Jacksonville, FL – Judging by the crowd at the Southern Roots petrol station on Saturday morning, it was hard for some to believe that this was the last day of business for the popular vegan restaurant. The line for a last cup of joe and a bite to eat is around the corner outside King Street Corporation.
Alex Hayward said that although he is not a vegetarian, he was the first person in line on the restaurant’s opening day.
“I had a newborn when they first opened,” explains Hayward. “Each day I would push him in the stroller, grab my coffee, and have a moment of peace while my baby slept and napped. We’ve been here every day for about two years.”
Southern Roots petrol station owner JP Salvat and his wife Mariah Goelz announced the closure on social media this week. The couple said that while it was a difficult decision, they saw uncertainty over a significant rent increase. Even though the couple and their staff had their hands full behind the counter, they took the time to say thank you.
“It’s unbelievable, honestly, 100 percent unbelievable,” Salvat said. “It’s been like this all week, I can’t even believe it. I’m grateful.”
Robin Lanigan Johnston was one of the loyal clients who came to say goodbye. She told News4JAX that she is vegan and the restaurant’s vegan and gluten-free options prompted her to move nearby.
“It’s a testament to the level of community support for the site and the owners,” Lanigan-Johnston said. “What they represent and how much the community will miss them.”
Even as this chapter draws to a close, the support of loyal customers will still be there.
“I want them to move on,” Hayward said. “They move on and do whatever it takes for their next adventure.”
Last day of work, but great memories to 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 permanently close on Sunday.
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