A longstanding icon of Jacksonville’s culinary scene is under new ownership. Colliers International’s Jacksonville office has facilitated the $550,000 sale of a 3,600-square-foot building, located at 6943 St. Augustine Road in Jacksonville’s San Jose submarket.
The building has been home to Sorrento Italian Restaurant since 1986. Gary Montour, Senior Director with Colliers International, represented Luciano Russo, the founder of Sorrento, in the sale of the building to Jonathan Eddy through Eddy Holdings, LLC.
Russo rented the building during the restaurant’s earliest years; he later secured an SBA loan to purchase the property. After decades of successfully running the business, Russo sought a buyer who would care for his faithful patrons. Eddy, a seasoned food industry professional with decades of wholesale seafood and bakery experience, will continue to operate the restaurant as Sorrento with chef Nedal Mardini serving as executive chef.
The transaction closed on March 23, 2020 — just three days after Governor Ron DeSantis issued an executive order that suspended dine-in restaurant service in Florida. Eddy was not deterred by the challenges of assuming ownership of the building and business during such an uncertain time, knowing that Sorrento had a loyal following.
“We have been able to lean on the faithful clientele that Sorrento Italian Restaurant built and sustained over the past three decades, and we are very blessed to have been keeping busy during such a challenging time. It’s a testament to the legacy and hard work of Luciano and his family,” said Eddy. “Our goal is to protect that, and to take care of what they have passed on to us. Chef Nedal and I feel excited and privileged with the opportunity to write the next chapter.”
Sorrento provided takeout and delivery service in March and April, and resumed limited dine-in operations on May 5. Montour hopes Sorrento’s success will reassure other restaurateurs that the industry is poised for a strong recovery.
“Despite the recent challenges of the restaurant industry as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Jonathan recognized that the location, visibility and following of this restaurant made for a sound investment,” said Montour. “It was a pleasure to represent the seller in transferring ownership of this property to someone who shares his passion for guest service — and who will honor the legacy that Mr. Russo and his family started at Sorrento.”
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