Proposed Hardwicks Bar seeks $145,000 in DIA incentives | Jax Daily Record | Jacksonville Daily Record
The Downtown Investment Authority’s board of directors will consider an incentive package of $145,784 for a proposed bar and nightclub in vacant retail space at 100 E. Adams St., which once housed the Burro Bar and The London Bridge restaurant.
Hardwicks Bar will be the first LGBTQIA+ bar built in Jacksonville in 20 years, operator Tim Hoal and business partner Elias Hionides said April 7.
“We have a huge LGBT population in (Duval) County and it’s really underserved,” Hoal said.
“It’s built on the shoulders of the people who have worked so hard for gay rights before us.”
According to a DIA term sheet released April 6, the repayable loan and grant package will help fund the installation of new ceilings, flooring and bathrooms, walls, millwork, HVAC and equipment for the operation of the building. business in the 3,479 square foot space.
DIA and State Division of Corporations records show that Shoppes of Lakeside Inc., the company that owns the building, is run by Chris Hionides.
Elias Hionides is also vice president of the Jacksonville-based property management company Petra, which is owned by his father, Chris Hionides.
The bar business is owned by Hoal, Elias Hionides and Richard Trendel through Downtown Bar Concept LLC, according to state records.
DIA incentives include:
• $100.00 Food and Beverage Retail Enhancement Program Forgivable Loan.
• $15,000 grant for sidewalk improvements.
• Building facade grant of $30,784.
The DIA Board of Directors’ Retail Improvement and Asset Disposition Committee is scheduled to conduct an initial vote on the incentives on April 13.
If approved, it could go to the board for a final decision by April 20.
Elias Hionides said he and her husband, Tod Knudson, have been longtime friends with Hoal and started working at Hardwicks Bar almost two years ago.
Hoal was a bar manager at Park Place Lounge on King Street in Riverside for 12 years and worked for the now-closed Pier Cantina in Jacksonville Beach.
When the former Metro Entertainment Complex gay nightclub closed in August 2021, Hoal said she created an opening for the Hardwicks Bar concept.
There are plans for a live DJ on the weekends, but Hoal said there wouldn’t be enough locker room space initially to support drag shows or other live entertainment.
He said the interior design will use photographs, artwork and books to create atmosphere.
“We want people to feel comfortable in anything from flip flops and tank tops to tuxedos,” Hoal said.
Hionides said the name Hardwicks Bar is a tribute to Jacksonville architect Taylor Hardwick, who designed the Haydon Burns Library, now the Jessie Ball duPont Center across Ocean Street.
Hionides said he and Hoal were “automatically drawn” to the energy of the Mediterranean Revival-style architecture of the 100 E. Adams St. building, which Duval County property records show was built in 1926. .
Planned upgrades include roll-up windows to allow patrons to feel outdoors inside Hardwicks Bar and stunning views of the duPont Center’s mid-century modern architecture.
Outdoor seating will be on the Adams Street side of the building, Hoal said.
Elbow district filling
According to Hionides, the other two commercial spaces in the building are leased, although he said he was not ready to identify tenants on April 7.
Hionides said he hopes the building’s infill will create more foot traffic in this area of the downtown food, drink and entertainment corridor.
“We’re really trying to fill out the Elbow District here,” he said.
The forgivable loan will require Hardwicks Bar to have a minimum of 12 full-time staff and maintain opening hours of 4 p.m. to midnight Monday to Friday and noon to midnight Saturday to Sunday, the term sheet says.
Petra also owns the nearby building leased by Ruby Beach Brewing Co. at 228 E. Forsyth St., which the DIA provided its first food and beverage and beverage forgivable loan for $75,000 in June 2020.
Hionides said the exterior improvements to Hardwicks Bar would not change the design of the building enough to require Downtown Development Review Board approval.
Depending on permit approvals from the DIA and the city, Hoal said he hopes to open Hardwicks Bar in late fall before the 2022 holiday season.
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