Meet The Team

The Homestead Restaurant

Derek (Bo) Johns, Owner & Executive Chef
Born in New Orleans, Lousiana, Bo Johns and his family re-located several times during his father’s tenure in the Coast Guard, including moving to Hawaii and eventually settling in Atlantic Beach, Florida. It was in 3rd grade at Atlantic Beach Elementary where Bo met his childhood and best friend, Hal Batoon. The two went on to attend the 6th Grade Center in Jacksonville Beach, Mayport Junior High, and later graduated from Duncan U. Fletcher in Neptune Beach, Florida. The two attended St. John’s Catholic Church where they both had roles as altar boys. Being best of friends, Bo and Hal got their first real jobs together working at the Vienna Schnitzel Haus and then later moved on to the Homestead Restaurant. Bo stayed on at the Homestead working from dish pit to Chef. It was Steve Macri, previous owner of the Homestead, who gave Derek the nickname, “Bo.” As Bo puts it: “Working for Steve Macri and The Homestead was such a great time in my life – not sure I’d be the man I am today if I didn’t experience that with so many great people from the back of the house to the front of the house and also the amazing customers that became very close friends to this day. It was a time when people cared about each other and had mutual respect. The Homestead was a great melting pot for all…it didn’t matter who you were when you walked in – you were family. We’d like to bring back that atmosphere of southern hospitality and family closeness. It’s going to be an honor and a dream come true to provide and serve you with the many signature meals we’ve all come to know and love. I’m excited to have this opportunity. With that said, we welcome you to The Homestead!”

Hal Batoon, Owner
Born in San Diego, California, a 5-year-old Hal Batoon moved with his family to Atlantic Beach, Florida where his father - listed in the United States Navy - had been transferred to Mayport Naval Station. Hal's fondest childhood memories - besides school of course - was grabbing his surfboard and becoming one with the ocean. A true local, Hal went on to get his first job in Atlantic Beach with his best friend Derek (Bo) Johns at the former Vienna Schnitzel Haus. The two later embarked on to their next restaurant challenge at the Homestead Restaurant, previously owned and operated by Steve Macri. Hal eventually decided to embark on a transportation career that included  assignments at Delta Air Lines, CSX Transportation, Florida East Coast Railway, RJ Corman Railway, and then went on to own and grow his own trucking company. Though proud of his successful transportation accomplishments, Hal is excited to embrace this latest adventure to revitalize the Homestead Restaurant. As Hal puts it: “I feel very proud and grateful to be part of the Homestead family that continues the legacy of quality southern cuisine for family and friends.”  

Pamela Batoon, Owner
A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Pam can recall fond childhood memories of visiting the Homestead with her family to enjoy the menu favorites, such as skillet-served fried chicken, cream peas and homemade biscuits. In her early twenties, she met her future husband, Hal Batoon, and was eventually introduced to his best friend, Derek (Bo) Johns who was working at the time as head Chef at the Homestead. There was many a night when Pam and Hal would stop by the Homestead to enjoy a beverage in the Coppertop Pub and more importantly, to bug Derek and beg him to make blackened steak fingers even though the kitchen had closed. Fast forward to the revitalization of the Homestead, Pam feels both honored and privileged to be part of an amazing, passionate team to bring back the beloved Homestead.

Kristen Marr, General Manager
 A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Kristen developed her hard work ethic at the age of 7 while growing up on a family-owned sugar cane and sod farm in South Florida. At the age of 17, Kristen returned to Jacksonville and endeavored into the restaurant industry. In the early 1990’s, Kristen landed a role as Bar Manager at the beloved Homestead Restaurant where she and her team provided high levels of customer satisfaction for over four years. Kristen went on to expand upon her experience at other local favorite restaurants including Frankies’, Gene’s Seafood, and Billy’s Boathouse, holding key positions of Bar and Restaurant Manager. In 2011, Kristen took a career change and ventured into the Chiropractic industry. She has most recently held the position of Practice Manager at Riverhills Chiropractic where she was responsible for patient scheduling, manage vendor and business associates, and ensuring compliance requirements were met. Though Kristen will miss her Chiropractic family, she is excited to take on the challenging and rewarding position of General Manager and leading our talented bar and front of the house staff!

The Homestead Restaurant
1253 Penman Road
Jacksonville Beach, Florida 32250
Phone: (904) 372-9963

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