Brewing company

Demolition of River City Brewing Company in Jacksonville

Demolition began this week as the property is prepared for apartments.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Construction noise, including cranes and front-end loaders, filled the air Wednesday in Jacksonville.

After nearly 30 years, River City Brewing Company is being demolished.

Several people were on the Riverwalk on Wednesday, trying to catch one last view or get one last photo.

The future is dawning for the property, and some people are looking back at all the meals over the years.

“Once in a while we had a happy hour there or, often, a going away lunch,” Steve Conger said as he watched the demolition.

Conger has enjoyed many of these happy hours over the years at the brewery, remembering them when it was Harbourmasters.

But he won’t be sipping cocktails there anymore – the brasserie closed its doors last July and is finally being demolished.

“It’s kind of sad to see him go down,” Conger said. “I would rather it be here than what they plan to put in place.”

The plan calls for more than 300 new apartments, with a swimming pool, lounge, leisure area and eight-storey car park.

These apartments will have a view of the downtown skyline across the Saint John River.

A view Councilman Matt Carlucci has taken at countless dinner parties over the years.

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“I always looked at this restaurant with a lot of nostalgia because we did so many important things there for our family,” Carlucci said.

Carlucci says the annual quail dinner and his 2019 campaign party at the restaurant stand out when he thinks about it.

He voted for the apartments, but he doesn’t like them.

“I supported that, but deep in my heart I wish they had opened another restaurant to be honest because we have so few restaurants on the river,” Carlucci said.

He would like to see a stand-alone restaurant, but the silver lining for Carlucci is that the plan includes a new restaurant on the property to accompany the apartments.

Carlucci hopes to capture the same magic the river town brewing company had in its heyday.

“We always have to think of a reasonable restaurant that has a view of St. John’s, so anyone can go there,” Carlucci said.

There is a public boat launch right next to the demo site.

This will remain, and in fact the developers intend to add temporary slides so that people coming out of the river can stop and enjoy the restaurant, the MOSH and everything else around Southbank.

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