IRMA Anniversary Today

IRMA Anniversary Today 6

Here we are today on the anniversary of IRMA in the midst of a different type of storm unlike any other we have experienced in our lifetimes.

COVID has changed our lives in many ways and changed the island that we all love as much.  Unfortunately many aspects of COVID separate us physically; we can’t hug who we want to hug, and share space with strangers who we want to get to know.  And of course it has torn us apart spiritually and politically as well.

A St John business owner recently posted on facebook a question of what was worse COVID or IRMARIE?

Different people have different opinions based on their circumstances and experiences, but one thing that stood out in the responses is that the storms brought us together as people.  We weren’t fighting over politics, culture, masks, shutdowns, and tourism.  We were coming together to help one another, friends and strangers alike.

We encourage you today to take a day (or a week, or a year) off from disagreements and remember back what it was like to love one another in a time of need…..and maybe help a stranger.

Please remember by watching this post-storm video from Steve Simonsen.

Salty Mongoose Pizza & Rum Bar Opens in Coral Bay

Salty Mongoose Pizza & Rum Bar Opens in Coral Bay 7

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 8
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Temporary menu which will be expanded over the coming months.

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Real Estate Spotlight: Coral Bay Views on a Budget

Real Estate Spotlight:  Coral Bay Views on a Budget 14

Good Morning! We generally report on real estate options that are over the million-dollar marker. But, this two-unit fixer upper with dreamscape views is a little more budget friendly for someone wanting to call St. John their forever home without breaking the bank!

Read moreReal Estate Spotlight: Coral Bay Views on a Budget

Fall Raffle Announcement: We Want your Input!

Fall Raffle Announcement:  We Want your Input! 15

Good Morning All!

In mid-August,  Governor Bryan announced a step back in the progress of the territory’s fight against COVID-19.  In his press conference, he responded to the recent surge of cases on the St. Thomas and St. John district with an announcement that we would be reverting to the orange or “Stay at Home” phase beginning Monday, August 17.  (Read the full report here.)

Now, three weeks later,  the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the territory continues to climb, but a bit more slowly since the closure of tourism.   As of September 1, VITEMA reported 6 active cases on St. John, 103 on St. Thomas and 21 on St. Croix.  The governor said the closure to tourism would remain in effect until at least September 18.  The Stay at Home orders are in effect until at least the 8th.

Fall Raffle Announcement:  We Want your Input! 16

Despite these trying times for the territory, we decided it might be time to do something to spread a little positivity and shed some light on some good work happening down here.  We are getting another charity raffle started to launch this fall.  And we want your input!

Read moreFall Raffle Announcement: We Want your Input!