“We were on the early cusp of tacos. We saw tacos as affordable
and fun and appealing to all age groups. We never
imagined we’d have four stores and a pizza oven inside five
“We wanted a cool spot with great food and cold beer,”
O’Connor added. “There are a lot of (customers) looking for
that, too. Now we’re a place people want to visit. It’s an awesome
experience seeing your vision come to fruition.”
Taco Dive’s latest location is on South Beach in the former
Bluewater Grill building, right next to the same Hurricane
Wings Bonnie and Allison once ran.
“The new store is doing very well,” Turk said. “It opened
in October and it’ll be the most seasonal of our four stores.
“I see (the Jetty Park area) as an extension of downtown.
Downtown was becoming too congested and this area is
another option for people. It’s a beautiful, vibrant spot and
we jumped at the chance to be there. (The jetty has) become a
very popular area these days. The island’s become a destination,
people can make a day of it out here.
“Persistence has paid off; we like to keep it funky. It keeps
us fresh, too.”
Fort Pierce Mayor Linda Hudson, a native of the city, also
believes the current times are a game-changer for downtown.
“The Audubon King’s Landing development was described
as being “transformative” by Treasure Coast regional planners
who helped assess the project for the city. And I think it
really will be for downtown,” Hudson said.
“We’ve been working toward it for at least 10 years. That
build-up and a better economy and the fact that South Florida
is no longer as attractive a place to live or work due to congestion
and rising property prices means many people are looking
for a new place to relocate. Fort Pierce is ideal for that.
“Ten years ago, downtown was full of empty storefronts.
That’s not true today. The (Community Redevelopment
Area) paved the way, and the restoration of the Sunrise
Theatre. Both were building blocks for the renaissance that’s
“Now we’ve had the county’s push for the port and megayachts.
All those factors have brought new people to Fort
Pierce and they are buying up cheap property for new businesses.
“For example, The Galleria has added a touch of class to
downtown that simply wasn’t there before. Downtown seems
to be attracting a lot of people doing new, interesting things.
“The city has a young, enthusiastic staff these days who
are eager to follow up on new ideas. City Manager Nick
Mimms is our quarterback. He’s very pumped-up. The staff
is pumped-up. Many were born in Fort Pierce and they all
love the city and want to see it succeed. I’m very tired of the
city being called the armpit of Florida! So, it’s great to see
new people coming here and not letting the old images of the
city color their perception.
“So, what’s different this time? The leaders in city and
county work well together. Some previous Fort Pierce leaders
neglected the city and we were not represented on quite
a few boards because of our apathy. The commission did as
little as possible; they were not proactive.”
Downtown’s future does indeed look bright as the city’s
natural assets and entrepreneurial spirits are brought together.
The diamond may not stay in the rough for much longer.
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(772) 672-4579 | 101 N. U.S. Hwy 1 #127, Fort Pierce, FL 34950 | www.jarvistreasures.com