Park Street is the main north/south thoroughfare for the Riverside Avondale Historic District, and the road curves through not only Five Points but also the eclectic Park & King corridor. Anchored by the spectacular Riverside Baptist Church, famed Palm Beach architect Addison Mizner’s sole building in Jacksonville, the early growth of the Park & King area was fueled by two streetcar lines that ran along opposite ends of the strip.
The historic Whiteway Corner building (named for the white electric street lamps first installed outside the building in the 1920s) hosts 13 retail shops, salons, cafes and restaurants, as well the studios of several notable local artists. Standout boutiques include Peacock Republic (a shoebox-sized store stocking EcoLuxe shampoos and soaps), and Tact Apparel (stylish screenprinted items with smart graphics).
Quick strolls along either side of Park Street will take you past unique specialty stores, including Glenn Certain Studio (which features gorgeous fresh flower arrangements and a terrific collection of home accessories), Universe of Super Heroes (for serious comic collectors), Southern Crossing Antiques and City Cycle, where gear-heads will find one of Jacksonville’s best collection of bikes. There are several comfortable dining establishments, including local gathering spots Cool Moose Cafe, Jackson’s Grill and European Street Cafe (housed in what is surely the city’s only Art Deco-style former gas station).
The northern end of King street has evolved into an entertainment hub in recent years.
Kickbacks Gastropub boasts the city’s largest beer selection and food that’s several notches above standard pub fare. The elegant Walker’s Wine Bar serves up great wines in a striking brick-walled space, while The Loft is an equally hip full-liquor bar alternative. The laid-back Park Place Lounge is a popular GLBT bar, and a 10-minute walk down King Street will bring you past two great microbreweries, the new Intuition Ale Works at 720 King, and Bold City Brewery, just around the corner on Rosselle Street.
The Stockton Street corridor is another historic Riverside shopping strip, albeit smaller than its cousins at Park & King and Five Points. The strip is anchored by the Henrietta Dozier-designed Marybuilt building, named for the wife of the building’s first owner, Atlantic Coast railroad conductor Oscar Singletary; Mary operated a restaurant on the first floor that opened in 1923.
That same space is today occupied by 13 Gypsies, a terrific tapas restaurant that has been featured on national food shows. The Marybuilt also hosts the Zen Cog Bicycle Company, Jacksonville’s only steel-frame single gear bike shop, a hair salon, and a physical therapy studio. Further down the block you’ll find the popular Lotus Yoga Studio and Bakery Moderne, a wonderful corner bakery and cafe.