Jaybirds adds more local flair to St. Augustine

By Megan Denneny | gargoyle@flagler.edu

St. Augustine’s IHOP, located at 2600 North Ponce de Leon Boulevard, has gotten a facelift.

The space is newly renovated into a unique restaurant called Jaybirds, which caters to all different types of cuisine. Jay and Margaret Martens co-own the restaurant with Jay’s brother, Rainer Martens, and his wife Julie. They decided to open up a restaurant with the unique flair of serving homemade and healthy meals.

Co-owners Jay and Margret Martens decided to launch their passion of owning and running a restaurant in their hometown of St. Augustine. Day to day manager Margret is a long-time culinary aficionado who has been involved in the development of every aspect of Jaybirds. Jay has been a meat cutter for the past 40 years and recently retired from Publix in 2012. Jay joins Margret in the operation of the business in overseeing the facility and greeting guests. Jay also shares his nickname with the restaurant–Jaybirds.

Rainer Martens, Jay’s brother, has been a large contributor in the creation of Jaybirds. He and his wife Juile not only participated in the planning and financials of the restaurant, but Rainer has supplied all of the photographs on the walls throughout the restaurant. The pictures are of various birds, landscapes, and scenery throughout Florida that Rainer has taken. Each picture is a reflection of where he and Julie have traveled in search of landscapes and wildlife. Rainer now pursues his passion of photography full-time after retiring from being a sports psychologist, professor at the University of Illinois and founder of Human Kinetics, the world’s largest publisher of sports and physical activity information.

Jaybirds offers breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a Deli for a quick meal on the go. Executive chef, Joe Donaldson, brings 35 years of experience to Jaybirds. The food resembles the unique and inviting ambiance of the restaurant. There are several different options on each menu, including specialty options for vegetarians. Each menu also offers flexibility such a sandwich and pasta building and a special of the day.

The new renovation include: new heating and air conditioning, refurbished kitchen, spacious restrooms and four welcoming spaces to dine. There is a spacious garden patio outside that is warm and inviting. It is surrounded by gas lit tiki torches, encouraging guests to feel at home and comfortable.

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