JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The sibling entrepreneurs behind Grassroots Natural Market want the old house at the corner of Forbes and Margaret Streets to be your Spirit Animal -- or at least your new spot for craft beer, wine and pie. And they just might reshape a back street of Five Points for the better.
The old house at 2000 Forbes Street in Riverside’s Five Points district is undergoing a transformation. If all goes according to plan, in spring 2019 this 1923 Craftsman home turned shop will be reborn as Spirit Animal, an ambitious venue combining beer and wine bar, package store, and dessert eatery.
Spirit Animal’s owners are a trio of siblings with a long business history in the neighborhood: James Robison, Jack Robison and Anna Michal. James and Jack opened neighborhood staple Grassroots Natural Market on Park Street in 2006, just after James graduated from the University of North Florida.
Anna has worked at Grassroots as well, but Spirit Animal marks her first venture as a business owner.
“It’s exciting. A little nerve-wracking, but I’m excited to partner with them,” said Anna.
The idea for Spirit Animal grew out of a business trip to Austin, Texas, where a storm fittingly trapped the Robisons on Rainey Street, a popular strip where historic Craftsman residences have been given second lives as bars. This got them thinking about the Forbes Street property -- located just around the block from Grassroots -- and the prospect of opening a bar together. The concept and name came from there.
“We were thinking about what kind of bar would we three like? What kind of bar would be our spirit animal?” James said.
When the building became available, they didn’t hesitate.
The addition of Spirit Animal next door will allow the existing juice bar to be relocated into this patio space, enabling walkup service for juices and smoothies in an outdoor dining space.