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:

Read moreCaneel Bay and ZoZo’s Announce Partnership!

The Restaurant Report – Regulations and Updates

Good Afternoon and Happy Monday!  I’ve got lots of restaurant related info and some updates from the Governor for you today.

So, today is the day that many restaurant owners have been dreading.  Today, all restaurants in the territory are required by the Government of the Virgin Islands to switch over to disposable dishes, utensils, napkins and drink containers in an effort to further limit the spread of COVID-19 to employees.

The original order, issued on June 1, 2020 from the Office of the Governor set the original deadline for this order for June 8.  They then moved it back to the 15th and then to the 22nd in order to allow establishments to make accommodations and stock up on supplies.  So, it’s upon us now. What does it mean for restaurants and their guests?

Over the past few years, the Virgin Islands government has been receptive to concerns about the environment and ways that we can lighten our carbon footprint.  Since 2017, rulings in favor of bans on plastic bags, plastic straws and non-reef safe sunscreens have been celebrated as the territory moved into a more sustainable future.  Reusable cups and straws are seen more and more frequently in stores and restaurants and in the hands of residents and visitors as they move through town.  Now, we go back to disposable everything….temporarily…

Some restaurants on St. John rely heavily on takeout containers already and many serve drinks exclusively in plastic cups.  However, the impact of this ruling on fine dining establishments is an inflated cost and endeavor. They have had to source and pay for disposable items in order to accommodate their clientele. Additional costs associated with increase in frequency and amount of trash removal will likely further affect the small businesses.

In light of the recent closures and then transition to take-out only, the absence of tourism during some of our busiest months AND  limited capacity regulations, these additional costs could issue a huge blow to the bottom line of some of our favorite establishments.

Governor Bryan has been diligent in both actions and updates in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic.  He and his administration have worked tirelessly to walk the line between protecting and informing the community and keeping the economy afloat.

In his address to the territory today, Governor Bryan stressed that “We are at an interesting place in community response to the pandemic.”  It’s important that both residents and visitors alike practice safe measures in order to keep the doors of the territory open.

Read moreThe Restaurant Report – Regulations and Updates

Business Spotlight: Lovango Rum Bar is Open!

Lovango Rum Bar is finally open for business!  We highlighted this new venue back in December which was scheduled for a grand opening the weekend of March 21st.  For obvious reasons, this was pushed back.

The custom pizza oven and open air kitchen greet you as you walk in the door.

They have been open on and off for takeout throughout the pandemic and Stay-At-Home orders so I can say I’ve been lucky enough to try their amazing Neapolitan style pizza in the meantime.  But they are now open for full-service!

In addition to a great visual appeal on the delicious pizzas (with perfect crust in my opinion!) and GIANT charcuterie boards, Lovango Rum Bar offers nearly 200 different types of rum.  Including their own signature light and dark rums which are used in their rum-based cocktails on a menu designed by master mixologist, Will Forsythe.

Lovango’s signature light and dark rum blends.

Can’t decide on a rum?  No problem!  They offer flights of rum on an attractive hand-crafted board.  It’s a great presentation and experience that allows you to start sampling the large selection they have to offer behind the bar.

Now, let me tell you about this bar….It is absolutely stunning.

Comfy seats and ornate light fixtures add to the comfortable ambiance at Lovango Rum Bar.

Locally carpentered wooden shelves frame the bottles of rum with a backsplash reminiscent of aqua mermaid scales with a shimmery finish.  A stunning contrast to the otherwise dark grey interior.  The bar top itself stretches the length of most of the dining area and is made out of distressed copper that resembles an aerial satellite picture of the Caribbean Sea.

A massive charcuterie board on the copper bar top.

The inside of Lovango Rum Bar has a great ambiance with Steve Simonsen’s videos of mermaids, fire dancers and Mocko Jumbies on the large screens and a beautiful copper still behind glass in the corner.  A stage setup near the patio doors with full concert lighting and sound equipment promise a good time now that we are able to have live music again!

The copper still to the right with the stage in the background

 

If you’re looking for some Caribbean blues and sunshine, head out to the patio that overlooks the Cruz Bay waterfront.  Take in the view and the boats slowly moving in and out of the harbor with a rum drink or a glass of wine in your hand and enjoy a sunset serenade.  The venue hopes to have live music scheduled for the evenings inside and during sunset on the patio outside Tuesday through Saturday.

Check out Lovango Rum Bar, located above Dr!nk St. John and Low Key Watersports, next time you are on island!  They are open Tuesday through Saturday with dinner service from 4-9PM and bar service from 4-11PM.  Due to capacity restrictions, reservations are HIGHLY recommended.  Reserve your table today!

If you have been to Lovango Rum Bar, we encourage you to scroll down and leave a review.

 

Lovango Rum Bar
5 / 5 Reviewer
{{ reviewsOverall }} / 5 Users (3 votes)
Pros
  • Delicious Neapolitan style pizza
  • Very large rum selection and carft cocktails
  • Cruz bay view and outdoor patio
  • Beautiful interior design
  • Live music with full concert lighting and sound equipment
Cons
  • Smaller venue so reservations are highly encouraged
  • Hours currently limited, restaurant opens at 4:30 pm
Summary
The new Lovango Rum Bar in Cruz Bay is a must-visit. They specialize in Neapolitan style pizzas and feature a selection of almost 200 types of rum as well as craft cocktails and other beverages. Lovango's friendly and knowledgeable staff will make a recommendation if you need help deciding. The interior of the restaurant and bar area are beautifully designed. Their outdoor patio has great sunset views, which could make for the perfect date night. Lovango regularly features live music on its stage which has full concert lighting and sound equipment.
Food5
Drinks5
Ambiance5
Service5
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The Restaurant Report – What’s Open? What’s Not?

We generally update you on seasonally scheduled closings a bit closer to the peak hurricane season months. In light of the reopening of St. John to tourism, and A LOT of variations as to what business owners are deciding to do, we thought this might be a good time to clue you in as to what your restaurant options are this month!

We are excited to say that MANY of your favorite restaurants are bouncing back immediately! The majority are operating with full service and full menus seven days a week. Some, however, are sticking to take-out for now while others are postponing the announcement of a reopening date until we see how this goes. This list was updated as of June 1st, but be sure to check their websites or social media pages for updates as we move through this next transition together!

Also, please keep in mind when visiting your favorite Love City establishments that all businesses are required to follow current VI Social Distancing protocol. Jenn posted a great recap on the overall rules for the territory last week. We are currently in Phase Blue – Open Doors.

VI Recovery Phases towards a “new normal”

To recap the restaurant and bar specific rules:

  • Establishments may operate at 50% capacity or 50 people. Whichever is less.
  • All employees are required to wear masks. Patrons may be required at the discretion of the business owner….All other commercial entities are on a strict “No mask, No service.” policy. (Stores, taxis, the passenger ferry, etc.)
  • All tables and bar stools will be separated by the staff according to social distancing measures.
  • No parties larger than 6 people will be permitted to sit together.
The sign in front of Beach Bar gives patrons a heads up on social distancing protocol.

Please be patient with restaurant owners and staff with these regulations in mind. They are in jeopardy of losing their business license if they are non-compliant.

The following restaurants are OPEN! —Or scheduled to reopen soon!

The Tap Room – 7 days a week, 11am-11:45PM

North Shore Deli – 7 days a week, 8AM-3PM

Greengo’s Caribbean Cantina St. John – 7 days a week, 11AM-8PM

The Sun Dog Café – 7 days a week, 9AM-9PM

Shambles – Closed Mondays & Tuesdays, Weds-Sun 12PM-8PM

Beach Bar- 7 days a week, 11AM-?

Café Roma- Closed Saturdays, Sun-Fri 4PM-8PM

Serving up a cold one at Skinny Legs.

Cruz Bay Landing- 7 days a week, 7AM-9PM

Dr!nk St. John – 7 days a week, 5PM-10PM

High Tide Bar and Grill – 7 days a week, 8AM-11PM

Lime Inn –Closed Sundays, Mon-Sat 4PM-9PM

Kati Ligo – Island Cork – Closed Sundays, Mon-Sat 9AM-8:30PM

Little Olive Food Truck – Wednesday-Friday, 11AM-3PM

Maho Crossroads – 7 days a week, 11:30AM-4PM

Bikinis on the Beach at Honeymoon – 7 days a week, 9AM-6PM

Morgan’s Mango – 7 days a week, 5:30PM-10:30PM

La Tapa – 7 days a week, 5PM-10PM

St. John Provisions – Closed Saturday & Sundays – Mon-Fri 6AM-1PM

Our Market Smoothies – Closed Sundays, Mon-Sat 9AM-5PM

Pizza Pi (located in Christmas Cove) – Closed Mondays and Tuesdays, Weds-Sun, 11AM-6PM

Sam and Jack’s Deli – Closed Sundays, Mon-Sat 9AM-3PM

Shaibu’s Grab and Go – Closed Saturdays and Sundays, Mon-Fri 8AM-3PM

Skinny Legs – 7 days a week, 11AM-8PM

St. John Scoops – 7 days a week, Noon-8PM

Tap & Still St. John – 7 days a week, 11AM-10PM

High Tide is open for full service!

Dave and Jerry’s Island Steakhouse – Opening June 8, Closed Sundays, Mon-Sat 5PM-9PM

Uncle Joe’s BBQ – 7 days a week, 11AM-8:30PM (Closes at 6:30 on Sundays)

Longboard – Open Thursday, June 4, 7 days a week, 3PM-11PM (Kitchen closes at 10PM)

Woody’s – 7 days a week, Noon-11PM

Lovango Rum Bar – Closed Sundays & Mondays, Tues-Sat 4PM-9PM

Oceans 362 – Closed Tuesdays, Weds-Mon 5PM-9PM

420 to Center/G-Spot – Bar open 7 days a week, 11-?, Kitchen Noon-?

Irie Pops – Closed Sundays, Mon-Sat Noon-4PM

18⁰64- Takeout Only – Closed Mondays, Tues-Sun, Noon-6PM

Lime Out – Boat Pickup/Drop off at Coral Bay Dock only- Closed Wednesdays & Thursdays, Fri-Tues 11AM-5PM

Gwen’s – Call at least 24 hours in advance to special order Conch, Fish, Chicken or Shrimp – Take-out only.

P and P’s by the Sea – Pre-order take-out on scheduled days only.

Banana Deck – Re-opening mid-late June

Miss Lucy’s – Tentative plan to re-openmid-June

The following restaurants have not determined a reopening date as of yet. Everything is changing quite rapidly and restaurant owners are deciding a lot of “what’s next” based on the safety of their staff and their VERY valued guests. They appreciate your patience and your support.

Aqua Bistro

Joe’s Rum Hut

Rhumb Lines

The Terrace

Pizzabar in Paradise

Quiet Mon Pub

Coral Bay Caribbean Oasis

Extra Virgin Bistro

We will continue to update you as these transitions occur. But hopefully, our favorite spots will continue to re-open their doors throughout the summer until regularly scheduled off-season closures begin.

As we mentioned above, things are changing daily. If you have information on any establishments that you do not see listed above or corrections to the ones you do, please email us or post it in the comments!

New Rum Bar Coming to Cruz Bay

Image credit: Tropical Properties

Well folks, we’ve been waiting to tell you about this for awhile, and we’ve finally received the go ahead! A new rum bar is coming to Cruz Bay! How excited does that make all of you rum lovers out there??! And even better, it’s somewhat of a wine bar too. Now that makes me excited! I can’t wait!

The new spot is called Lovango Rum Bar, and it is set to open later this month. The Lovango Rum Bar will be located directly above Drink, across the street from the beach in Cruz Bay. And seeing that it’s on the second floor, it has amazing views of Cruz Bay harbor and beyond.

Lovango Rum Bar is going to be more than just a bar. It’s actually a rum distillery with more than 100 types of rum to choose from. And as we mentioned above, it will have 100 wines to choose from and even a rentable wine cellar. Looking for something to munch on? Well they plan to serve a variety of artisan pizza specialties too.

This will be John Yob’s second bar here on St. John. He also owns Maho Crossroads on the North Shore. The Lovango Rum Bar will be managed by Mike Ramsey, a former owner of Woody’s.

And a quick little side note: Lovango Rum is not affiliated with the proposed hotel out on Lovango Cay. Lovango Rum Bar was named prior to the announcement of the Lovango hotel, owner John Yob told me earlier this week.

Lovango Rum Bar is expected to open within the next few weeks. We will keep you all posted. In the meantime, have a great day everyone!

 

 

 

New St. John Restaurant Opens

The view from The Danforth on Tuesday afternoon

Hello everyone and happy Wednesday! We have so many wonderful things happening here on island! Not only is the weather nearly perfect – it’s going to be 84 and sunny all week – but we have lots of new places opening up just in time for season to kick in. Today we’d like to tell you about a new St. John restaurant that recently opened in Coral Bay – The Danforth.

Earlier this year, we told you how Wok on the Beach sold in Coral Bay. It briefly became TBD while the owners Sarah and John Joyce worked on its new concept. Well after months of preparing, the Joyce’s new restaurant, called The Danforth, opened at the Isola Shoppes on November 1st.

The Danforth is a Caribbean-inspired restaurant that’s located on the waterfront in Coral Bay. The name The Danforth comes from a common boat anchor and fits perfectly with the vibe of the restaurant, which combines the quality of fine dining, with a casual, family friendly setting. Its vibrant menu features seafood and Caribbean-influenced food made from fresh, local ingredients. At the bar, refreshing cocktails are curated using local liquors and local craft beer is served ice cold from the tap.

The restaurant has been receiving rave reviews from both residents and guests to the island. It is currently open every day but Thursday. Happy hour is from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and features 25 percent off appetizers. Dinner is served from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The Danforth will serve brunch starting this Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Beginning December 1st, brunch will be served daily from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Please check out The Danforth’s menus and a few pics:

Caribbean lobster
Pork belly tortas
Tostones trio – shrimp, pork & lobster

Looks great, doesn’t it?

And as a thank you to the community for its support, the Joyce’s are offering a free Thanksgiving dinner on November 28th. Dinner will be served at 2 p.m. and will continue until the food runs out. The bar will open at 1:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving for the Lions vs. Bears game and will stay open through the Cowboys game (which starts at 5:30 p.m.).

There’s a lot happening at the Isola Shoppes in Coral Bay, so stay tuned for more fun details… In the meantime, have a wonderful day everyone!

The Danforth

Popular Cruz Bay Restaurant Opening Sister Spot

The Easterly is expected to open on St Thomas in mid-December.
The Easterly is expected to open on St Thomas in mid-December. It is being opened by the owners of The Longboard, the popular Cruz Bay restaurant. 

Well folks, we have “news” today that I think many of you will love! And if you happen to be fans of The Longboard in Cruz Bay, you’re definitely going to love this!

The owners of The Longboard, the very popular Cruz Bay restaurant and bar, are working to open a new restaurant; however the new spot will be over in St. Thomas. It’s going to be called The Easterly, as it’s located on the east end of the island in Red Hook. It’s just steps from the ferry dock, so you can easily get your Longboard-like fix while you wait for your ferry to arrive. Or even better, head over and enjoy some great drinks and cocktails!

The lush and breezy waterfront atmosphere of The Easterly will embrace the simplistic and laid-back Caribbean lifestyle. Tucked away in an oasis of palm trees and rich greenery, the restaurant and bar will take on a Bohemian-island vibe. The menu will be ocean-to-table-focused, with ceviches, crudos, octopus, shellfish & lobster, and whole grilled fish as mainstays. Locally grown produce and local flavors will complement the dishes, all cooked over the kitchen’s wood-fired oven, adding distinct rustic flair to each plate. The Easterly will offer one of the Virgin Island’s most robust beverage programs with innovative craft cocktails, twists on Caribbean favorites and an extensive list of craft beers and wine. The approachable island menu and outdoor locale promise a social, vibrant and interactive dining experience in the heart of Red Hook, St. Thomas.

Easterly 3D
The Easterly 3D drawing

How amazing does that sound??!!

Well it gets even better. They’re looking for staff. Think you have what it takes to work at a successful restaurant in the Caribbean? Stop dreaming and go for it!

The owners of The Easterly are looking for dynamic front of the house and back of the house professionals. You must be self-motivated, dedicated and have a strong passion for food and beverage. Their core value of genuine hospitality starts with its employees, and because of that, the owners are dedicated to their development in all aspects of the restaurant. The Easterly is offering competitive pay and a comprehensive benefits package for all salaried positions. (As you may or may not know, benefits are huge down here in the islands. So kudos to the owners for offering that!)

If you think you have what it takes and are interested in applying, please send your resume to [email protected]. You can also apply online at www.ballasthospitality.com.

Now back to some restaurant details…

The Easterly is planning a mid-December opening. They will open every day at 4 p.m. Happy hour will run from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The kitchen closes at 10 p.m. and the bar will stay open until the fun stops. 🙂

The restaurant will have 60 seats at tables, and an additional 22 seats at the bar, and between 10 and 15 seats in a dockside lounge area. It will be available for private parties, weddings, and other events.

For more information, you can always check out their website at www.theeasterlystthomas.com or follow them on Instagram at @easterlystthomas

I’m pretty excited about this one, and I am sure many of you are too! We will keep you posted on the progress and expected opening date. In the meantime, have a great day everyone!

Former St. John Restaurant Opens Stateside

Thirsty Donkey Birm.
The Thirsty Donkey in Birmingham

Well folks, we have some pretty bittersweet news to share with all of you today. A restaurant that was closed due to damages sustained during Hurricane Irma has reopened in the States. It’s St. John’s loss, but Alabama’s gain!

In early 2017, Greg and Kathy Stein moved to St. John after they purchased The Thirsty Donkey, a fun little restaurant in Coral Bay. Unfortunately the Steins only had the opportunity to run the place for about four months, as Hurricane Irma came through and heavily damaged it. Because the property is in probate, no repairs have happened. Therefore the couple decided it was best to move back to Alabama.

Thirsty Donkey Owners
Kathy and Greg Stein

But that’s not the end of The Thirsty Donkey. The Steins recently reopened the restaurant in Birmingham. I love stories with happy endings. 🙂

The Thirsty Donkey in Birmingham has many of the same menu items as the St. John location, although additional vegan and veggie options have been added. They even serve Painkillers. Cheers to that! The restaurant is painted with tropical colors, and there are island-themed decorations throughout. There’s even a replica of St. John’s famous Don’t Stop Believing stop sign.

The Steins said they hope to reopen the Coral Bay location as soon as the property is ready. We will definitely keep you posted on that.

So those of you who happen to be in the area, be sure to stop by the new Thirsty Donkey. It’s located at 4100 4th Avenue south. For more information, check out their website at www.thirstydonkeybhm.com

The staff at The Thirsty Donkey
The staff at The Thirsty Donkey

Coral Bay Restaurant Set to Close

Pickles July 6 2019
Pickles in Paradise, July 6, 2019

Well folks, we have sad news to share with you all today. Pickles in Paradise, one of our favorite restaurants in Coral Bay, has announced its plans to close. Pickles last day will be this Saturday, July 13th. This is the third restaurant on St. John to close over the past month.

Pickles is a great little sandwich shop located just beyond the famous Coral Bay sign. Beverly Melius opened the small restaurant – known for its Open Mic Night each Thursday – several years back. She listed it for sale back in 2017, but was unable to find a buyer before the storms. A local couple ran the restaurant for several months in 2018 before Beverly resumed operations back in November.

Beverly sent us the following note yesterday, announcing its impending closure.

Pickles Letter
(Click to enlarge)

As we mentioned above, Pickles is the third restaurant to close in the past month. Both Da Livio and Lucky Chops closed in Cruz Bay last month.

We are truly going to miss Beverly and her delicious food. And I thank her for participating in our St. Johnopoly game earlier this year.

Restaurant Reopens at St. Thomas Airport

Hibiscus Cafe

Hello everyone and happy Monday! We have some good news to share with those of you who will be traveling to St. John soon … Hibiscus Cafe at the airport on St. Thomas has reopened, and it looks great!

Now let’s be honest. the St. Thomas airport isn’t the most desirable airport to spend time at due to its very limited options in terms of dining and shopping. The situation has been pretty bad since the 2017 hurricanes when the airport sustained significant damage. Since then, only a few food kiosks and a makeshift bar have been open. Well that all recently changed.

Hibiscus Cafe is open and features a full bar, grill area, and a grab and go section of prepared foods. It’s been renovated from top to bottom, and it looks very nice. Check out a few pics:

Airport Bar Airport food area Airport drink area

Grab and Go Airport Airport cafe seating Airport cafe seating

The small book store and gift shop remain closed. There is a pop-up retail area in the center of the airport waiting lounge. The restrooms are also being renovated. The men’s room is currently closed in the waiting area; men must use the restroom in the Spirit waiting area. The women’s room in the main area remains open.

“News” you can use today, folks! Have a great one!