Once on the streets, these food trucks are finding permanent homes

Home Depot colleagues Will Pritchett, from left, Jamaal Brown and Alan Alvarez enjoy each other's company after lunch Tuesday, April 19, 2022 at Carolina Jax in Riverside, Jacksonville. After three years as a 6x12 trailer food truck, the restaurant put down roots June 2020 in the location where the Stuffed Beaver used to reside.

Home Depot colleagues Will Pritchett, from left, Jamaal Brown and Alan Alvarez enjoy each other’s company after lunch Tuesday, April 19, 2022 at Carolina Jax in Riverside, Jacksonville. After three years as a 6×12 trailer food truck, the restaurant put down roots June 2020 in the location where the Stuffed Beaver used to reside.

After testing their concepts on the streets, some of Jacksonville’s popular food trucks are making the leap to brick-and-mortar restaurants.

Already this year, two food trucks have made that leap. And another is in the works.

In March, Pie95 Pizza opened at 1510 King St. in Riverside five years after Evan Eriksen launched the wood-fired artisan pizza concept with a food truck. And in April, K-Bop Jax Korean Kitchen opened at 4320 Deerwood Lakes Parkway on the Southside a little more than a year after debuting as a Korean barbecue food truck.

Now, Mr. Potato Spread, which was founded by Lakita and Aaron Spann as a catering service in 2014 before launching a food truck in 2016 (and later expanding to two area mall food courts), is planning its first standalone restaurant at River City Marketplace.

“It’s been a work in progress but it’s happening now … It’s exciting. It’s scary. But it’s a great opportunity,” Lakita Spann said.

They’re part of a small, but growing group of Jacksonville-area entrepreneurs that are taking their concepts from food truck to storefront.

Teresa Stepzinski has more on the trend, including our list of other truckies who have done the same. (And let us know if we missed any. Email gmills [@] jacksonville.com.

And speaking of Pie95, Caron Streibich has a review of the new restaurant.

Cousins Main Lobster, 630 Atlantic Blvd., Suite 14, Neptune Beach has, at least temporarily, closed after slightly more than three years in business.

Cousins Main Lobster, 630 Atlantic Blvd., Suite 14, Neptune Beach has, at least temporarily, closed after slightly more than three years in business.

Another restaurant closing? Maybe.

Last week, I shared a list of restaurants that have closed this year.

This week, at least here, we’re temporarily adding another: Cousins Maine Lobster in Neptune Beach.

Although a post pinned to the restaurant’s Facebook page says the closing is temporary, the location has been removed from the directory of Cousins Maine Lobster restaurants and food trucks on the company’s corporate website.

The franchise owner and restaurant corporate officials couldn’t be reached for comment. Here’s more from Teresa Stepzinski.

Gemma Fish + Oyster

Gemma Fish + Oyster

Here’s what’s coming to East San Marco project

The long-awaited, much-anticipated Publix-anchored East San Marco project at Hendricks Avenue and Atlantic Boulevard is taking shape.

And we’re getting a first look at some of the other components of the project, including Gemma Fish + Oyster, Foxtail Coffee Co. And Crumbl Cookies.

Gemma Fish + Oyster is the new upscale casual oyster bar and restaurant concept (with rooftop seating!) from Chef Mike and Brittany Cooney, the husband-and-wife team behind the popular Ember & Iron live-fire hearth restaurant that opened a year ago at the Shoppes of St. Johns Parkway in Saint Johns.

Central Florida-based Foxtail Coffee Co. also is planning to open at East San Marco, but not before making its Northeast Florida debut in Ponte Vedra Beach in early summer.

With two stores already open in Jacksonville and another in the works, popular gourmet cookie shop Crumbl Cookies is also expected to open at East San Marco later this year.

More restaurant news below.

Have a question about a restaurant opening or closing in your neighborhood? Let me know.

Cheers!

Gary Mills

Deputy Managing Editor

The Florida Times-Union

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @garytmills

This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Jacksonville food trucks finding success as brick-and-mortars

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