Hardwicks Bar is under consideration for construction at downtown Adams and Ocean streets.
Opus Group is the contractor for the estimated $500,000 project to renovate Hardwicks’ space at 100 E. Adams St.
Zinn Architecture is the architect.
“Our hope is to be open by March,” said business owner Elias Hionides.
He and operating partner Tim Hoal envision the corner site as an anchor of a downtown neighborhood and entertainment area that can help entice visitors to stay later in the core urban.
“It’s one of the most important corners of downtown,” Hionides said Sept. 19.
The Downtown Investment Authority’s board approved a $145,784 incentive package on April 20 for a proposed bar and nightclub in vacant retail space in the building.
Steve Kelley, DIA director of real estate and downtown development, said Sept. 12 that authority staff were finalizing the execution of agreements with the property’s landlord and tenant.
Hardwicks Bar will be the first LGBTQIA+ bar to open in Jacksonville in 20 years, according to Hoal and Hionides.
Hionides said April 7 that he and Hoal were “automatically drawn to” the energy of the Mediterranean Revival-style architecture of the building, which Duval County property records show was developed in 1926.
It previously housed the Burro Bar and the London Bridge Pub.
Hionides and Hoal said the main bar was up front and a smaller bar in the back was where Chomp Chomp operated.
The repayable loan and grant package will help fund the installation of new ceilings, flooring and bathrooms, walls, millwork, HVAC and equipment for business operations in the 3,479 square foot space .
• A combined Food and Beverage and Retail Improvement Program forgivable loan not to exceed $100,000.
• A sidewalk improvement grant not exceeding $15,000.
• A frontage grant not exceeding $30,784
Total funding is $145,784
The package uses funding through Northbank Town Center ARC and no City Council approval is required.
The DIA condition sheet lists total estimated rehabilitation costs at $596,156.
DIA and state records show that Shoppes of Lakeside Inc., the company that owns the building, is run by Chris Hionides, father of Elias Hionides.
Elias Hionides is also vice president of the Jacksonville-based property management company Petra, which is owned by Chris Hionides.
The bar business is owned by Hoal, Elias Hionides and Richard Trendel through Downtown Bar Concept LLC, according to state records.
On April 13, DIA CEO Lori Boyer told board members that the city agency hoped to resolve any naming disputes that arise between Hardwicks Bar and Atlanta-based developer Carter. Street.
“It’s a bar compared to an apartment building and we’ll be open for several years before it’s nearly finished,” Hionides said.
He doesn’t expect confusion.
The projects reference Jacksonville architect Taylor Hardwick, who designed the Haydon Burns Library, now the Jessie Ball duPont Center on Ocean Street, across from Hardwicks Bar.
Planned upgrades to 100 E. Adams St. include accordion-style windows to let patrons feel alfresco inside Hardwicks Bar, and sweeping views of duPont Center’s mid-century modern architecture .
Tables and chairs will line the sidewalk on Adams Street and plants will be added to the side of the building along Ocean Street.
Hionides and Hoal intend to add fresh paint and new lighting to the exterior and restore the windows to their original height along Ocean Street.
The DIA term sheet states that the minimum hours of operation would be 4 p.m. to midnight Monday through Saturday and noon to midnight on Sunday.
Hionides and Hoal also hope to eventually expand Hardwicks Bar into more of the building.
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