Councilman Michael Jackson has been forced to postpone the grand re-opening of his Jacksonville Restaurant after failing to secure health and fire approvals.
Jackson had secured City Council approval for an entertainment license on Tuesday night. However, the approval was conditional and required him to produce proof of certificate of occupancy (CO), health and fire inspections.
“Some of the professionals did not finish some of the things that needed to be done,” said Jackson on Saturday morning. “We’re just going to postpone our opening. We’re going to reschedule.”
Jackson had scheduled the grand opening for December 19.
Jackson blamed mayor Andre Sayegh alleging the mayor hindered him from obtaining the needed approvals.
“The mayor with his antics was getting in the way,” said Jackson.
Sayegh did not respond to calls for comment.
Jackson had a difficult time getting a copy of his certificate of occupancy for his restaurant at 325 Grand Street. His copy was damaged or destroyed after his office was flooded, so he attempted to locate a copy at the building department. He said construction official Gennaro “Jerry” Lobozzo’s assistant told him he does not have a CO and never had one. He was also told he had thousands in outstanding fees. He said he spent much of his time trying to locate the documents and receipts.
“Few days later they miraculously found the documents,” said Jackson.
Jackson said he spent tens of thousands of dollars in booking performers for the grand re-opening. He has a fire inspection scheduled for Tuesday. It’s not clear if he has a health inspection date.
“I don’t want to get into the, ‘Guess what he doesn’t have this,’” said Jackson. He hopes to obtain all the required approvals prior to reopening his business which has been closed for years.