Tag Archives: Jacksonville

Famous Amos Restaurant

Famous AmosFamous Amos has been serving Jacksonville residents delicious southern-style country cooking for over 40 years.  Featuring breakfast all day, great lunch and dinner specials, and lots of fresh, locally-grown vegetables, it is a favorite in the Mandarin community.

My grilled tilapia with fresh veggies on a bed of rice was the best!  Here is a picture:

Famous Amos

If you go:  There are six restaurants and a full service catering department.  Most menu items are under $10.  Locations, hours, and a complete menu are available on their website at FamousAmos.bz.

Read a Good Book about Jacksonville’s Past

Freezing days – rare for our fair city and drizzly, rainy weather – not so unusual.  What better time to stay home and curl up with a good book!  Here are two that I have enjoyed recently:

Books about Jacksonville, FLDorothy Fletcher is a long-time Jacksonville resident, retired school teacher, Florida Times-Union columnist and  author.  Her books bring fond memories of our city back to life.

Remembering Jacksonville By the Wayside captures life in Jacksonville in the 50s and 60s; it includes letters and recollections from locals.  Lost Restaurants of Jacksonville highlights some of our finest restaurants that now exist only in memory.  Remember dining and dancing at the George Washington Hotel?  World-class entertainers at The Thunderbird?  Morrison’s Cafeteria downtown where there was “no waitin’ on the main floor”?

If you are younger or newer to our city, I believe you will find Dorothy Fletcher’s writing both interesting and entertaining.  If you’ve been here a while, as I have, these books will bring back fond memories long forgotten!

Handel’s Messiah Tonight

Jacoby Hall Jacksonville, FLHarried by all the hustle and bustle of Christmas?  For a change of pace,  come to  Jacoby Hall tonight and hear Handel’s beloved Messiah.   Donald McCullough conducts our own Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, with guest soloists.

This concert is a longtime Christmas tradition in Jacksonville, and will likely be a sellout.  Come early!


Foto Friday – Sunrise over Lake Mandarin

I took this photo from my back yard in Lake Mandarin.  Jacksonville is a  beautiful city, and I love my neighborhood!

Sunrise over Lake Mandarin

The Worst Street Names in Jacksonville

Street sign in Lake MandarinHave you ever wondered how some streets got their names?

As Realtors, we are very aware of street names, since we have to be able to find all these places in order to show homes.  Many streets have lovely names (Flora Park); some are named after famous people (Adams St, Jefferson St).  Many neighborhoods have street names based on the name of their subdivision. For example,  Shetland Pony is in Saddle Ridge; Turkey Trot is in Foxwood Trails.

A few street names make you ask “What were they thinking?”    Here are my nominations for two of the worst street names in the Jacksonville area:

#2 – Fat Man Lane  –  Nassau County claims this location.

#1 – Hard Times Lane –  Oh, my – how do you sell a house on this street?  It is located  off  Manning Cemetery Road.

For the worst multiple street names in a planned community, I would have to nominate a neighborhood affectionately called “Cinderellaville“.  Choose from: Cinderella Lane, Mother Goose Drive, Tinkerbell Road, Peter Pan Place, Flopsy Lane, Mopsy Lane, London Bridge Lane, Bo Peep, Bambi, Boy Blue and more!

Another Jacksonville community has biblical names; Cain Lane is located next to Abel Lane.  Seth Drive, however,  is about 20 miles away in Clay county.

Naming a street can be much like naming a child.  That name will be attached to the houses on it for many years.  Is there an unusual street name  where you live?  Would the name of a street influence your decision in purchasing a home?

Bayard Cafe

The Bayard CafeThe Bayard Cafe is a cheery addition to the historic community of Bayard. Located midway between Jacksonville and St. Augustine, Bayard was once a stopping-off point for tourists traveling along US 1 between the two cities.  In the 60s and 70s shoppers browsed for bargains at the Bayard  Antique Village or the Country Store.  Now, with the continued growth of Jacksonville to the South, Bayard seems very much a part of the city, though maintaining its rural charm.

Bayard Cafe interiorThe Bayard Cafe is open for breakfast and lunch daily.  There is a full breakfast menu, a bakery and a coffee bar. Lunch options include homemade soups, salads and sandwiches, as well as daily specials ranging from spaghetti, meat loaf, and fried chicken to Fish Friday. Perhaps, your biggest decision will be deciding what to order!

I thoroughly enjoyed the quiche supreme, which was also homemade and came with a salad.   There was a steady stream of fellow diners, even after the normal lunch rush.  Friendly service, homey atmosphere, great food, and very reasonable prices – I will be back, too!

The Bayard Cafe is located is located in the Shoppes of Bayard, 12525 Philips Highway (at US 1 and Old St.Augustine Rd). You can check out their website at BayardCafe.com and also find them on Facebook.


Real Estate Market Update

Temperatures are hot here in Jacksonville, Florida, and so is the real estate market!  As you can see in the Market Summary, there is good news on almost every front.  A few highlights:

  • Year to date Sales up 25% over 2012
  • Year to date Pending Listings up 31%
  • Absorption Rate (how long it takes to sell a house) down 34%
  • Year to date Median Sales Sales Price up 12%

And this one:

  • Number of Active Listings down 21%

Welcome to the new seller’s market!   Last year I wrote a blog post entitled “Where are all the homes for sale?”  At that time, I noted that our inventory in the Northeast Florida Multiple Listing Service had decreased from a high of around 22,000 during the recession in 2008 to 9,784  in June of 2012.  The number of homes for sale as of June 30, 2013 is 7,660.

This shrinking home inventory  is occurring throughout the country, and may be the biggest real estate story of 2013.

Market Summary

Another interesting statistic is the dramatic increase in the number of sales and pendings in the $250,000 to $1 million price range – up anywhere from 42% to 65% over this time a year ago.

Market Report

 You might ask  “What does this mean for me?”  Well, if you have been thinking of a move, now might be a good time.  Homes are selling quickly!  It is also a good time to buy a home.  Homes are still reasonable and interest rates are at a 60 year low.

Please give me a call at (904) 386-9816 or send me an email at LizPapenbrock@gmail.com if I can help!


Music Under the Oaks

Calling all acoustic players – there’s a new event going on at the Walter Jones Historical Park.  On the 4th Sunday of every month, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm,  come join your neighbors for an informal sing-along on the front porch of the Museum.  The gathering is hosted by the Mandarin Museum and Historical Society in partnership with the North Florida Folk Network, and will run through October.

When I attended last Sunday (without my guitar, ukelele, or dulcimer), the group had just moved inside due to the threat of rain and was happily singing “Michael Rowed the Boat Ashore”.  So dust off that instrument and join in.  See you next month!

Sing-along in the Mandarin Museum

Foto Friday

Marker at Yellow Bluff Fort Historic State Park off Hecksher Drive

Awesome Lunch at The French Pantry

The French Pantry is located in a warehouse on Powers Avenue with no signage except for an awning at the entrance.  You could easily drive by without even noticing there is a place to eat.  But The French Pantry is no secret to its many raving fans.


Rated #1 of 1436 restaurants by Trip Advisor, the family owned restaurant offers French-inspired lunches. Specialties include bruschettas, paninis, salads, sandwiches on  homemade bread, and decadent desserts.  Each lunch includes bread and dipping oil. Everything is wonderful!

If you go: Expect a long line after 11:30, but it moves quickly.  There are 10-12 tables inside, and communal seating is part of the charm.