New Restaurant to Open in Cruz Bay

joes diner st john

Joe’s Diner has been sold and a new mid-range bar/restaurant will take its place by the end of the year, according to its new buyer.

Clint Gaskins, managing partner of Sea Island Food Group, recently purchased Joe’s Diner, which is located underneath Café Roma in the heart of Cruz Bay. Clint is from Charleston, SC and has been traveling to St. John for the past 10 years. He plans to convert it into what he calls a “coastal casual environment with a hang-out surf bar vibe.”

“As you have heard, we have recently taken over the space and closed the doors for renovations and improvements. Although Joe’s was a fixture in the heart of Cruz Bay for quite some time, we feel that this will be a welcome change to the street,” Clint said. “We have a fairly extensive renovation/improvement planned for the space, to include making the space ADA compliant on the first floor. We will essentially be gutting the space to the concrete walls and updating everything … plumbing, electric, mechanical, facilities, kitchen, etc.”

Clint said he is still in the project’s identity phase, however he did mention how he plans to incorporate some cantina-based items into its menu like baja bowls, ceviche, salsa and tacos.

“It’s going to fill a nice gap in the St. John market for the mid-range bar/restaurant for locals and tourists alike,” Clint said. “Given the size of the space and the limitations, you can image that we will be placing a large emphasis on the bar program. The space will have a seating capacity of 50-60 through a combination of bar and table seating.”

Clint also owns Squeeze Bar and is a managing partner of a small hospitality-based group in Charleston. He hopes to open the new restaurant by Christmas.


It’s Happening: Marina Coming to Coral Bay

new marina pic

There’s been quite a bit of talk lately over two proposed marinas in Coral Bay. Well we can tell you today with certainty that at least one of the planned marinas is happening.

“After nearly 5 years of painstaking research, studies and community input, the Summer’s End Group, LLC, sustainable developers of the St. John marina, The Yacht Club at Summer’s End (YCSE) is pleased to announce that the Department of Planning and Natural Resources has deemed our application complete for St. John’s long awaited marina,” YCSE wrote in an email to News of St. John Monday.

According to the email, the marina will be located in the “waters across from Island Blues, Voyages and Coco Loba” and will be a “full service, sustainably developed marina offering waste water pump out, fuel, provisioning, restaurants, entertainment, shopping and all of the other services and amenities you’d expect from a state of the art, world class, recreational marina facility.”

The team described the marina as being a sustainably guided local effort.

“The Summer’s End Group, LLC’s members are full time St. Johnians including Chaliese Summers, Managing Member, Rick Barksdale and Robert O’Connor, Jr. and others who love St. John, her natural beauty and all that she has to offer. The team assembled to design the sustainably developed marina project consists of USVI based marine biologist, architects and engineers, a local cultural anthropologist and other experts whose life experience on St. John, and design, construction and marina development experience total over 150 years.

“In a concerted effort to sustainably improve the health of Coral Harbor, the Summer’s End Group has worked diligently with the Coral Bay Watershed Management Plan Phase ll and DPNR to address the issues of storm water runoff, and non-compliant activities both on land and water. Independently, we have also formed a Marine Uses Advisory Panel comprised of knowledgeable St. Johnians and experts to help guide the ongoing improvements offered by a sustainable approach to growth and island life.”

The marina will have 145 slips, and according to YCSE, it will create more than 90 jobs totaling more than $3 million in labor income annually, as well as a total annual economic impact of more than $8.7 million.


St. John Makes 10 Best Bucket List Beaches

Trunk pano

St. John recently made USA Today’s list for the 10 Best Bucket List Beaches. Any guesses which one made the cut???

All of them! (Well all of the ones in the National Park that is!) Here’s what they had to say about it:

“From tropical forests to an underwater snorkeling trail, this 19-square-mile park offers visitors a chance to explore one of the Caribbean’s best-preserved natural areas. The park covers more than half of the island, and includes the popular Trunk Bay and Cinnamon Bay beaches, which rent water sports gear, and have guest facilities. Elsewhere there’s kayaking, sailing, hiking and camping.

Bucket list tip: For a splurge, book a stay at the luxury Caneel Bay Resort, which is surrounded by the park. It was developed by Laurance Rockefeller, who donated land for the park in the 1950s.”

Click here to see a full list of the 10 Best Bucket List Beaches. 

Here are a few of our favorite Trunk Bay pics. Feel free to share some of your favorite beach pics at jenn@newsofstjohn.com

Trunk Bay

Trunk Bay

Trunk Bay