Long ago, and far away, there was a bar on St. John called the Back Yard. It was an iconic, laid-back locals’ place, where all the builders and carpenters, and painters would hang out after a hard day’s work, or ‘night’ as befits the island’s reputation.
It was dark and not too many tourists felt comparable in its dodgy environs, the building hidden behind gift shops and accessible by a narrow walkway. But the place rocked, and was I think the soul of St. John’s development through the ’80s.
Well, one thing led to another, and the place closed. recently, Duffy’s from St. Thomas tried to make a go of the place, then they closed. And the space has been for sale for some time; not the building, but a "long term leasehold interest" That means you don’t own the building, but you can rent it.
Finally, there’s a ‘contract pending’ on the Multiple Listing Service. Will it return to its days of glory as a locals place serving Greenies for a couple of bucks, or will it go upscale with many other places? or will it even be a bar/restaurant? Stay tuned.
5 thoughts on “Back Yard to get new owner”
Ahh, Frank – those were the Good Ole’ Days. I still have my closing party t-shirt, do you? Backyard – R.I.P., “We shall not forget, what we could not remember.”
Am I “Way Off”, or was it “fire-bombed”?
In other news, GREAT location when I visited in ’01.
I gladly visit Duffy’s on STT, -those wings are my 39 year old “Soul Crushers”!
(Mmm, sweet and tangy, and fiji- …)
Walking by it these days(The former building that housed Duffy’s ,on STJ) kind of leaves me with a lonely/hungry feeling.
So happy to return soon,-
I too have a couple of shirts from the “Good old Days”-
Hopefully something good will come from it…
In the immortal words of Robin -Kermit The Frogs’ son;
“Halfway down the stair, is the stair where sit. There isn’t any other stair quite like it. It’s not at the bottom, it’s not at the top; but this is the stair where I always stop.”
I love that place.
Re: Back Yard to get new owner.
To say that Duffy’s tried to make a go of the old Back Yard and then closed is not only false but an insult to my friend Tim Duffy. Tim Duffy died. When his health failed he sold Duffy’s for a shade over 600 thousand dollars. I know this because I was the listing agent. If running a business for many years and making huge profits and then selling the business for a record price is trying to make a go of it and then closing, well Frank we should all want to try and close a few business and then retire. Tim Duffy knew how to run a bar. He was a pro. He made a great deal of money at Duffy’s on St. John. You make it sound like he failed. You seem to have a personal agenda in your blog that is really very unfortunate. The Back Yard was one one of the most successful bars on St. John for years and then Tim in and opened Duffy’s. The sale of lease hold interests in property is standard practice on St. John. I’m not aware of any existing businesses for sale with free hold property. We received offers for the lease as soon as it was advertised for sale. The owner of the property turned down numerous offers waiting for people with strong back grounds in Bar/restaurant and experience in the Caribbean. The new owners are professionals. Do you still come down to St. John once in a while? I know you used to down once a year or so just to finger on the pulse of the community.
I’m not sure it was that I last went to Duffy’s or whatever it’s name was on St. John. It was sad for me because I loved the backyard the way it was. Some one says it was dark, not true open and with an upstairs completely open. I entered the dark cave it later became and was just sad. I’m sure it was a success with the huge influx of people. Open the new owners return it to what it was, a local fun place with lots of character.