As general manager for Cabana Beach Club, Aja Owens oversees restaurant and club operations at the private beach club located at 619 Ponte Vedra Blvd. Local residents are eagerly anticipating the opening of 1912 Ocean Bar & Rooftop, a new, upscale dining experience unlike any other in the immediate area.
What is your background?
I was born and raised in St. Augustine, Florida. I graduated with a degree in hospitality management from the University of West Florida and immediately started work with the Sawgrass Marriott as an intern. I worked as the front office supervisor, then worked in the spa as a spa manager. I started working at the Cabana Beach Club as a food and beverage operations manager in 2016, and after Hurricane Irma flooded our building, we had to demolish it and start over. Our new building is nearly finished and we are so excited to open our new restaurants!
Sounds great. Tell me more.
We could not be more excited. Over six years ago we moved all our restaurant operations into the much smaller pool bar restaurant building. Now, we’re about to open our brand new building with two restaurants.
On the first floor, Seaporch is our casual beachfront restaurant. It will be open to Cabana Beach Club members and Sawgrass Marriott guests only.
On the second floor, 1912 Ocean Bar & Rooftop will be our more upscale restaurant and open to the public.
Have you had any feedback from the public?
More than anything, people can’t wait for the rooftop bar to open.
We’ve gotten a lot of member feedback while planning the new menus, and I know they’re going to love the new options. The handcrafted cocktails and wine selection, especially.
Our culinary team has done a great job featuring local seafood on our new menu. We’ll have everything from oysters to local fish entrees, flatbreads and hand-cut steaks.
We’re going to have a great happy hour menu, and there will be live entertainment.
What do you like most about what you do?
I love working closely with our chefs to build our menus. We change them seasonally with feedback from our members.
What do you like most about living in this area?
I love the beach. Even though I’m here at the beach every day for work, I still head there with my family on my days off.
How do you like to spend your free time?
My husband and I have a 5-year-old son, so we spend all our free time playing in the yard, going to T-ball practices and games, and walks to the park. Working in the hospitality industry can mean late nights or irregular hours, but we make the most out of the time we have together.