The owner of Paradise Lumber on Centerline Road hopes to have a 7,000-square foot building complete by March to expand his business. Brian Rourke said a gardening section will be added, and plumbing, electrical, paint, roofing and doors inventories will be enlarged, he told the St. John Source. While Rourke said prices at the store are usually less than if customers bought items in Florida or St. Thomas, that could change because of the renovation of the Red Hook cargo docks. Prices will go up if the V.I. Port Authority does limit the size of shipping containers to 20 feet, rather than the current 40 feet. This will increase shipping costs, which will be passed on in higher prices, he told the Source.
Fish Bay land owners are being encouraged to pay their homeowner association dues in advance for ten years and have the money earmarked to pay the cost of putting a hard surface on Marina Drive, the development’s main access road. The plan has been endorsed by the Estate Fish Bay Owners Association board. If 40 percent of owners agree to participate, the project can be completed immediately and require no dues increase nor assessment, according to a description of the project on the Owners’ Association’s Web site. "The condition of Marina Drive is constantly in flux depending upon the whims of Mother nature," the association told members, to explain why the paving project is no longer a matter of "if", but "when. "We won’t know the actual level of participation until the dues notices go out and the monies come in," Terry Pishko, president of the Association said on the organization’s message board.
American Paradise Real Estate is offering the Marina Market commercial space with an asking price of $1.45 million. The listing includes the 5,000 square foot building whose tenants are the newly-opened Marina Wines and Spirits and a gift shop. The liquor business is to be sold separately.
Marina Market was an island landmark, with competitive prices on grocery items and often the island’s lowest prices for wine. After health code issues prompted the owner to close, the liquor store was opened in the spring. It is located on the south shore road about half a mile from Cruz Bay, halfway between the Marketplace and O’Connor’s Texaco.
The diversity of choices among readers for their favorite restaurants reflected the many tastes of the island. Here are some comments:
- Island Blues "Great music and friendly, laid back atmosphere." "Best burgers in the Caribbean." "’Best Bar’ on the west end of the island." 340-776-6800
- Quiet Mon Pub "Especially when Kenny is tending bar." 340-779-4799
- Tage "Simply the best food I’ve ever had." "The best." 340-715-4270
- Deli Grotto "Where the old Mongoose Deli was … the new owners know how to please with their flexible menu. Prices are good, to boot." 340-777-3061
- Uncle Joe’s Barbecue "For a great meal, under $10, and such atmosphere!" 340-693-8806
- Fish Trap "Always a favorite and must visit." 340-693-9994
- Lime Inn "Best dinner value. Great food, drinks and people." "Hands down, favorite restaurant." "Love it, especially when Inner Visions is playing across the street, at Fred’s." 340-776-6425
- Tamarind Court "Breakfast made in heaven." 340-776-6378
- Stone Terrace "For an exquisite evening." 340-693-9370
- Woody’s "For a quick drink and a Conch Fritter." "Just pure fun."
- ZoZo’s "For a great night out with the one you love." 340-693-9200
- Beach Bar: "’Best Bar’ on the east end of the island." "The best." "Tuna Roll is the best light bite." 340-770-4220
- Ten Tables: "My favorite."
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The birthday of Rev. Martin Luther King was celebrated island-wide Monday with singing, speeches, and a buffet lunch in Cruz Bay Park. The day began with a program in Coral Bay at the Guy Benjamin School, according to the St. John Source. A motorcade then brought celebrants to Cruz Bay where singing and speeches were followed by lunch.
Lorelei Monsanto was one of those who addressed the gathering. "Growth is happening, if we like it or not," she said, and encouraged businesses to hire locals. Sen. Craig Barshinger described the growth as "almost dizzy." Ninth graders from the Sprauve School remembered Dr. King’s hopes and said, in unison, "We must continue to dream."
Park Supt. Art Frederick conceded there are rough spots in the relationship between the Park and the community. "We have a lot of conflict," he said. He also announced that the son of one of Dr. King’s closest aides, the Rev. Ralph Abernathy III, will be on island next month to help celebrate the annual Folklife Festival. It’s scheduled for Feb. 22-24.
Kenny Chesney has a new album set for release Jan. 25 and it is laden with references to St. John. Some folks wish the singer, who has a home at Peter Bay, would stop drawing attention to the island, and that visitors would stop asking where they can find him. The singer has been known to mix libations at Morgan’s Mango and the Beach Bar while he’s on island.
"When I went down to the islands, I didn’t know what I was going to find," he says on his Web site. "I think the pace and the people have allowed me to just quietly get in touch with who I really am and the things that matter to me."
The new tracks include plenty of references to St. John, plus TWO versions of "Old Blue Chair," the song which refers, reportedly, to a chair Chesney found on the beach below his house – and in which he sits, contemplates, and writes. Some of the lyrics: ""He’s an island boy, living a stone’s throw from St. Croix, he’s finally found his piece of serenity" and "Oh I wish I was there at night, on Jost Van Dyke , sippin’ on some Foxy’s firewater rum"
You can hear clips of the new album AND see videos of Kenny with his shirt off, here