April 23, 2002
Upon arriving in Jacksonville, we headed downtown to the Riverwalk to grab a bite to eat. Other than the exit we needed to take being closed, it was fairly easy to get there (lots of informative signs). It was 5 PM on Friday. All the (free) street parking nearby was taken, but there is a $3 valet parking lot in front of the restaurant.
Next to the Brewery is the enormous and very pretty Friendship Fountain. We walked over to check it out. Since the wind was pretty strong that day, the fountain sprayed us, even from far away. There weren't many people around: just a few kids skateboarding and rollerblading. We walked along the river to the marina in front of the Brewery, and then went to the front and went inside.
Once inside we saw the "five star restaurant": Indoors with white tablecloths, elegant table settings, gorgeous view of the river and downtown, and all of 3 people eating there. The hostess explained that the Brewery is divided into two parts: the indoor part with an extensive seafood menu with entree prices ranging from $12-$25 and the outside part with the sandwich-pizza-appetizer menu and a live band. We chose outside, near the bar, where all the happy hour just-off-work crowds of people were sitting at tables all pushed together.
We hunted for an empty table, and finally found one with no chairs. Once we found chairs (and dealt with several rude people), we looked at the menu and saw everyone's delicious looking food and drinks and we were ready to order. We waited for a waitress. And waited. And waited. We could not get any of their attention; they were too busy waiting on the 20-person tables. After 20 minutes without any sort of acknowledgement, we left, expressing our displeasure to the hostess inside.
The valet parking people (not related to the restaurant) kindly offered to refund our money.
So, this is Jacksonville? Wonderful!
[I'm sure their food is probably good, it looked good, it just made me very angry that their service was terrible.]
There wasn’t much else to do or see (that we found) on that side of the river, so we ended up heading across the Main Street Bridge to the Jacksonville Landing.
From journal 48 Hours in Jacksonville