About Frank Barnako

Frank Barnako is the previous owner of News of St. John.


I’ve been writing about St. John for almost ten years.  I figured a newsletter might help the rentals of our island home-away-from-home in Great Falls, Va.,
Blue Tang. See it at BlueTang.vi.

What started as a weekly text newsletter almost 10 years ago, has now become this Web site of news and information about the island.

I first came to St. John with a buddy during a skiing and sun winter vacation.
A few years later, with my wife, Donna, I vacationed at Caneel Bay. We soon found ourselves taken with the
island. We bought property, built a house.  Bought another, and renovated it.  Sold it, bought another and renovated it.
Our latest, BlueTang, is available for rental through Catered To, (800) 424-6641.

With some partners, we owned the Mail Center
at the Marketplace – offering villa owners, locals, and businesses an efficient and economical way to get mail,
receive and ship packages, and to buy office supplies.  We sold the business to the Corley family in September, 2007.  They’re good people, and the Mail Center’s services are great.


35 thoughts on “About Frank Barnako”

  1. Dear Frank,
    We just returned from your fantasy land! My fantasy, not yours. Although I had previously did an excursion to St. John off of a passing cruise ship, I did not fully appreciate the beauty and the fragility of the island. One day we spent exploring and snorkeling the South side of the island with lunch at the Westin. Another days were spent snorkeling Cinnamon, Trunk, and Waterlemon with lunch at Skinny Legs!
    I am a developer and homebuilder in Western Tennessee. I understand the issues that come from the developing and building upon the island. We have a sandy soil that erodes very easily. I can’t image the amount of silt that must flow into those pristine bays on the island. I have been there during a heavy down pour in years past.
    I will be back as soon as possible. This time we are going to bring our three girls so that they will get to experience the truly unspoiled, while it still exists! Good luck in all of your work. I there is anything someone in my position can do please let me know.
    Kevin Clark
    [email protected]

  2. We will be down on New Years eve 5th trip with family. Any suggestions on how we might get on a charter for the NYEve party on JVD?thanks love your site jm


  4. i am leaving for st.John on Tuesday with my parents, sister, aunt, uncle, and couin. I wanted to see Kenny Chesneys house. my aunt really likes him, and it would be great for her to see his house.

  5. I am currently selling a property in Florida and would like to do an exchange in St. John. One concern is the tax issue. My investment would be a rental for several years (annually if possible). I would relocate in a couple of years. I am a real estate broker, have 2 engineering degrees and I’m a licenced captain. I would like to work on the water when I relocate. If it’s not too much trouble – could you give me some guidance on what is happening there and where I may want to consider for an investment. I have one investment property selling next week ($200,000) and hopefully another soon after ($190,000). I like the idea of small island living but I’m open for other ideas or locations. I have 45 days to locate my next property. Thanks!!! Chris

  6. Many years ago we spent many wonderful hours in St. thomas and St. John. On St. John there was a fish fry once a month to raise money for scholarships. does this still happen and when? I am In NY and love it, BUT my heart will always be in St. Thomas and St. John with those wonderful people. We will be there for a week in May. I tried to convince my husband to move there but he is a died in the wool appleknocker. SIGH!!! thanks ginny

  7. Frank,
    I’m a professional face and body painter. Do you know of anyone in STT/STJ who would like to augment their customer flow with my services? Kids go crazy (and some adults too) for face painting. I can paint 12-16 people per hour, and I’ve seen kids and parents wait over an hour to sit in my chair.
    I’ll be in STT next week (10/8-10/15). My rates are moderate, and my skills fantastic.
    Mike Smith
    [email protected]

  8. I was so sad to see that celebrities, rich realtors, developers are above us all in hurting St. John’s beautiful island. Why does Kenny Chesney think he can ruin the island and live in a mansion there? This island is slowing being destroyed by those who do not respect what the island really is. It’s history and environment will never be the same. To whom it may concern: Stay home and ruin your own backyard!

  9. Frank,
    My wife and I spent part of our honeymoon in St. John in 2000, and one of the highlights was a dinner at Asolare. The food was supurb, and we met the chef but now can’t recall his name. I was hoping you might help. This would have been in November 2000, and he was a young guy (maybe mid to late twenties). I had heard he moved over to Chloe & Bernards, but that was a while back. If you happen to know his name and where he is now, we’d be grateful. Wherever he is, I’m sure the food is fantastic. Thanks.

  10. Dear Karl:
    Seven years is a life time. There have been several different chefs at Asolare over the years. But the restaurant is always worth considering – and remember, the owner also operates Bordeaux, and Paradiso … which are tops. Great food is easy to find. Expensive, yes. But it’s sure on St. John.

  11. Hi:
    What’s the story with Chilly Billy’s; open or closed ? Will be down in a few days and it was always my breakfast spot. Have noticed that the web-site is down. thanks.

  12. Hi Frank – I just found this newsletter when I did a search on the new Pond Bay fractionals. Not interested because we only need 1-2 bedrooms – but was curious of the location.
    We just returned from St John and had a great trip (except for a nightmare return to STT American Airlines… never again will I fly on AA).
    I wrote a long trip report (w/ photo link) on TUG (Timeshare Users Group) – Google: TUG Timeshares Starwood Forum – and that should take you to the page that has the trip report thread that was just posted (June’08).
    Anyway… I was enjoying the newsletter – thanks.
    David and Robin

  13. Hi! I’m moving to STT in about a month. I am a runner/triathlete–but mostly a runner 🙂 Any tips on running or biking routes/trails on STT or STJ? Many of the roads on STT do not seem too safe for running or biking; are there trails on STJ (never been on St. John!)? I know most of the races seem to be on St. Croix… THANKS!!

  14. Hello Frank!
    Are you aware of any resolve concerning the “My Paradise Business” essay contest to win Mixology Warehouse? Particularly, does Gary Moses plan to reimburse the entrants that paid $100 per entry? Do you know how to get in contact with Gary Moses? What a shame!!!

  15. Any advise on the best way to find businesses for sale on St. John’s? Looking to relocate and very interested in real prospects. Thank you.

  16. I’m looking for Jimmy Abrahms an old friend.
    The last time we talked via Miami he was living on St Johns.
    He plays guitar and does a good job making people smile. We’ll be visitng Cruz Bay in March and it would be good to see him.
    Do you have his email or ph. #

  17. Hey Frank,
    just wanted to see who the guy is on Ajax Peak with the weather station. I want to know how high that gust was yesterday with the squall that came through Coral Bay at about 1:40. Thanks

  18. My husband and I went to St. John last April- we had a wonderful time. Let me recommend Windcrest Villas, we had the loft suite. Also, DO catch a hobie cat to the BVI, it’s beautiful!! Can’t wait to go back someday…

  19. Hey Frank, I love newsofstjohn.com. I check it every day. I have a question about eating the local fish. I hired an in-shore fishing guide one day who told me not to eat the local fish because they contain large amounts of ciguatera. A quick search on the internet revealed some very nasty facts about this disease. Have you ever heard of it? I’ve wanted to go down to the docs when I come in town and buy some fish from the local fisherman to cook back at my rental villa, but now that I’ve read about ciguatera, I’m afraid of this idea. What can you tell me about this?

  20. A friend of mine and I will be moving to St. Johns for 6 months starting in June. We are looking for an apartment to stay for the 6 months at a reasonable rate. Any suggestions?? We can use all the help we can get. Please let us know. here is my email [email protected]
    Luv Rae

  21. Hi Frank,
    This is a new workshop that is being offered by St. John instructors, Steve Simonsen, Andrea Leland,Bill Stelzer, Viki Brown, Eddie Bruce,Kelly Hunter and more.
    Caribbean Film Workshop:
    7 days from Nov.7-14, 2009
    With the increasing popularity of digital video cameras, many people are discovering the fun of video film making. This one week work shop is a hands on opportunity to learn how to plan, shoot, edit, promote and distribute a documentary, a short or a music video. Four separate workshops are being offered, sign up now for one, two or all four. Free evening workshops are offered for you the day time participant, and a friend.
    Have a unique educational vacation! Shoot unique footage while exploring an 18th century sugar mill, hiking on one of the National Park trails, or listening to the sweet sound of the saxophone at the Beach Bar in St. John. Take a break and swim in the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean and relax on Trunk Bay, rated one of the 10 best beaches in the world.
    Beginners, advanced amateurs and professionals will benefit from our internationally acclaimed staff of instructors. Come and see why this is called paradise while creating a dynamic film on the most photogenic beach in the world. Beachcombing, sailing, fishing, diving, hiking, snorkeling, swimming and lounging are optional. Contact us for more info at zemicaribbeanworkshops.com

  22. I heard from several reliable sources that the owner of the st. john restaurant group who owns / was leasing to own (Asolare, Paradiso, Chloe & Bernard’s ) he also owned The Balcony and even had equity in Quality Food) left the the island in the night owing a LOT of money.. to busineses, individuals, and the govt… can you varify this…. or report on this for your readers info. I also learned that the last owner is comming / is back as owner.. and he left on a bad note..

  23. Frank, Wanted to let you know about the First Ever “Jester’s Masquerade Ball”. This Thursday Night big Masquerade Ball at Skinny Legs starting at 7 pm to celebrate April Fools Day. Live Music with St John’s Original 6 piece Groove Band “the ISH”, Fire Dancing, Juggling, Hoola Hooping, Masquerade Madness, Potential Prizes for the best Masks and general gathering of fools. See you all there with bells on.
    Skinny Legs will provide masks for those that do not have them, but make or bring your own to show off your own flare.

  24. Frank, or anyone who lives on the beautifull Island of ST. John. We are coming down the last 2 weeks of January for the Tenth year. My wife is in need of renting or buying a beach chair that sits up high. Around 17″. Rio Beach chairs makes one but I can’t seem to find any on island. Can only find the low sand chairs to rent. That just won’t work for her this year. Small back problem. Can anyone help with some info???
    Thanks; Paul

  25. Most Cruise port transfers service would be around the clock. This means, arrival at odd hours can be handled with ease, as the vehicle and a chauffeur will be waiting to greet an individual or family at the Cruise ship. This would be a great relief, instead of taxis or shuttles waiting outside airports.

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