A new restaurant and bar top the list of five new businesses coming to downtown Pensacola next year as part of the One Palafox Place development.
The businesses will all be located on the ground floor of the historic 1906 Brent Building, being renovated along with the adjoining Blount Building as part of the One Palafox Place project.
Kiley and Bill Manning, owners of popular East Pensacola Heights mainstay The Magnolia, will open Bee & the Bear, a new casual restaurant.
“I’m the bee, and Bill is clearly the bear,” Kiley Manning said Tuesday. “We are bringing our neighborhood bar feel to downtown Pensacola. The menu will be a similar style to what we do now at the Magnolia of Southern food with international influences and fresh, healthy options. We want to focus more on working with local growers and seasonally fresh ingredients.”
The new restaurant will be about twice the size of The Magnolia, Manning said, and will include outdoor seating in the new courtyard behind the building. “We love staying small because we think it creates a more community-centric atmosphere and encourages everybody to interact with one another,” she added.
Slated to open in early summer 2017, Bee & the Bear will offer beer, wine, and a full kitchen, and the Mannings hope to offer lunch and dinner as well as late-night service.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to create a special, friendly place in the heart of this great city,” Manning said. “Being a part of the labor of love of bringing One Palafox Place back to life is truly inspiring and we are humbled to be a part of it.”
Palafox Street veteran Nick Zangari will also return with a new “roadside bar” concept called Badlands. Zangari operated the New York Nick’s bar and restaurant on Palafox for fifteen years before being displaced by the renovation work earlier this year.
Gadsden, Ala.-based Frios Gourmet Pops will also open up shop in the building, adding Pensacola to its roster of over 20 retail locations stretching from Mississippi to Houston, Texas. Frios sells fresh, frozen popsicles with “unique flavors developed by a team of passionate foodies, chemistry geeks and organic farmers” using simple ingredients that are grown or sourced locally wherever possible.
On the retail side, there’s Wilfrid’s, a barber and fine goods shop which will be operated by Volume One Salon owner Hurst Butts and his brother Evan, and Gray Boutique, a women’s fashion and lifestyle boutique helmed by seasoned apparel veteran Katy Nagel. Wilfrid’s has already begun operating in a temporary space where Dollarhide’s Music was previously located while its permanent space is under construction at the other end of the building.
The second and third floors of the Brent Building will include apartment units, a gym, and a coworking space.
Bobby Switzer, the great-grandson of prolific Pensacolian and Brent Building namesake F.C. Brent, purchased the 4.5 acre block with a group of investors known as One Palafox Place, LLC, in 2015 for $7.5 million. The historic city block — home to the Brent, Blount, Moulton, and Marston-Quina buildings — is bounded by Garden, Palafox, Romana, and Baylen Streets.
Developers expect to turn over the spaces to the retailers before the end of the year, with most of the new businesses expected to open in the first quarter of 2017.
The reimagined and redeveloped city block will become an “urban village” where people will live, work, cowork and play in a premiere location, making One Palafox Place the “focal point” of downtown Pensacola’s revival, according to developers.
“We’ve sold out of retail and office space at this point,” said Billy Lovelace, a partner and leasing agent for One Palafox Place. “In the next few months, we will be announcing additional retail and office tenants after finalizing several new lease agreements, which will include an international brand.”