Restaurant Report Update

Restaurant Report Update 1

Last month, we brought you the Seasonal Restaurant Closure list, with the caveat that we expected it to change once the Governor’s Stay at Home order was lifted.

As anticipated, a majority of our restaurants have updated their hours this week, given that we are now in the more relaxed Safer at Home phase which allows our restaurants to resume dine-in service.  As such, we are sharing the entire list again with all of the updates so that you can check the status of your favorites, or try something new!

We are also excited to share that many of our restaurants have been given permission by our Government to resume the use of regular dining ware instead of single-use disposables.  This is fantastic news, not only for those dining in our restaurants, but also for the protection of our environment!

We will be updating this list as changes are made or additional information is received.  In the meantime, please let us know if you have additional information or if we are missing any of your favorites!

Read moreRestaurant Report Update

Salty Mongoose Pizza & Rum Bar Opens in Coral Bay

Salty Mongoose Pizza & Rum Bar Opens in Coral Bay 3

We are excited to share that our newest St. John restaurant, Salty Mongoose Pizza & Rum Beach Bar – located in the Isola Shops in Coral Bay on the waterfront – is now open!  The restaurant has all the ingredients for a successful business – excellent customer service, a delicious and reasonably priced product, a spectacular view, and owners who care about St. John and the local community.

The current menu is pizza-focused, with a vision for expanding over the coming months to include salads, pasta dishes, and daily sandwich specials.

Salty Mongoose Pizza & Rum Bar Opens in Coral Bay 4
Veggie pizza with fresh basil, mushrooms, onion, black olives, and chopped garlic.

The charismatic owners, Kimberly Alvarez and her son, Sean ‘Tarzan’ Philippe (who was born in the US Virgin Islands), moved back to the island a year and a half ago after moving away three decades ago so that three year old Sean could attend school in the states.  Kim is a self-described island girl who missed the islands over the years and decided to bring her son back home.  Sean is the chef, and the vibe of the bar.  Kim and Sean have always enjoyed cooking for others and felt that starting a restaurant would be an ideal fit for them.

Salty Mongoose Pizza & Rum Bar Opens in Coral Bay 5
Sean, also known as ‘Tarzan’, earned his nickname from his stateside career in construction, building tree houses and ziplines.

The restaurant uses the freshest ingredients possible.  The dough is made by hand each night and cold proofed (a technique that slows the fermentation process) for maximum flavor and consistency.  The cheese is a whole-milk mozzarella, provolone, and parmesan blend.  The produce, such as the fresh basil, arugula, and other herbs are grown locally on St. John by Josephine’s Greens.  For the meat-eaters, the pepperoni is purchased whole and diced fresh each day.  The sausage is fresh and ground on site.  The pizzas are hand tossed and cooked in a brick oven, which cooks quickly and evenly.  The recipes were mostly created by Sean’s experimentation, and trial and error.  His special pizza sauce is made with only a few ingredients, as he believes food tastes best when kept simple.

Salty Mongoose Pizza & Rum Bar Opens in Coral Bay 6
Fresh basil from Josephine’s Greens is one of the many topping options available.

The restaurant has a casual, fun vibe, with panoramic views of the bay.  A constant, gentle breeze makes it comfortable for outdoor seating, even on the hottest summer days.  When the island reopens for visitors, they will offer a daily happy hour, as well as different theme nights such as Family Feud night, Dance Party night, a giant Twister game, DJs, and live bands to showcase our local talent.

Salty Mongoose Pizza & Rum Bar Opens in Coral Bay 7
Once the COVID restrictions are lifted, seating will be available at the bar or nearby tables.

Kim and Sean’s sense of community spoke to my heart.  Several Coral Bay businesses have closed in recent years, and their goal is to revitalize the area by bringing it back to life.  Their philosophy is that their business will thrive if they cross-promote by encouraging their customers to also patronize the other restaurants in Coral Bay.  “We are stronger when we work together,” said Sean.  He also wants to give the local community a place to relax after work with a cold beer and a bite to eat, without it costing a small fortune.  “We are all about helping each other.”

The current hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  After the COVID restrictions are released and visitors are allowed back to the territory, the hours will extend to 11:00 am to 11:00 pm 7 days a week.

To place an order, please call or text: (340) 643-8486.

Salty Mongoose Pizza & Rum Bar Opens in Coral Bay 8
Temporary menu which will be expanded over the coming months.

Salty Mongoose Pizza & Rum Bar Opens in Coral Bay 9

Seasonal Restaurant Closure List

Seasonal Restaurant Closure List 10

We present to you the highly anticipated Seasonal Restaurant Closure List! In spite of all the many obstacles faced by our restaurants this year, we are happy to share that most will remain open during off-season, which typically runs until Thanksgiving week.

Early next week we anticipate – or at least our fingers are crossed – that our Governor will lift the policy requiring restaurants to remain closed except for take-out, and allow them to reopen for full service dining again.

The restaurant owners who plan to stay open say they are doing so as long as it makes sense, and is in the best interest of their employees, our guests, and our community. Of course, like with everything in 2020, we are all just taking it day by day!

Read moreSeasonal Restaurant Closure List

Restaurant Report-Coming Next Week!

Restaurant Report-Coming Next Week! 11

We have received several requests over the past month about the annual restaurant off-season closure report. That report looks a little different this year as we will be including take out options, limited hours and scheduled closures.

We had planned to get the report out this week. But, In light of the changes made last week reverting the territory to the “Stay at Home” phase, we are making some adjustments to that post and giving the restaurants a bit more time to figure out their game plans.

We are gathering the information and putting this post together over the next week in hopes of getting the most updated information to you ASAP!

Thank you for your patience while we work with local business owners to get you accurate information in regards to dining and take out options for the off season.

If you are reading this and own or manage a restaurant on STJ, please post your plans in the comments or contact us directly!

Big Announcement: Love City Fresh Farm & Picnic Opening Thanksgiving 2020

Big Announcement: Love City Fresh Farm & Picnic Opening Thanksgiving 2020 12

There is a very exciting announcement regarding the property above Colombo Smoothies on Centerline Road!

The name of the property is Love City Fresh Farm & Picnic. The basics of the property is that it is farm, picnic area, with food truck on site.

There was a launch video posted to the Facebook Page that you should see after reading this post.  But first check out the pictures of the property.

The best part is definitely the views, especially at sunset, as seen above.

You can see Maho Bay from one side of the property and Coral Bay from the other side.

Big Announcement: Love City Fresh Farm & Picnic Opening Thanksgiving 2020 13

Most importantly, there is a Freight Farms indoor hydroponic growing container with the capacity to grow over 8000 plants at a time.  This will include many different types of greens for area restaurants, mint for drinks, and also a program for residents and tourists to participate.

Big Announcement: Love City Fresh Farm & Picnic Opening Thanksgiving 2020 14

The property also has dozens of fruit trees such as lemon, lime, orange, mango, and papaya, as well as rows of pineapple.

Big Announcement: Love City Fresh Farm & Picnic Opening Thanksgiving 2020 15

The container farm will provide the island with a source of fresh greens even in the case of storms.

Big Announcement: Love City Fresh Farm & Picnic Opening Thanksgiving 2020 16

There is a food truck that will be offering tacos cooked to order and some of the coolest tables you have ever seen.

Big Announcement: Love City Fresh Farm & Picnic Opening Thanksgiving 2020 17

One of the unique features of the property is that after you purchase your produce from the food truck you may use one of the onsite BBQ Grill tables to heat your kabobs to your preferred temperature in the picnic area.

Big Announcement: Love City Fresh Farm & Picnic Opening Thanksgiving 2020 18

Love City Fresh plans to open the property to the public Thanksgiving of  2020.

Please remember to check out their Facebook page for further updates!

(these pictures were taken at a private event prior to the surge in covid)

Business Spotlight: A Day on the Beach at Bikini’s

Business Spotlight:  A Day on the Beach at Bikini's 19

Are you currently dreaming about lying in a hammock in the shade with a Painkiller in your hand, Caribbean blues lining your landscape and sand between your toes?  Maybe the faint sound of music and laughter in the background and the smells of barbeque on the grill?  Then, the next time you are on St. John, take a drive or a hike to Bikini’s Bar & Grill at Honeymoon Beach and live out your daydreams!

Read moreBusiness Spotlight: A Day on the Beach at Bikini’s

Caneel Bay and ZoZo’s Announce Partnership!

Caneel Bay and ZoZo's Announce Partnership! 20

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

The Restaurant Report - Regulations and Updates 21

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 affectRestaurant Report - U.S. Virgin Islands 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!

Business Spotlight: Lovango Rum Bar is Open! 22

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.

Business Spotlight: Lovango Rum Bar is Open! 23
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.

Business Spotlight: Lovango Rum Bar is Open! 24
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.

Business Spotlight: Lovango Rum Bar is Open! 25
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.

Business Spotlight: Lovango Rum Bar is Open! 26
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!

Business Spotlight: Lovango Rum Bar is Open! 27
The copper still to the right with the stage in the background

 

Business Spotlight: Lovango Rum Bar is Open! 28If 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.

Business Spotlight: Lovango Rum Bar is Open! 29

 

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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