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First Coast Connect

Downtown restaurants; shoreline protection; Jaguars football

The Downtown Jacksonville skyline.
Bob Self
Florida Times-Union
The Downtown Jacksonville skyline.

Downtown Jacksonville is undergoing a lot of change right now. But, how are these changes affecting local hospitality businesses in the area, during what is already traditionally a slow time of year for them?

We asked three folks from that world to join us: Dwayne Beliakoff, executive chef and owner at Bread and Board, Estrella Cocina and Bread and Burger; Jon Insetta, chef and owner of Bellwether; and Casey Shelton, operating partner at Dos Gatos.

Shoreline protection

The University of North Florida — in partnership with the National Park Service, St. John’s Water Management District, and Timucuan Parks Foundation — has launched a project to protect the shoreline using oyster shells. Here to share the details is the lead researcher on this project, Kelly Smith, associate professor of biology at UNF.

Jaguars football

Today is Monday, which means our director and sports analyst, Josh Torres, is in the house to kick off our week with all things Jaguars.

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Randy comes to Jacksonville from the South Florida Sun Sentinel, where, as metro editor, he led investigative coverage of the Parkland school shooting that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for public service. He has spent more than 40 years in reporting and editing positions in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio and Florida. You can reach Randy at or on Twitter, @rroguski.