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Jacksonville, FL (October 20, 2017) The evening was a first taste test of sorts for the much anticipated Cowford Chophouse. Public officials and agency partners all gathered to tour the venue and as well as a trial run by the Cowford employees and a chance to try out their training.

The Cowford Chophouse, what promises to be downtown’s signature restaurant, opened on Thursday Oct.26. The upscale eatery combines historic Jacksonville with a developing inner city.

Located at the corner of Bay and Ocean Street in what was the dilapidated Bostwick Building, the new three-story restaurant is expected to become the center of the city’s entertainment and dining district.

The Bostwick Building was built in 1902 as a bank. For well over 30 years the shell of the building remained vacant. It was known by most as the “Jaguar Building” because of the big cat paintings that filled the boarded up windows. Over the last two weeks, the restaurant has had “soft openings” to train waiters and cooks. City Council members toured the building on Oct. 12.

The project that has cost more than $10 million to refurbish and construct received $500,000 from the Downtown Preservation and Revitalization Fund and a $250,000 city loan in 2014. The building was in such bad condition that in 2012 previous owners had hoped to tear it down. The Cowford Chophouse is owned by Jacques Klempf.

The new restaurant features a large bar and casual table seating on the first floor. The second floor is suited for more formal, white tablecloth dining. Owners didn’t let its rooftop go to waste as an outdoor bar and seating area that offers a majestic view of the Main Street Bridge, the St. Johns River and downtown offers something special. The multi-level restaurant will serve 300 guests at capacity.

Downtown has no shortage of high-end steak houses. The Cowford Chophouse is the third with the recent opening of Morton’s in the Hyatt Regency and first being Ruth’s Chris in the Double Tree By Hilton Hotel.

Prices at The Cowford Chop house will range from $15 to $55 for lunch, $15 to $145 for dinner and cocktails will be $12 to $15. The most expensive bottle of wine will be priced at $400 according to the Florida Times-Union.