2019 Seasonal Closings

Closed Sign

Here it is, folks! The 2019 Seasonal Closings list…

Want to link to this list? It is permanently located at www.newsofstjohn.com/seasonalclosings

  • 18°64: No information yet
  • 420 to Center: Staying open
  • Aqua Bistro: Staying open
  • Art Bar at Bajo el Sol Gallery: No information yet
  • Banana Deck: Closing dates TBD
  • Beach Bar: Closed due to storms; Working to reopen.
  • Bikinis on the Beach: Staying open
  • Cafe Roma: Staying open
  • Cinnamon Bay Campground: Closed due to storms; Working to reopen
  • Columbo’s Smoothie Stand: Closing at the end of August; Reopening date TBD
  • Coral Bay Caribbean Oasis: Staying open
  • Cruz Bay Landing: Staying open
  • da Livio’s: Closed permanently
  • De’ Coal Pot: Undecided
  • Dog House Pub: Closing for one week; Dates TBD
  • DR!NK: Closing for the month of September
  • Extra Virgin Bistro: No information yet
  • Greengo’s: Staying open
  • High Tide: Staying open
  • Hillside Terrace: No information yet
  • Indigo Grill/Rhumb Lines: Closing October 1; Reopening late October
  • Irie Pops: Staying open
  • Island Cork: Closing August 1; Reopening date TBD
  • Joe’s Rum Hut: Closed due to storms; Working to reopen.
  • La Tapa: Closing August 16; Reopening mid-October
  • Lime Inn: Closing August 10; Reopening September 30
  • Lime Out: Closing July 28; Reopening October 1
  • Little Olive: No information yet
  • Lucky Chops: Open for Private Functions & Special Events
  • Maho Crossroads: Undecided
  • Margarita Phil’s: Closing August 25 through October 25
  • Miss Lucy’s: September 1st is the last day; Reopening mid-November
  • Morgan’s Mango: Staying open
  • Nella’s Lounge: Staying open
  • North Shore Deli: Undecided
  • Ocean 362: Last day is August 26; Reopening October 9
  • Our Market Smoothies: Undecided
  • P & P’s: No information yet
  • Pickles: Closed permanently
  • Pizzabar: Tentatively closing August 31; Reopening late October
  • Pizza Pi (Located in Christmas Cove): Last day is July 28; No information on reopening date
  • Quiet Mon: Closing dates TBD
  • Rhumb Lines/Indigo Grill: Closing October 1; Reopening late October
  • Ronnie’s Pizza: Staying open
  • Sam and Jack’s Deli: Staying open
  • Shaibu’s Grab & Go: No information yet
  • Shambles: Staying open
  • Skinny Legs: Closing September 1; Reopening on Halloween
  • Sosa: No information yet
  • St. John Provisions: No information yet
  • St. John Scoops: Staying open
  • Sun Dog Cafe: Closing September 30 through October 7
  • Tamarind Inn: Closed due to storms; Working to reopen.
  • The Tap & Still: Staying open
  • The Tap Room: Staying open
  • The Longboard: Staying open
  • The Terrace: Closed; Reopening September 12
  • Trunk Bay (concessions): Staying Open
  • Uncle Joe’s: Staying open
  • Westin: Staying open
  • West Indies Delight: No information yet
  • Woody’s: Staying open

Click here to download a printable PDF version of this list. 

Cruz Bay Wine Shop Set to Expand

Island Cork Door
Hello everyone and happy Thursday! Today’s story for all of the wine lovers out there!

For those of you who love Island Cork, the quaint little wine shop and bar at Wharfside Village, soon you will have more to love because it’s set to expand. Cheers to that!

The interior of Island Cork

The interior of Island Cork

According to Island Cork’s Facebook page, the shop is closing for renovations August 1st. And from what we hear, it’s set to expand to the neighboring storefront which use to house The Beauty Lounge.

We don’t have too many details to share just yet, but we’ve heard that there will be a much larger bar and more charcuterie offerings. In the meantime, Island Cork is selling all of its wines at 15 to 20 percent off. So if you are lucky enough to be in Cruz Bay, be sure to swing by and grab a nice bottle of wine for yourself!

It’s uncertain when Island Cork the renovations will be completed. We will let you know more when we know more.

And speaking of closings, our annual Seasonal Closing list is coming soon. We will post it here once it’s finished. We will also post it at www.newsofstjohn.com/seasonalclosings

Thanks all and have a great day!

A Bit of History: Annaberg School

The View from Annaberg School

The View from Annaberg School

St. John has many interesting historical sites scattered throughout the island. Many people tend to visit the sugar mills – Annaberg, Catherineberg and Peace Hill are all located within the National Park. Today, however, we’d like to tell you about one of the lesser known sites, one that’s among the most significant historical sites on the island – Annaberg School.

Located about 30 yards before the Francis Bay/Annaberg intersection on the island’s north side is the trailhead to the former Annaberg School, sometimes referred to as the Mary Point School. The trail to the school is only .2 miles and is at the end of a well maintained trail that has a slight incline throughout.

The trail leading to Annaberg School.

The trail leading to Annaberg School.

So you may be wondering why this site is of historical significance? Well that’s because it’s the one of the first efforts to institute compulsory education throughout the Danish West Indies (now the US Virgin Islands) in 1839. The school was created to provide education to the children of enslaved laborers throughout the Maho Bay Quarter: Cinnamon Bay, Vaniniberg, Munsbery, Annaberg and Leinster Bay.

Construction on the school house began in 1847, and it began operating in 1856. The school was only open for about five years as it was plagued with staffing issues. In 1861, the school was closed and the students were sent to school in nearby Coral Bay.

Almost at Annabger School

A view of the school from the trail

Remnants of Annaberg School

From a viewing platform

Annaberg School Off Limits area

Some portions of the site remain off limits

Annaberg School Ruins

An overview of Annaberg School

The Annaberg School never reopened. It is believed that it was likely destroyed in the “disastrous hurricane and earthquake year of 1867,” according to the National Park Service. The NPS also notes that the school may have outlived its usefulness as emancipation was achieved in 1848. At that time, the dwindling number of enslaved workers who remained on the plantations sought out spiritual, social and educational needs elsewhere.

We took this quick video at the site to share with all of you:

So if you are looking to do something new during your next visit, add the Annaberg School to your list. Or even better, let us take you there. For more information on our island tours, please visit www.newsofstjohn.com/islandtour

Lots Happening at Joe’s Rum Hut!

New Rum Hut Bar July 2019 The view from the new Rum Hut

Hello everyone and happy Monday! We have great news to share with you all today!

For those of you who have been lucky enough to be on island lately, you’ve likely noticed lots of work happening over at Joe’s Rum Hut. Well today, we are happy to spread the news that one of your favorite Caribbean beach bars is getting closer to reopening. And even better, the place looks great!

Now I do not know an exact reopening date, but I can say with 99.99 percent confidence that it will be this year. I truly believe it will reopen within the next 90 days or sooner, but that’s just my opinion. Fingers crossed!

Walking past the Rum Hut, you will see that there are two new poured concrete bars, which means that if we get another storm, those bars are staying put. You can also see that new bathrooms have been installed inside the back bar area, which is such fantastic news. No more stinky parking lot bathrooms at Wharfside… yahoo! There is also some beautiful stonework happening on site too. All in all, the Rum Hut is starting to look great. We are so happy about that! Check out some pics:

New front bar New front bar
New interior bar and bathroom area New interior bar and bathroom area
Work is happening! Work is happening!
Beautiful new stonework Beautiful new stonework

Looks great, doesn’t it??!

Now I know your next question is, well what about The Beach Bar? I can tell you that both the owners of The Beach Bar and the owner of Wharfside Village are working diligently to get that space reopened. But it’s going to take time. We will provide more details on that when we have details to share.

We’ll keep you posted on the progress over at the Rum Hut. In the meantime, picture yourselves sipping a nice cold drink on one of these chairs with your toes in the sand… Happy Monday everyone.

Chairs Rum Hut July 2019

Extra Virgin Opens New Restaurant at Mongoose

1864 is located in the former Ocean Grill space at Mongoose Junction.

1864 is located in the former Ocean Grill space at Mongoose Junction.

Hello everyone and happy Friday! Let’s end this week right… How about a quick story about a fabulous new restaurant in Cruz Bay??!!

Earlier this year, we told you that the folks over at Extra Virgin Bistro were planning on opening a sister restaurant over at Mongoose Junction in the space formerly occupied by Ocean Grill. The new spot is call 1864 – which happen to be the coordinates for St. John – and it’s pretty great.

1864 opened during the last week of June, and we apologize for being a little late to the party on this one. We’ve dined at the restaurant three times – twice for lunch and once for dinner – and each time, we enjoyed ourselves so much that we forgot to take good photos to share with all of you. So rather than wait any longer, we’re going to share some of the restaurant’s photos.

As mentioned, 1864 is open for lunch and dinner Wednesday through Monday. Lunch is served 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. They offer a raw bar from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. which changes daily but typically includes items such as oysters on the half shell, chilled Maine lobster and shrimp cocktail. Dinner is served from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. The bar is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

What I really like about 1864 is the fact that it has a great wine list. I have to admit, I love having a nice lunch with friends with a great glass of wine in a beautiful setting. 1864 hits the mark for this.

The menu is still evolving, but here’s a sneak peek of what they are currently serving for lunch plus a few more pics.

The lunch menu

The lunch menu

The appetizer menu for lunch and dinner

The appetizer menu for lunch and dinner

salad rose 1864

turkey sandwich 1864

crispy octopus 1864

raw bar 1864

bar pic 1864

What do you all think? Looks amazing, doesn’t it?

Well that’s all we have for you today. Have a fantastic Friday everyone!

Let’s Help STJ Get a New Playground for the Kids

Money is needed to repair & revitalize the playground next to the Visitor's Center.

Money is needed to repair & revitalize the playground next to the Visitor’s Center.

As you all know, the island suffered tremendous damage back in 2017. And while we have made significant progress in restoring the island in many places like our beaches and the majority of our business, there are still some areas that need attention.

Our children are our greatest resources, and currently their only public playground is in disrepair. Several play structures remain damaged, and the fencing around the area is either broken or missing entirely.

Broken playground fence


Playground next to visitors center

Friends of Virgin Islands National Park is planning to not only repair the playground that sits beside the National Park Visitor’s Center in Cruz Bay, but they have a revitalized vision for the area plus the adjacent grounds. However they need additional financial support. That is where I am hoping some of you may be willing to help.

Friends of the VI National Park has raised $2,200 of its $20,000 goal, according to its website. Let’s give them a little push today. You can make your tax-deductible donation here. 

Here’s what Friends of the VI National Park had to say about the project:

The playground outside of the Virgin Islands National Park headquarters is the ideal location for integrating natural landscapes, cultural history, trail guides, community meeting areas, and play structures with multiple affordances (opportunities for learning) because of its location and established value/use as a community meeting spot.

After being hit by two category five hurricanes, the playground and ballfield next to the Virgin Islands National Park headquarters suffered substantial damage. Several play structures and the fencing surrounding the playground are in disrepair. In order to restore the area and provide a connection for children to the Park, a revitalized vision for the playground and adjacent grounds is warranted.

They continued:

The playground has been traditionally used heavily by local families, afterschool programs, summer camp programs, as well as school groups, and park visitors. Currently, it is the only public playground on the island. Additionally, the playground and its surrounding grounds (Visitors Center, pavilion, ballfield and adjacent land) provide numerous community groups with a meeting area. Most significantly, VINP’s Interpretative Rangers currently use the locale as a staging/briefing area for the Reef Bay and L’Esperance guided hikes. With improved design, this area would be ideal for additional VINP interpretative activities.

By reimagining the playground and the use of its adjacent lands as a ‘Ridgetop to Reef’ playscape will increase environmental education opportunities by providing space for park interpreters to meet groups and interpretive signs that teach children about their Virgin Islands National Park.

Steps away from the base of the Lind Pointe Trail and the National Park pier, the playground is uniquely positioned to be a launching area to the Park’s beaches, peaks, and reefs. In this way the playground and its adjacent lands are the true ‘gateway’ into Virgin Islands National Park, in particular for youth. As such, the opportunity to teach children about the ecological and cultural significance of the park starts in the playground!

Designing the playscape with these goals in mind means using play elements that integrate the Taino, Danish settlements, local flora and fauna, and play structures that mimic the ecosystems of St. John. For example, the ‘Ridgetop to Reef’ playscape includes a shaded gathering area, grass bermed amphitheater-like seating area, picnic tables, a native plant garden with interpretative signage, an enclosed play area for 0-4 years old, and multiple sensory play areas for ages 5-9 years and 10-12 years old with additional interpretative signage.

Again, if you are willing and able to help, please do. Every little bit helps. Here is the link to donate once again: https://friendsvinp.org/playground-repair. Thanks all!!