I simply cannot believe that 2015 is coming to a close. We had another fantastic year on island and News of St. John had its best year yet, receiving well over one million hits – how amazing is that! So a huge thank you to all of you who visit the website and who’ve interacted with us over on our Facebook page. That being said, let’s get to the year in review … shall we?
The year started off right with the opening of a brand new bar appropriately called Drink, which opened in the space formerly occupied by Motu across from the beach in Cruz Bay. Coral Bay also got a new restaurant in January when Indigo Grill finally opened its doors in old Donkey Diner location. We had a visit from a ridiculously impressive yacht in January; however the month ended on a sad note when a fire ripped through Mongoose Junction destroying The Tap Room and The Beauty Lounge in its wake.
February was relatively quiet on island, although St. John still managed to get some pretty huge publicity. Our little slice of heaven was featured in an extremely popular magazine – the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.
We had some excitement in March. For starters, a new fence put up near Chateau Bordeaux caused quite a stir when locals and tourists alike became upset upon realizing its purpose was to block one of the island’s most beautiful views. On a happier note, the island had its first whale sighting of the year which was caught on film by the one and only Mr. Steve Simonsen. A new food truck opened up at the BMV lot near the roundabout and the boys over at St. John Brewers tapped their first keg since the fire at a new, but temporary Tap Room over in Mongoose Junction.
Morgan’s Mango fell victim to an overnight fire in April causing it to close its doors for several months. Fatty Crab also served its last dish in April opting to close its doors for good. St. John hit the airwaves once again as Joe and Karena, two of the owners of The Beach Bar, were featured on HGTV’s Caribbean Life. Speaking of television, one local resident’s story went viral in April prompting Noelle Hancock to achieve a pretty remarkable amount of fame. Lastly, stinging plankton arrived in the waters around St. John in April causing locals and tourists to chill out on the sand, rather than take a dip in the water.
Things started to slow down in May as another high season came to a close. We had a notable closing and a notable opening in Cruz Bay, however, as Castaways announced it had been sold and The Longboard finally opened its doors after months of delays. But by far, the coolest thing that happened in May was that Salt Pond actually started to produce salt for the first time in years.
The island started to get pretty crunchy in June as we entered our fourth month without rain. The island also lost one of its best residents as the month neared an end with the passing of Captain John Brandi, a man near and dear to my heart.
Carnival came and went with a bang in July. Cafe Livin’ closed and Pickles in Paradise listed for sale. A new movement popped up mid-month as a group of local residents banded together to “Save Our Asses.”
The island showed its community spirit in early August as it raised more than $57,000 at the Chaotic Kayak race, and event designed to raise money to bring wounded veterans to our island. Tropical Storm Erika breezed past the island at the end of the month, fortunately causing only very little damage.
It started to rain in September – woohoo! Our crunchy little island started to turn green again, which was a beautiful site to see. Dog House Pub opened at the old Castaway’s location and the island was treated to a very cool Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse, which we watched from the top of Ram Head.
We had a lot of restaurant news in October as Morgan’s Mango reopened after the fire, Across the Street closed but was quickly replaced by Sushi, Cafe Roma listed for sale and Extra Virgin Bistro opened in the space formerly occupied by Fatty Crab.
Nearly 20 wounded veteran visited our island in early November using the funds raised from August’s Chaotic Kayak race. The Beach Bar owners opened a second bar, The Bowery, in a space adjacent to the BB, and we had an amazing birthday week staycation at Three Palms Villa.
December started out with a bang as we learned that the proposed megamarina in Coral Bay was facing more uphill battles. The Dock opened where Cafe Livin’ used to be and St. John was named the best place to retire … but we already knew that!
And that, my friends, is St. John 2015 in a nutshell. Again, thank you so much for checking in with us throughout the year. If it wasn’t for all of you, we wouldn’t be able to live this amazing life. Much love. -Jenn xoxo