Caneel Bay and ZoZo’s Announce Partnership!

Caneel Bay and ZoZo’s Announce Partnership!

I have some VERY exciting news to share with you this evening!

I received the following official message this afternoon and immediately got goosebumps and started crying happy tears!  You may not know this about me, but I was privileged enough to work behind the bar at ZoZo’s and have missed it immensely as I’m sure many of you have as well.

Along with this official release from Caneel Bay, I’ve included a couple of pics that I snapped at the old location at the Sugar mill while working during the summer of 2017.

This reunion is TRULY something to look forward to:

Caneel Bay Resort today announced that a new restaurant and beach bar, ZoZo’s at Caneel Bay®, will open in the space previously occupied by the Beach Bar and Grill on Caneel Beach. The restaurant owned and operated by acclaimed restaurateur John Ferrigno is set to open its doors by December 15th.

The inventive, Italian-inspired menus and go-to classics such as Osso Bucco and homemade pastas made the original ZoZos and ZoZo’s Ristorante at the Sugar Mill a destination restaurant for St. John visitors and locals alike. The devastating hurricanes of 2017 shuttered the restaurant at the Sugar Mill, which had been in operation since 2013.While maintaining the chic vibe of the Sugar Mill and original Cruz Bay ZoZo’s which opened in 1999, the new concept will serve both lunch and dinner and have a more beach-inspired offering, accompanied by a wide selection of wines and cocktails. Tables will be arranged throughout the Breezeway and upper Sunset Terrace, allowing plenty of room for social distancing and ensuring spectacular views for every diner.

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ZoZo’s at the Sugar Mill – August 2017

Caneel Bay’s Director of Sales & Marketing Patrick Kidd shared the following statement: “St. John has always been known as a destination which in addition to its world-class beaches, also offers an array of amazing culinary experiences. We are therefore overjoyed to be partnering with John Ferrigno once more. ZoZo’s re-opening at Caneel Bay will be an incentive to bring more visitors to St. John and in doing so, support our local community. We see this as the next step towards the reopening of the Resort itself.”

John Ferrigno added “we are so pleased for the opportunity to be back on our home island of St. John and especially at Caneel Bay. The ambience of this Resort is like nowhere else. Shortly our website and Facebook page will be live, sharing more information about our plans. Most importantly we hope to add to the revitalization of Caneel Bay Resort and the St. John economy.”

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Last look from behind the bar at the Sugar mill – August 27., 2017

About Caneel Bay Resort: Caneel Bay has been an alluring escape for loyal guests since its founding by Laurance S. Rockefeller in December 1956. Set within 170 acres of the Virgin Islands National Park on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the resort’s pristine natural surroundings, seven quintessential white-sand beaches and low-key luxury are its coveted signatures. Further to the devastating impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September of 2017, Caneel Bay was damaged to such an extent that it was impossible to re-open. The ownership group are working with many constituencies, including both local and Federal authorities, to establish a framework for Caneel Bay to operate as a luxury resort moving forward and to once again become an active part of the vibrant community on St. John. Achieving this goal requires many components to come together and the Resort is currently confirmed closed through 2021. For more information on Caneel Bay Resort, please visit www.caneelbay.com

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ZoZo’s at the Sugar Mill – August, 2017

48 thoughts on “Caneel Bay and ZoZo’s Announce Partnership!”

  1. I don’t understand how there can be an active restaurant at a “closed” property??? Can anyone explain this to me??? Last I heard the Caneel “operators” have not settled a laundry list of items with the Parks Service / Dept. of Interior, and whoever else is involved with the what’s going on to reopen the property. Am I missing something????

  2. Great news for Zozo’s but sure hope there is NO Caneel Bay resort after their despicable actions and deplorable way they left the resort after years of free money from St Johnians and tourists alike! Hope it goes back to the park, or goes out to bid for a resort that will treat everyone fairly!! We don’t need those thieves trying for another 60 years.

    • That’s Right! What’s going on? Don’t tell me our moronic Government sold out the people in St. John again?

    • I totally agree with you. It is shameful how they left that property and the poor people that worked there were just out of luck. I hope someone decent can make that a wonderful place again.

  3. Good for ZoZo’s and I hope the island in general but I also hope if indeed the resort reopens, it does so under more favorable terms for the park and workers. Extended RUE is not the right path forward.

  4. Yeaaaaahhhh Can’t wait, been to Zozo’s numerous time from gallows to caneel. Great vibe ,great service & fantastic food. Can’t wait to go back.

  5. Hopefully luxury means reasonable for all taxpayers. Caneel is part of the National Park System – should be affordable to all in my opinion.

    • After Hurricanes Irma/Maria I went to the head of the park & told him that the property should be a new venture for the people of St. John. There’s rich farm, grazing, & fishing bays there. Could be an important source of food for the Island & create livelihood for locals with farm to table !
      Another 60 years only for the immensely wealthy ? NO, everything that’s happening, Hurricanes, Covid… are messages that now is the time for change, for a new precedent !
      Stand Up St. Johnians for what is rightfully yours !

      • Well I don’t think it’s rightfully Saint John’s I’m pretty sure it’s All United States Citizens property and I’m not sure how someone who lives on St. John’s can talk about rich people? you got to be rich to live on St. John’s it seems to me.

  6. So, wait, zozos will replace the old patio restaurant and grill?

    So now customers will have to eat at zozos no matter what???

    I really hate CBI…

  7. Need to sign petition to keep CBI aquisitions out! They left all those workers in STJ with nothing! Give Caneel Bay back to the Locals in St. John to run!

  8. Great news regarding the re-opening of ZoZo’S
    on St. John…. the best restaurant on the island.
    As expressed by other followers, the major concern is the present lease holder and their actions (or lack thereof) since the hurricane sustained damages.
    “Redevelop the property into a 1st class hotel or give it back to the Park Service where it probably should be!”

  9. Unreal , we have been coming to St John for 40 years and ZOZO’s was always a stop , when we stayed at caneel.

  10. I hope that an arrangement can be made that will benefit the park and tourists. It’s not fair that Caneel tries to hogtie the property to suit their greed.

  11. Wonderful news . John F. treats people way better than Caneel property mgt co did . Can’t wait to return .

  12. So, the logistics seem like they won’t work, but okay. I am the unpopular vote here but I’ve had a few meals at ZoZos both at Gallows and Caneel. They were never as good an Italian restaurant as Da Livio, too much sauce and $$$ for what you get. I would take Extra Virgin, La Tapa and Morgan’s Mango for a great meal over this restaurant any day.

  13. Great. We had the last meal when John closed in March and hopefully will have the first meal when they re-open.
    I am sure all will workout long term for the best and hopefully bring some great cheer to many.

  14. Wonderful news. Great meals great memories at all of John’s restaurants.Looking down at Caneel from the road is heartbreaking.
    Good luck John.

  15. Caneel Bay, the location, is an experience. It facilitates a certain state of mind, a certain attitude, a certain emotion(s). Most of the experience is based on its natural beauty – the beach, the water, the weather, the breezes, the sunsets, the wildlife, and so forth. The buildings, the rooms, and all of the other, man-made constructs are just enhancements for the experience. Caneel Bay’s ability to provide its experience has been held hostage for nearly three years by CBI and their security people, for which they clearly deserve shame, but I suppose businesses are not required to have a heart. Over the last 3 years there could have been multiple solutions as to how visitors could have gone to Caneel Bay for the experience. Just some fencing, plus / minus a little bulldozer work could have temporarily created a safe, campground type of location, even just for day trips. Add a small restaurant, and then you would have food on site. Easy peasy. Additional renovations / rebuilding could have continued (or not) from there. Well, the 3 year deadlock / stalemate has truly been a travesty, preventing U.S. citizens from enjoying their own parkland. Now, more than kudoz to John and ZoZo’s for breaking the deadlock. Some activity on the property is better than none. It will lead to some degree of cleanup and restoration, which is better than none. It will lead to more foot traffic, which will lead to heightened attention to and more discussion about restoring the entire resort, however long that will take. Most importantly, the barriers to accessing the experience have come down. The beach (by law) is already accessible, probably to the wet – dry line, and now there will be a semblence of shelter and food and bathrooms, just off the beach. Presumably, some type of automobile access and parking will be arranged and likely some access by dinghys. This creates a “column” of public access from the main road, down to the main, building complex, out to the beach, and likely out to the pier. That “column” of public access will undoubtedly get cleaned up to some (decent) extent, and that is fabulous. ZoZo’s is popular, there will be a lot of people coming and going (and hanging out and accessing the beach). They can spend big money on a huge meal or just have a drink or two, if on a lower budget. THANKS JOHN, THIS IS GREAT, SOME TYPE OF START IS WHAT WAS NEEDED !! Forward thinking, take away the barriers, breathe some life – good job John !! I’ll be there as soon as I can.

  16. There has been criticism that Caneel Bay was too expensive and for “the elite.” I am not wealthy or elite, but my wife and I loved our vacations at Caneel Bay. One of the best aspects were the wonderful staff. We enjoyed talking with our housekeeper nearly every day. She seemed to enjoy and appreciate her job. We also enjoyed chatting with the groundkeepers and other staff. Exchanging a “good morning,” ” good afternoon,” and “good evening,” with the folks made our stays more personal . One of the gentleman we often chatted with had worked there nearly 50 years. Seemed like both guests and employees loved Caneel Bay.

    • Most of the villas suggested by the people who insist Caneel Bay is “for the wealthy” actually cost more than what we paid for the 2 rooms my family stayed in during our July 2017 trip. It’s just dishonest grousing from the villa culture.

  17. This is really terrific news. We have been coming to St. John for 30 years, including the last 3 years post storm. But the island’s vibe just seemed off with Caneel shut down. Will definitely be coming over to Zozo’s for drinks and dinner ( a few times) if we are fortunate to be able to fly safely to the island this March.

  18. I think low income housing blocks should be built on Caneel land along with a police substation. Poor people from other islands should be able to apply to live in one of the high-rises. There’s no reason why Caneel should be for the rich. It’s the poor’s turn to be able to live there for the next 60 years. The rich have had it for long enough. I’m in favor of building ha at least 25 stories in height so more poor people can enjoy beautiful Caneel Bay.

  19. Low income housing for the island seems like it should definitely be a priority. That will require tax revenue to build. But if there are not jobs (income taxes) and tourists (room tax, meal tax, etc.) then this cannot happen. The Congressional Report on the USVI Economic Situation (Feb 2020) lays out a bleak situation. It mentions a downward spiral of lost tourism resulting in lost jobs and young people leaving the islands to build their lives elsewhere. That is all topped off by incredible debt. It seems like opening up Caneel Bay to vacationers again could definitely help the situation economically and provide funding for low income housing. Perhaps they could be directly related. (But I am not sure about the 24 stories high.)

  20. Give them what they want!!! “SIGN” the lease. Caneel needs a “PROFESSIONAL FACE LIFT” not another band aid on a hemorrhage!!!!!!!!!!! Times are changing, just the way it is!!!! The 60’s are long gone. Just like Maho’s wanna be hippies that cant let go of the past!! No more shacks on the beach!!! Low Income Housing “You got to be kidding me.You want to bring tourism back?? Develop,upgrade and maintain!!

    • A hedge fund is not in the business of managing this kind of property. They want to maximize profit, and invested to that end, and their demands for a 40 year lease are, in fact, illegal according to the transfer of 1983.

      I’d been a repeat visitor from about 2008 to the closing, and once Rosewood bailed, the quality of the resort and its services deteriorated rapidly. All CBI cares about is outsourcing as much of the resorts components as it can, in order to cut its costs at the expense of the customers. The latest move to bring Zozos to the former cafe reinforces this view.

      The sooner NPS gives CBI the boot, and helps steer repair and upgrade to the property, the better.

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