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Dining Notes: Florida Cracker Kitchen coming to Jacksonville – Florida Times |

Dining Notes: Florida Cracker Kitchen coming to Jacksonville – Florida Times

Brooksville-based Florida Cracker Kitchen is coming to Jacksonville.


The breakfast and lunch spot will feature a store with apparel, home goods and accessories as well as a tap room and a Bloody Mary bar, which will be housed in a 1956 milk truck.


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Florida Cracker Kitchen is expected to open within the next three months at 14329 Beach Blvd., next to the Pablo Station shopping center.

The 3,600-square-foot location will have 150 seats, including an outdoor patio.

The menu will be the same as the Brooksville location and include favorites such as shrimp n’ grits, chicken and waffles and corned beef hash.

The company was launched in 2012 by Blair Henley and his brother Ethan, a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute.

Henley designed the Florida Cracker Kitchen’s logo, which is an upside down boot that mimics the shape of the state of Florida.

The brothers were approached by ServStar Management Group, which manages several Jacksonville-area establishments such as Dos Gatos, The Shim Sham Room, Scarlett O’Hara’s, Hoptinger and Surfer (The Bar).

“We didn’t have knowledge of running multiple locations and ServStar has a proven track record,” Henley said. “They’ve been extremely helpful to us to get this going.”

Florida Cracker Kitchen’s tap room will feature 10 craft breweries from across Florida, including Cigar City and Swamp Head as well as local selections from Intuition Ale Works and Engine 15.

“Our guests will be able to see the whole state on the tap list,” Henley said.

The restaurant will be open Tuesday through Sunday from 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

“Eventually the tap room might be open later, but for now, we want to open and get things going,” Henley said.

When the Jacksonville location debuts, it will mark a milestone for the Henley brothers.

“It’s a dream come true to expand and put our products out to the state of Florida,” Ethan said.

Henley added, “Coming from a small town, our hard work is paying off and it’s exciting.”

For more information about the Florida Cracker Kitchen, visit www.floridacrackerstyle.com.

FIRST WATCH ADDS FOURTH

First Watch Restaurants opened its fourth Jacksonville location on Southside Boulevard on May 29.

The Bradenton-based restaurant chain has more than 100 locations, including one in Jacksonville Beach and others on San Jose and Beach boulevards.

The 3,400-square-foot restaurant at 4490 Southside Blvd. is located at the Village Commons shopping center.

“Jacksonville has been a great home for First Watch since we opened here in 2011,” Chris Tomasso, president of First Watch, said in a statement. “During those years, we’ve evolved both our creative menu and our restaurant design, and our new restaurant on Southside really brings the two together for an exceptional dining experience. We couldn’t be more excited to bring First Watch’s fresh approach to breakfast, brunch and lunch to our neighbors and friends here.”

The breakfast, brunch and lunch concept’s featured menu items include Avocado Toast, Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict, Farm Stand Breakfast Tacos and Lemon Ricotta Pancakes.

Guests at First Watch’s Southside Boulevard can also get fresh squeezed juice at the restaurant’s Fresh Juice Bar.

First Watch is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.

For more information, visit www.firstwatch.com.

NOURA CAFE ADDS 50 SEATS

Noura Cafe has expanded its University Boulevard restaurant by 9,000-square-feet.

The cafe, which opened in 2009 at 1533 University Blvd., serves Middle Eastern cuisine including breakfast items, salads, pita sandwiches and gyros.

“When we first opened there was a lot of demand and we kept adding more menu items and seating until we reached capacity,” said Noura Abi-Khalil, who owns the cafe with her husband, Raymond. “The demand from our customers pushed us to expand.”

The couple increased the square footage of the cafe from 1,800 to 2,700 by purchasing the unit next door and adding 50 seats.

Abi-Khalil added the original unit will be remodeled after June 15.

For more information about Noura Cafe, call (904) 739-0033 or visit www.nouracafe.com.

‘LASSO’ CUTTING FOR OP LONGHORN

LongHorn Steakhouse in Orange Park is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a “lasso” cutting ceremony in partnership with the Clay County Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday.

The restaurant opened its doors in 1992 on Argyle Forest Boulevard and through the LongHorn Harvest program has donated more than 53,000 pounds of surplus food to local food banks.

Jacksonville native and team member Leigh Tebbe is also celebrating 25 years with the restaurant. Tebbe started as a server in 1992 and is one of the first employees hired at the location. Last year, Tebbe was voted Team Member of the Year by LongHorn Steakhouse.

Team members will be cutting the anniversary lasso alongside LongHorn Steakhouse Managing Partner Rob Hull and Chamber of Commerce officials on at 11:30 a.m.Wednesday at 6015 Argyle Forest Blvd.

Send any dining news, promotions or rumors of new restaurants openings to ann.friedman@jacksonville.com.

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