A popular destination for dinner and celebrations for 15 years, Blackstone Grille will close permanently after Father’s Day dinner service on June 19.
The modern American fusion restaurant at 112 Bartram Oaks Walk in Saint Johns opened in late 2007.
Chef Charles Wang, an award-winning chef with more than 30 years of experience, and his wife, Helen Chang, opened the restaurant in 2007 at 112 Bartram Oaks Walk in Saint Johns.
The couple announced the restaurant’s planned closure on social media, noting they are retiring.
They couldn’t be reached immediately for comment.
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Blackstone Grill has focused on offering innovative interpretations of American cuisine plus the “best of flavors and tastes from a variety of cultures and influences” creating a taste best described as the Modern American Fusion.
Customers cite menu favorites ranging from grilled vegetable pasta to Filet Mignon Au Pouvre, rack of lamb, pan-seared Chilean sea bass and USDA prime Ribeye steak.
“Our menu has a medley of global flavors, our steaks are USDA prime cuts, I go down to the fish market for fresh catch, and I enjoy making unusual sauces to accompany our meals,” Wang told the St. Augustine Record in April 2016 .
Following the social media post announcing the closure, Blackstone customers responded with an outpouring of well wishes for the couple. Many also shared fond memories of gathering at Blackstone Grille for family celebrations and other special occasions.
Rita Manning Williams, whose family has been eating at Blackstone Grille for years, said Wang would prepare a special dish for their daughter when she was a youngster.
Although not on the menu, Wang created stir-fried chicken in brown sauce with rice for her daughter, Williams said.
“Helen, You and Chef have been an important part of our lives since you opened. We have celebrated many events, spent time with family and friends and have always enjoyed fantastic food in a very welcoming environment,” Williams posted on the restaurant’s Facebook page .
“Thank you for serving the “Amanda Special” for our daughter from the beginning till the end. We will have fond memories forever [and we] wish you the very best in your retirement. You will be missed!! Tom and Rita.”
Kristy Sadler Sterling posted that Blackstone Grille “has been our favorite local restaurant for many years.”
“Helen you are always so kind and welcoming when we come in. We have celebrated many birthdays, anniversaries and dinners out with friends and family there. You guys will be missed by our community but we wish you the best of luck,” Sterling posted .
The pending closing is the latest in several notable closings in the Jacksonville area this year, including Ocean 60, Barrique Kitchen & Wine Bar, Wing-It Jax, Olio, Willard’s Bar-BQ Junction and the German Schnitzel Haus.
Accolades over the years
In 2002, Wang earned first place honors at the 2002 TBS Superstation Dinner and a Movie — an invitation-only cooking competition held in New York City that included over 40 restaurants from across the nation.
In 1998, Wang earned first place as selected by both the judges and by The Peoples Choice at the Ciao Chow Past Cook-Off. An invitation-only cooking competition held in Houston, Texas, it included more than 30 restaurants from throughout the city of Houston.
Blackstone Grille also has been recognized by critics for its cuisine.
In 2010, Jacksonville Magazine’s food issue named Blackstone Grille as one of the area’s top five steak restaurants. A year earlier, the magazine named it to the Top 25 list, the website showed.