Cap’s on the Water, considered one of the most beautiful restaurants in the United States, has welcomed a new majority owner for the St. Augustine site at 4325 Myrtle St.
Stephen Joost, the former founding partner of Firehouse Subs, has been announced as the restaurant’s new majority owner, with longtime owner Bernard De Raad, who bought the restaurant in 1999, staying on to manage daily operations, according to a release that Jacksonville Business Journal first reported. The duo are also planning to open future restaurants together in the area, with the first concept expected to be announced later this year.
“Stephen believes in the culture and philosophy we have built at Cap’s and will ensure that it remains intact, and that is very important to us,” De Raad said in the release. “My fingers are always itching, and I have been dreaming up ideas for future concepts for years. We share a vision of opening new, iconic restaurants that use the same proven model as Cap’s on the Water.”
Joost was one of the founding partners of Firehouse Subs, a Jacksonville-based, Canadian-owned American restaurant chain that was started by Brothers Chris and Robin Sorensen in 1994. Then, in 2021, Joost and his partners sold Firehouse Subs to Toronto-based Restaurant Brands International Inc. After selling the company, Joost became an investor in Yoga Den. Now, he wants to return to the restaurant industry, starting with Cap’s on the Water, which was named No. 6 on the list of the “15 Most Beautiful Restaurants in the U.S.” by Tripstodiscover.com.
“I’ve been blessed to be a part of the restaurant industry in Jacksonville for the last 30 years, but I’m not finished yet,” Joost said in the release. “I wanted to build another restaurant company, but never imagined this opportunity or that I would find such a perfect fit with Bernard. It is an honor to own an iconic restaurant like Cap’s on the Water and continue the legacy that Bernard and his team have built.”