A new Jacksonville business is serving up more than sandwiches and caffeinated beverages.
Phoenix Square Deli & Coffee Shop, which opened Dec. 21, offers patrons an artistic experience, food unique to the area and entertainment each week, managing partner Deon Williams said.
It is mostly amateur musicians, and performers play different types of music, Williams said.
He said the chef also strives to develop things unusual to the area, such as chocolate chai tea cupcakes.
Phoenix Square is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Thursdays are open mic and usually run after hours to 9 or 10 p.m., Williams said. On Friday and Saturday, musicians will play until about 11 or 11:30 p.m.
Williams said he always wanted to be a part of an establishment like Phoenix Square, but he believes he tried to move forward because he was approached about a place to do live music. He said he thought it was a good idea.
“I became president of the (Jacksonville Area) Arts Council and saw an opportunity to merge the arts council with his vision …” he said. “I saw an opportunity to merge those things and create something different.”
He said the business is only in its first phase and still has more to come.
Most importantly, he said, the business is trying to “be a spark” or “create a focus” on the rejuvenation of downtown Jacksonville.
“We want to be part of rebuilding, where people can come walk (and) have four or five different things to do. We want to be a part of that process,” Williams said.
They also plan to do a sweetheart dinner event for Valentine’s Day and are working on having a rising star competition. Additionally, the business expects to have a “School House Rock” event for children on a Saturday in mid-March.