Sbraga to open restaurant in Jacksonville

Kevin Sbraga (right) at the Jacksonville, Fla., site with general manager Ben Fileccia (left, risking hat head) and chef Greg Garbacz.

Top Chef winner Kevin Sbraga - with two restaurants and one more on the way in Philadelphia - is heading to Jacksonville, Fla., for his fourth.


"These guys [developers] were in Philadelphia and we got a chance to talk," Sbraga told me.

A site visit convinced him that the mixed-use development - near the busy junction of Route 10 and 95 - would be a good spot. "I like what this city has to offer," he said.

Sbraga said he has no idea of a name or concept. He believes that the soonest it could open is spring 2015.

The restaurant space, about 6,000 square feet, will occupy a prime spot overlooking an amphitheater.

Sbraga - who opened Sbraga in 2011 and The Fat Ham in late 2013 - visited the site Wednesday with his architect Ed Eimer, general manager Ben Fileccia and chef Greg Garbacz - and it was covered by the Florida Times-Union.

Closer to home, construction has not yet begun on Juniper Commons, due to open in "late fall" at the northeast corner of Broad and South Streets in SouthStar.

Among its features, Sbraga said, Juniper Commons will have a five-foot custom hearth for spit-cooking of chicken, hogs, lamb and fish.