JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – An iconic Jacksonville restaurant is set to close its doors after 83 years in business.
The Beach Road Fish House & Chicken Dinners restaurant, located in the St. Nicholas neighborhood on Atlantic Boulevard near Art Museum Drive, plans to remain open until spring 2023, according to News4JAX news partner the Jacksonville Daily Record.
In its place, the Daily Record reports, there are plans to build an apartment complex, with construction set to begin next year.
The owners of the restaurant, Nathan Stuart and Margo Klar, told the Daily Record that it was difficult navigating the pandemic and that the eatery’s utility bills have posed another financial challenge.
Stuart knows that people are sentimental about Beach Road and may want to block plans to rezone it for apartments, but he told the Daily Record it won’t matter.
“I own the property, so I am going to repurpose my land one way or another so that it is profitable. We can’t continue to throw money away keeping the business going,” Stuart said.
The restaurant owners, who took over the 80-year-old Beach Road Chicken Dinners in 2019, are reportedly considering reopening Beach Road at a smaller location nearby.
The couple leased the property from the former owners of the restaurant, Kenneth and Tena Ferger, until they purchased 1.43 acres of the site from them in 2021, and according to the Daily Record, “they are two of the landowners whose holdings comprise the property targeted for apartments.”
The Daily Record reports that the prospective buyer, Nate Day, expects to close on the property this year after rezoning.
According to the Daily Record, Stuart and Klar have six restaurants with the Fish House or related names, including Beach Road, and they’re also planning three additional eateries. Stuart told the Daily Record that the 30 employees at Beach Road are committed to the other locations.
Read the Daily Record’s entire article here.