New Webcam with North Shore Views

Peter Bay Gatehouse Webcam

The view from the new Peter Bay webcam

Well folks, for those of you who enjoy your daily St. John fix, we have great news for you! There is a new webcam to check out! And it has amazing views!

The owners of the Peter Bay Gatehouse recently installed a new webcam. It has views of lower Peter Bay and out to Cinnamon Bay and beyond. I took the screenshot above earlier today. Pretty nice view, isn’t it?!

This brings our total number of webcams up to 14. That means you can have 14 different views of St. John each day. It doesn’t get better than that, folks!

Want to see this webcam plus all of our other webcams? Visit www.newsofstjohn.com/islandwebcams

Have a great day everyone!

Beach Bar Announces Reopening Date!!

Beach Bar... Soon Come (file photo)

Beach Bar… Soon Come (file photo)

Well folks, if we’re posting a story at 6:30 p.m. on a Friday night, you know it has to be good!

The Beach Bar has announced its reopening date!

Ok, so it’s not the full Beach Bar, but it’s something! Beginning next Thursday, January 17th, The Beach Bar will be open for happy hour on the beach! Drinks will be served from 3 p.m. until… every Thursday through Sunday. This will happen in their new “on the beach” beach bar until construction is competed in the main bar. How excited are all of you??!!

The new temporary beachfront Beach Bar

The new temporary beachfront Beach Bar

The Beach Bar plans to have live music as often as they can, so please check out their website for bands and times.

Ahh, what a great way to start the weekend! Have a great one everyone!

On the Market: Successful Vacation Rental with Amazing Views

Someday Soon Pool View

The view from Someday Soon

Hello everyone and happy Friday! Let’s end the week with a little real estate browsing… shall we?

Someday Soon is a charming and comfortable villa with gorgeous views of Coral Bay harbor, the East End of St. John and beyond. This successful short term rental features two master bedrooms with ensuite baths, air conditioning and king beds. Someday Soon was remodeled and redecorated in 2016 to include new furnishings, new kitchen countertops, a new, expansive wraparound deck and an upgraded pool. This home has ample outdoor living space – both covered and uncovered – so you can easily take in the gorgeous views. Someday Soon is move-in ready for you to enjoy! Check out a few pics:

Someday Soon Sign

The living space

The living space

One of the home's master suites

One of the home’s master suites

Beautiful decking with harbor and ocean views

Beautiful decking with harbor and ocean views

The home also has great hillside views

The home also has great hillside views

The view from Someday Soon

The view from Someday Soon

Looks great, doesn’t it??!! Those views!

Someday Soon is located on Highway 108 in Coral Bay. It is just a few minutes from Coral Bay’s great shops and restaurants.

Someday Soon is being offered for $1.2 million by Tammy Donnelly of 340 Real Estate Co. For more information, please contact Tammy at at 340RealEstateCo@gmail.com

Jake’s Reopened!! But Not on St. John…

new CT Jake's sign

Well folks, we have some good news and bad news to share with you all today… First the good news: Jake’s has finally reopened!!! The bad news: They reopened more than 1,600 miles away from us. But either way, we’re pretty darn happy for them!

So Jake’s was one of my favorite restaurants here on St. John. It was a great breakfast and lunch spot, which was located in the Lumberyard. Sadly, Hurricane Irma destroyed most of the complex. While the Jake’s portion was relatively unscathed, the entire complex was deemed a lost and the owners, Carl and Shaun Stevenson, were forced to close their doors for good.

But there’s a silver lining to ever sad story, right??! Well just 15 months later, the Stevensons have a new location. Jake’s is now located in North Stonington, Connecticut, which conveniently is only about 30 minutes from my parents’ house. (Like me, Carl also grew up in Connecticut, so the move made sense for them.)

I flew up to Connecticut for the holidays and visited Jake’s less than 24 hours after I arrived. It was so nice to see Carl and Shaun. Carl was even wearing his St. John Jake’s shirt much to my delight! The vibe was little different, mainly because it was quite chilly out, but it felt in a way like I was back in our pre-hurricane world. And that was lovely while it lasted.

Carl and Shaun Stevenson

Carl and Shaun Stevenson

The menu is pretty similar, although there aren’t any mimosas or Bloody Marys. There is a liquor store right beside the breakfast and lunch spot, so you could being your own I suppose. When I asked Shaun about the lack of our sometimes favorite morning drinks, she said that the Connecticut peeps don’t enjoy their morning cocktails as much as we island folks do … the horror! (Clearly I am kidding, but I do love a mimosa with my omelette every then and again.)

Jake's menu

The CT menu

They were still in the midst of decorating, Shaun said, and she planned to hang some of the artwork saved from the St. John Jake’s. I was also happy to see that their logo is relatively the same. They simply switched out the palm trees for some oaks and evergreens.

Truth.

Words to live by.

If you happen to be in Connecticut or even Rhode Island (Jake’s is right on the border), do yourselves a favor and swing by and say hello. Let them know how much you love Jake’s and St. John as a whole. I can guarantee that will make them smile.

Jake’s is located at 220 Norwich-Westerly Road in North Stonington, Connecticut. They are open daily from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Jakes sign and storefront

What’s Happening at Caneel Bay…

The main lawn at Caneel Bay - January 2019

The main lawn at Caneel Bay – January 2019

It’s been awhile since we updated you on what’s happening over at Caneel Bay, so we figured we would share the latest with you today. For those of you short on time today, the quick answer is that nothing is happening. For those of you who have a few more minutes to spare today, here is the nitty gritty.

Ok, so as you know, Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett introduced a Bill in late 2016 which asked Congress to give the operators of Caneel Bay – CBI Acquisitions, a private equity firm out of Connecticut – a 60-year retained use estate agreement. That Bill passed the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands in early 2017. It was introduced to the full House on December 21st, but it was never acted on. When the 115th Congressional Session ended, the Bill was officially dead.

So what’s that mean? Well it means we are back to square one.

As of this morning, Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett has not reintroduced the Bill to the new Congress and it is unclear whether she plans to. I reached out to Plaskett via her website over the weekend asking that very question, but have yet to hear back. Another person inquired via her Facebook page on January 5, but that question has been left unanswered as well.

So does this mean that CBI’s hands are tied? Absolutely not. They still have three years remaining on their current agreement. And when that expires, a 40-year lease kicks in. So essentially, they have at least 43 more years where they can successfully operate Caneel Bay. They are just choosing not to.

I was able to see the property up close recently, and it is truly a sad sight. Absolutely nothing has been touched. There is still furniture in the destroyed beachfront rooms, and nearly the entire property is overgrown. I understand that it is a large property and there were very few staff on site before Irma hit, but it appears that very little was done to prevent damage. For example, a very expensive Micros system – the system servers use at restaurants – was left sitting out and remains there today. Only one window that I saw had blue tape criss-crossed on it; none were boarded up.

For those of you as interested in this as I am, you can routinely check to see if a new Bill is introduced by visiting www.congress.gov. Once you are there, click on the “Introduced” button on the right. There you can see every Bill that has been introduced in Congress. You can also search by topic or the sponsor.

When you type “Caneel” into the search box, you can see Plaskett’s failed Bill, plus former Congresswoman Donna Christensen’s passed Bill which became Law, giving CBI the additional 40-year lease. You can also see a failed Bill by Christensen which sought to give the the 40-year lease during the prior session. Check out a screenshot:

Image taken from Congress.gov

Image taken from Congress.gov

So we’re curious, now that we’re back to square one, what would you like to see happen at Caneel? Please answer by taking this poll.

January 9, 2019 Poll
What would you like to see happen at Caneel Bay?

Joe’s Rum Hut: The Rebuild has Begun!

The beach in front of Joe's Rum Hut - Jan. 9, 2019 The beach in front of Joe’s Rum Hut – Jan. 9, 2019

We have more great news to share with you all today! Joe’s Rum Hut has FINALLY started to rebuild! Woohoo!

So it’s only a few bricks, but it’s progress folks!

For those of you who have been lucky enough to be in or around Wharfside Village and Cruz Bay beach over the past few days, you may have seen workers over in the Rum Hut it. It took sixteen months, but they are finally starting to rebuild the space. And we are so thankful for that!

As you may recall, Joe’s Rum Hut was one of the beachfront businesses that was damaged during Hurricane Irma. There was significant roof damage above and who can forget the boat that slammed up against the popular beachfront spot. We haven’t seen much progress in the area until last week, and what a beautiful sight it was.

A new bar is being built in Joe's Rum Hut. A new bar is being built in Joe’s Rum Hut.

Sadly, the Coast Guard had to cut down the trees in front of the Rum Hut in order to remove the vessel that slammed into the business. The upside of that, however, is that the Rum Hut will have an even better view than it did before.

The view has been opened up at Joe's Rum Hut. The view has been opened up at Joe’s Rum Hut.

There is no word on when the Rum Hut will actually reopen, but we are confident to say sometime this year. :)

And for my Beach Bar fans out there, work is continuing in that spot as well. No reopening date has been set as of yet. You know we will let you all know about that as soon as we know!

Cheers everyone!