It’s Arbus Magazine’s 25th Anniversary this year, and we’re celebrating longevity. • Opening a restaurant is incredible work. Keeping one fresh, alive, and consistent for an extended period of time is extraordinary. Perry Group International, a hospitality management and consulting firm, completed a study in 2017 that concluded most restaurants close during their first year of operation. Seventy percent of those that make it past the first year close their doors in the next three to five years. • So, this year’s Gold Star Restaurants section highlights the restauranteurs who have shaped Jacksonville’s culinary climate through decades of serving up exceptional places to dine. These consummate entrepreneurs continually innovate their spaces and concepts, hire visionary chefs and staff, and offer food that sets the standard. (Keep an eye out for those who have shaped St. Augustine’s climate in a future issue.). • Read about these special individuals’ start in the industry, and their proud accomplishments (their gold stars, if you will) along the way; drool over a plate from one of their restaurants — a true representation of a fine (not necessarily fancy), creative dining experience brought to you with heart and commitment. • Along with championing the elite local restauranteurs and their establishments, our list continues with further top-notch, locally-owned eateries that are favorites of the Arbus staff, our friends and readers. All are worth visiting for an exceptional meal and a unique regional experience. Use this list to get to know our community through its indefatigable restauranteurs and excellent food. If you think we’ve overlooked a noteworthy person or place, shoot us an email at email@example.com.