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Simple Seafood Shines in Jacksonville

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Simple Seafood Shines in Jacksonville
Text by Virginia Grimes / Photos courtesy of Marker 32
“We get everything local that we can,” says Ben Groshell.

Local is the name of the game for Groshell. Since the success of his initial venture Marker 32, he has grown the venture into a growing network of modern “fish camp” style restaurants in coastal Jacksonville, Florida. He aims to transport his diners back to a “nostalgic-era” with his focus on simple, traditional seafood recipes that remind him of the unassuming little dives he and his wife used to scout out, dishing up the freshest oysters and fish right off the boat. “They were the kinds of places that were disappearing over time,” says Groshell.

So, with his background in fine dining and his collection of classic recipes, Groshell decided to create his own vision to revive that relaxed, communal vibe of the older camps. Marker 32 and the Fish Camps boast seasonal menus of wild-caught, local seafood. The restaurants’ primary supplier is Safe Harbor Seafood, located in nearby Mayport, and the chefs handpick seafood daily. In addition, Groshell and his team are regulars at the neighborhood farmers market,

You can savor the popular blackened mahi with garlic-thyme grits, collard greens, and tasso-ham gravy all while overlooking a breathtaking coastal Florida view. In fact, Groshell’s restaurants now stand on the very waters he used to fish. With the growing number of restaurants he operates, he doesn’t get out on the water as much as he’d like. But he never misses the “catch of the day.”