JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Judging by the crowd inside the Southern Roots Filling Station on Saturday morning, it would be hard for some to believe it was the last day the popular vegan restaurant would be open for business. The line to get one last cup of Joe and grab a bite to eat went to the corner outside the business on King Street.
Alex Hayward said that even though he’s not vegan, he was first in line the day it opened.
“When they first opened, I had a newborn,” Hayward explained. “Every day I would push her here in the stroller, get my coffee and have my quiet moment while my baby slept and slept. We came here every day for probably two years.”
Southern Roots Filling Station owners JP Salvat and his wife, Mariah Goelz, announced the closing this week on social media. The couple said that while it was a difficult decision, they cited uncertainty about what could be a large rent increase. Even though the couple and their employees were incredibly busy behind the counter, they found time to say thank you.
“It’s unbelievable, to be 100% honest, unbelievable,” said Salvat. “It’s been like this all week and I can’t even believe it. I am grateful.”
Robin Lanigan Johnston is one of those loyal customers who come to say goodbye. She told News4JAX that she is vegan, and the restaurant’s plant-based and gluten-free options prompted her to move to the neighborhood.
“This is testament to how supportive the community is of this location and the owners,” Lanigan Johnston said. “And what they stand for and how much the community will miss them.”
Although this chapter is closing, the support from loyal customers will remain.
“I hope they just move on,” Hayward said. “They go ahead and do whatever their next venture is.”
One last day of work, but beautiful memories that last a lifetime.
Southern Roots isn’t the only beloved local business that won’t be around in 2023. The San Marco Theater announced Wednesday that it will close its doors for good on Sunday.
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