Cowford Chophouse

The Opportunity

Jacques Klempf always felt a personal connection to Downtown Jacksonville. As a child growing up in the River City, he would frequently visit the neighborhood stores, restaurants, and attractions. As an adult, he was compelled to actively contribute to its revitalization.

In 2014, he purchased a historic structure in a prominent location. Where others saw a building on the brink of collapse, he saw an opportunity to give Downtown its first local steakhouse and rooftop bar — while preserving a piece of the city’s history for future generations.

In the years that followed, Klempf and his team undertook a meticulous renovation that captivated the entire Northeast Florida community. Never before had a single restaurant represented such a compelling intersection of civic pride, Downtown development, historic preservation, and culinary ambition.

The Realization

The Cowford Chophouse had something no other steakhouse in the market could offer: a unique story tied to the city’s rebirth after the Great Fire of 1901.

The building opened in 1902 as the rebuilt First National Bank of Florida. In the decades that followed, it went on to house other banks and several professional offices — including the office of famed architect Henry John Klutho. The name “Cowford Chophouse” is a nod to the original name of Jacksonville, given in honor of the narrow point in the nearby St. Johns River where settlers would ford the river with their cattle.

By incorporating the building’s history into the restaurant design, branding, and communications strategy, our client was able to differentiate themselves from the competition long before the first steak hit the grill.

“The City’s Most Anticipated Restaurant Opening”
- Jacksonville Business Journal


Our work on behalf of the Cowford Chophouse garnered more than 250 positive earned media mentions — all before opening day. Most importantly, though, our efforts helped secure more than 241 online reservations within a day of the reservation portal’s launch.



Positive earned media mentions


Reservations day of launch