Terra Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse to open in Tinseltown

A Brazilian steakhouse could open by March in the former Kan-Ki Steakhouse & Sushi Bar along Southside Boulevard in the Tinseltown area.

Three partners are working on renovating the structure for the Terra Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse, which will feature tableside service of 15 cuts of lamb, pork, beef and poultry. It will seat 180. Outdoor seating is planned but not confirmed.

Partner Rodolfo Melo, a Brazilian native who is opening the restaurant after two years in Orlando and 10 years in Atlanta, said Jacksonville should be a good market.

“Brazilian people are very festive and like to have a good time, and we want to share that with our guests,” he said.

Melo said the partners have a passion and background for the industry, and all are Brazilian. He said all have worked for a national Brazilian steakhouse chain, but he did not want to discuss which one.

He said they have completed some light demolition as they wait for permits to start renovations on the 6,400-square-foot restaurant. Counting the exterior dining area, the site is 7,223 square feet.

The city is reviewing a permit application for a $194,000 renovation. Plans show a large dining room with a salad bar and hot bar, wine rack, two private dining rooms, a bar and other functions.

The menu is in progress. In addition to the tableside meat carvings and the gourmet salad and hot bar, Melo said Terra Gaucha will offer traditional Brazilian sides and “Pao de Queijo,” which are cheese bread puffs, served with the meal.

Melo, whose full name is Rodolfo Coelho de Melo, is the manager of Southern Bras LLC. He registered the name with the state Dec. 30 for the Southside Boulevard property. The partners are leasing the location.

Melo said the restaurant will be a full-service churrascaria.

Churrasco is a term referring to a style of meat preparation inspired by the gauchos, who are the equivalent of North American cowboys, explains brazaviva.com, the site of a Brazilian steakhouse that operates in South Florida. The style of meat-cooking involved digging a pit in the ground and starting an open fire to roast large pieces of meat on large wood skewers. The meats were served thinly sliced.

A churrascaria serves grilled meats served by waiters who move around the room with the skewers, slicing meat onto the customers’ plates.

Along with the tableside meat choices, customers can visit the salad and hot bar for fresh vegetables, hot sides and gourmet salads.

Terra Gaucha would be one of the few churrascarias in Jacksonville. Espeto Brazilian Steakhouse operates in Jacksonville Beach. Another, Tento Churrascaria, closed three years ago, according to Jacksonville.com.

“Jacksonville seemed like a market that needed a little bit of change,” Melo said.

He said hours tentatively are lunch from noon-2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and dinner every night from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Licensed to serve

Duval County Tax Collector Michael Corrigan issued business licenses for:

• Dunkin’ Donuts, to Back Cove Holdings LLC, 13627 Beach Blvd., 11657 Beach Blvd. and 10379 Atlantic Blvd.

• Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin-Robbins, to Back Cove Holdings LLC, 5150 University Blvd. W. and 3031 Monument Road.

• Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint, to KPG III LLC, Kevin Phillip Gartner, 8221-1 Southside Blvd.

Restaurants on the rise

• Dunkin’ Donuts is considering a San Marco shop and drive-thru at LaSalle Square. The standalone location will be next to the Hurricane Grill & Wings and Jersey Mike’s Subs building.

• Hot Wok Restaurant is planning to open at Five Points Village in Riverside.

• Jimmy John’s is building-out in the Elks Building Downtown at 201 N. Laura St.

• Mellow Mushroom is developing a North Jacksonville restaurant in the Parkway Shops near River City Marketplace in North Jacksonville. Tenant Contractors Inc. is building the pizza restaurant at 15170 Max Leggett Parkway.

• V Pizza will open its second Jacksonville area location this month at 528 N. First St. in Jacksonville Beach. Initially referred to on building plans and permits as Veloce Pizzeria Napoletana, V Pizza opened in late May in San Marco at 1406 Hendricks Ave.

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