Earlier this week, I had the privilege of sitting down for a brief interview with Eric Williams, the Director of Operations for Southern Table Hospitality, and Geoff Foster, the general manager of Marker 32. Marker 32 is one of Jacksonville’s premier waterfront restaurants, resting on the banks of the Intracoastal. Marker 32 is owned by Ben Groshell who opened the restaurant twenty-four years ago at the very location where it still stands today.
Mr. Groshell studied at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park New York and traveled across the world in order to experience a diverse set of cultures and cuisine which inspired the concept for Marker 32. His restaurant now serves an average of 200 customers a day who all come to enjoy the great food and waterfront views.
Marker 32 specializes in seafood and their chef de cuisine is Tray Hartinger. One of their customer favorites is the Local Catch “hoppin john” with sea island peas/basil pesto rice/ tomato compote. Another very popular menu item is the warm spinach salad which is often ordered as an appetizer. All of their bread is baked fresh in house and when it comes to bread there is a wide variety to choose from; cinnamon raison, sun dried tomato bread, French baguette, and garlic parmesan. There is also a kids menu which features items such as kid pasta, steak, shrimp, and salmon.
For the thirsty patron, they offer a full bar with a couple signature cocktails; the “Hot Mama” includes patron silver, jalapenos, cilantro, lime juice, and agave. The “Old Fashion” uses a high west bourbon or rye with luxardo cherries imported from Italy. Marker 32 hosts a happy hour from 5-7 pm daily. Last February the decision to remain open on Sundays was made for the first time in the restaurant’s soon to be twenty five year history.
Marker 32 is also big when it comes to giving back to it’s local community. It has sponsored several organizations and supported many causes in North Florida some of which have included Wounded Warriors Project, JayFund, and the Flounder Pounder charity fishing tournament.
Marker 32 is set for expansion in the near future with sister restaurant “Valley Smoke” opening in Ponte Vedra’s Palm Valley area, stay tuned for further news on this development. For additional information on Marker 32 visit them online at www.marker32.com.
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Written and published for BUZZ Magazine, April 2016.