Intuition Ale Works is reopening — in part — after the city shut down the brewery for safety reasons after the catastrophic apartment fire a block away.
Beer will be brewed and libations sold again at the brewery at East Bay Street and A. Philip Randolph Boulevard, but Intuition’s Bier Hall concert venue next door remains closed.
The city ordered Intuition and Manifest Distilling, around the block on East Forsyth Street, to close because the walls of the seven-story Rise Doro apartment building could collapse after the fire Jan. 28. The danger is reduced now because much of the building has been torn down, city spokesman Phil Perry said.
“The demolition made enough progress on the south side of the Rise Doro building on Friday and Saturday that Intuition was able to open at two-thirds capacity, only using their main/south entrance,” Perry said in an email.
“Their rooftop and other entrances are still closed for the time being,” Perry said. “This was cleared with Rise, the demolition company and city of Jacksonville. The white office building across A. Philip Randolph Boulevard is also open, but only using their north entrance.”
Brewery officials could not be reached for comment, although they met with Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department officials Monday afternoon.
The 247-unit apartment building between A. Philip Randolph Boulevard and Lafayette Street was due to open in early March. But the fire erupted about 9:30 p.m. Jan. 28, and firefighters continued to battle hotspots as late as Thursday morning.
Heavy equipment from ELEV8 Demolition of Jacksonville began an estimated $1 million teardown early Friday. As of Monday, crews had removed many walls and dug deep into the second- through seventh-floor units on the south and east sides. Piles of rubble lay deep on A. Philip Randolph Boulevard and East Forsyth Street.
Continuing demolition means streets around the Rise Doro are still closed, but fewer than last week. The city posted an updated map at jaxready.com/doro detailing the closures:
- East Adams Street from Spearing to North Georgia streets.
- East Forsyth Street from Lafayette Street to A. Philip Randolph Boulevard.
- Lafayette Street from East Adams to Gator Bowl Boulevard.
- A. Philip Randolph from East Duval to Gator Bowl Boulevard.
Sidewalks in those zones also are closed.
Perry said that Rise and the demolition crew are working as quickly as possible to limit the effect on businesses, but Manifest Distillery and the parking garage across East Forsyth Street from it remain closed.
David Cohen, president and co-founder of Manifest, said the business has lost one full week of production work and tasting room sales so far. All seven employees were paid last week. Manifest is “committed to paying our employees through the shutdown,” Cohen said.
“We have had limited access to the space and have not been able to do a full audit of our inventory and systems,” Cohen said. “We did have some batches in production that are going to be at risk of spoilage, but we won’t know until we can get in and test the liquids.”
Cohen said he and staff also will be meeting with city officials to come up with a tiered reopening plan. They hope production can resume early this week, with bottle sales and the cocktail lounge to reopen shortly.
Over at Intuition Ale, owners reopened their taproom Sunday after the city’s approval, as well as Monday, when it is normally closed. Tuesday through Sunday hours also will resume this week.
Customers may park in Lot X, on the south side of Bay Street across from the taproom, but they are asked to stay off Lafayette Street and A. Phillip Randolph Boulevard due to demolition crews in the area.
Lead image: The demolition at the fire-ravaged Rise Doro apartment building can be seen behind Intuition Ale Works, which has reopened a week after the fire. | Dan Scanlan, WJCT News 89.9