By Justin Moore
A local restaurant was recently shut down here in Jacksonville. Gator’s Dockside, located on 103 Street, was shut down for the night a few weeks ago for a roach infestation and was eventually shut down for good.
“We keep our restaurant very clean over here, I was shocked when I found out,” said Connor Dolby, a Gator’s Dockside employee.
A host at the Gator’s Dockside located in Fruit Cove said, “I never really heard anything good about that location to be honest with you.”
The owner of the restaurant shut it down after numerous attempts to keep the building clean and profitable. “That building has been around forever and has a lot of regulars,” the manager said. “It really was sad to see it go.” The 103 Street location was Jacksonville’s oldest location, but over time lost its clientele due to bad service and poor food quality.
“I mean yeah, I had worked there for about four years and we fell off as a group,” Dolby said. “I used to make killer money and by the time it was over I had to get a second job.”
The restaurant has received several bad reviews on different websites and phone apps. “I ate there once…we stopped in there to see how ours compared one day,” Arnold said. “It was so bad.”
The manager had nothing but positive remarks about the location and said, “I have been in there and eaten many times, I love the food there.” There were good reviews online, scattered between the less favorable ones. “Are you kidding?” Dolby said, “I ate there every single shift and sometimes I would create my own meals, loved the food!”
The service at the restaurant started off great, and slowly began to get worse and worse. This was a major reason they had so many regulars from way back in the day. “The bartenders that used to work there had been there forever,” the manager said. “They were world class in my opinion.”
Service in a restaurant is one of the most important things, and having regulars is usually what keep a company afloat. Gator’s Dockside slowly let themselves go, and as a result they lost the clientele that supported them. Jacksonville’s restaurant goers have spoken.
Photo by Christine Leiser