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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, May 18, 202210:37 AM EST

Seachasers building in Jacksonville Beach sells for $5.5 million

The owner of Sainte-George Restaurant in St. Augustine wants to deliver another fine-dining experience
by: Dan Macdonald Staff Writer

The closed oceanfront Seachasers Lounge and Southern Kitchen and Bar at 831 First St. N. in Jacksonville Beach sold May 13 for $5.505 million, according to the deed recorded May 17 with the Duval Count Clerk of Courts.

Vera Duren of 831 First Street North LLC of Palm Coast purchased the 11,491-square-foot restaurant space from Jim Franks of Blues Rock Investments LLC in Jacksonville Beach.

Ronald McVay of R.A. McVay Inc. represented the seller and Amy Alloways of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices the buyer.

In December 2010, Blues Rock Investments LLC paid Kathleen Detwilder of Tallahassee $2.1 million for the property.

Its current taxable value is $3,783,100.

Intracoastal Bank of Daytona Beach issued two mortgages of $3.050 million and $2.44 million on the property to the buyer.

A restaurant, market and entertainment space called The Refinery is planned for the Seachasers site.

Duren said she plans to open a restaurant, market and entertainment space called The Refinery in August.

Duren owns Sainte-George Restaurant at 1 St. George St. in St. Augustine. 

It offers fine dining with European influences on American cuisine, she said. Chef Jaime Simoes will be executive chef at both Sainte-George Restaurant and The Refinery.

“It is just a name that I really like,” she said of The Refinery.

“It signifies that something is made from raw materials and we create something beautiful and elegant.”

Like Seachasers, the building will have several functions. 

Downstairs the space along First Street will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner in a casual setting. Upon entering the building, Duren will have a market to sell beer, wine, cheese, sandwiches and other grab-and-go items. 

The oceanfront property is at 831 First St. N. in Jacksonville Beach. (Google)

The space also will have music and late-night activity. She expects guests at the nearby Margaritaville Beach Hotel to patronize the market to buy wine and snacks.

There will be a patio bar along the sand dunes that will serve casual food and drinks.

Upstairs will be dinner-only and have a menu similar to Sainte-George Restaurant but may have more seafood options, she said.

The dining room will be reservations-only with tablecloths and other fine-dining touches. However, there will be no dress code.

Duren has hired Anastasia Design Group of St. Augustine to decorate the rooms. She estimates that budget will be about $200,000.

She has yet to hire a contractor for the interior remodeling but said she doesn’t expect there to be many changes.

“The building is only 6 years old and in great shape. I will probably change the flooring and do some painting to create a different ambiance,” Duren said.

The building opened as Seachasers Lounge in January 2016 as a multiconcept restaurant with outdoor, casual and fine dining along with entertainment.

Seachasers closed in January 2018 and was reopened as Southern Kitchen and Bar. That restaurant’s last Facebook post was May 1 and it is shown as permanently closed.


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