggest project to land at the beach.
Jacksonville Beach has received a site plan from Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville for a 221 guest room eight-story building with a restaurant on the first floor.
Margaritaville’s site plans include access to the boardwalk, but still need to be approved before they can apply for a building permit and then a planning and development permit before they can start digging in the sand.
Babish and Simcox say this is a major win for Jacksonville Beach.