Downtown Jacksonville business owners crossing fingers for busy weekend

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A lot of the businesses in Downtown Jacksonville suffered last summer, because of heightened COVID cases and limitations on business. The hope is to make a comeback this year, both financially and on the field.

It’s back to the grind at Manifest Distillery, as the 2021 football season approaches.

Manifest’s General Manager, Jim Webb, said he is bracing for a lot of busy weekends ahead.

”We’ll have that game [Jags] on the TV,” Webb said. “And, we’re hoping to have a lot of Saints and Packers fans down here.”

Action News Jax told you back in July when Senate Bill 46 officially became law; it allows Florida distilleries to make and serve cocktails on site.

Previously, taprooms could only serve samples of their liquor or sell bottles to take home.

”That’s what got us through some of the dips,” Webb said. “When restaurants were closed, the liquor stores were still open. Now we’ll have the revenue stream from cocktails on-site as well.”

The distillery launched its new menu last weekend.

”We had a really great opening weekend,” Webb said. “With the cocktail menu last weekend, we had made over 500 drinks, which obviously we’ve never done before.”

Another bill that went into law this summer: the alcohol-to-go bill. It allows restaurants to sell drinks to take home. You must purchase food with your order.

”I’m excited to have my season tickets,” Webb said. “With apologies to the team, they can’t get any worse than last year.”