Kamiya 86 sushi bar and restaurant taking Ovinte space at St. Johns Town Center

Construction plans show Kamiya 86 will renovate the 5,300-square-foot space along with outside patio seating.

Ovinte wine bar at St. Johns Town Center closed in July.
Ovinte wine bar at St. Johns Town Center closed in July.
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Ovinte restaurant in St. Johns Town Center appears slated to become the Kamiya 86 sushi bar and restaurant, the fourth location for the group.

Property owner Jacques Klempf, a partner in the closed Ovinte wine bar, confirmed Friday that the structure at 10208 Buckhead Branch Drive will be leased.

He declined to identify the tenant, but construction plans filed Thursday with the city show that Kamiya 86 will renovate the 5,300-square-foot space along with outside patio seating.

Kamiya 86 Royal Group, led by Wen Hui Chen, registered its name with the state in October at the Buckhead Branch address.

Paul Somers with Watson Commercial Realty Inc. represented Kamiya 86’s owners in the lease negotiations. He said Alex Chen is the owner along with his wife, Michelle Chen, and Danny Chen.

Somers said they signed a 10-year lease in March and anticipate opening the restaurant in August.

Plans show the kitchen area will remain, while the bar and equipment will be removed. The dining area will be remodeled, adding a new fruit bar and sushi bar.

Plans indicate indoor and outdoor seating. Somers said the restaurant will sell beer, wine and cocktails.

Contractor Jamil Zarazel with Nialvi LLC said preparation work will start soon and he hopes to be completed in about three months.

Somers said Kamiya 86 operates in Neptune Beach, Jacksonville Beach and Ponte Vedra Beach. The Ponte Vedra restaurant’s website says it sells Japanese, Chinese and Thai cuisine.

Ovinte closed in July. Klempf said then he would sell or lease the building. Somers said Drew Margol, managing member of Margol Commercial Realty Services, represents the landlord.

Through Buckhead Equities LLC, Klempf owns the building, which he leased to Ovinte. He owned Ovinte with business partner Fraser Burns.

They closed Ovinte after almost five years, calling it a business decision not to renew the lease. Ovinte was part of Forking Amazing Restaurants LLC.

They said in a statement after closing Ovinte that it was one of the first locally owned and operated restaurants at St. Johns Town Center.

The structure was built in 2006 on the 1.05-acre site. Klempf operated the Original Pancake House there for several years.

Klempf and Burns opened Ovinte in late 2012 and served Spanish and Italian-influenced cuisine, wine and cocktails. 

Ovinte was part of the Forking Amazing Restaurants portfolio that included Cowford Chophouse Downtown, Bistro Aix in San Marco and the closed Il Desco in Riverside.

Il Desco, which opened in 2015 at 2665 Park St., closed in January. Klempf said in a release the group looked forward to “new opportunities” at the location.

Bistro Aix at 1440 San Marco Blvd. reopened in February after renovations to recover from Hurricane Irma’s damage in early September.

Cowford Chophouse opened in October after Klempf bought the former Bostwick Building at 101 E. Bay St. and invested at least $6 million to convert it into a high-end steakhouse.