Well folks, I hate to tell you all but it’s an end of an era over at Ms. Vie’s Snack Shack on the East End. Ms. Vie is no longer selling her world famous fried chicken and johnny cakes. 🙁
We were playing tour guide to some friends from Ohio and Texas yesterday when we stopped over at Ms. Vie’s. I wanted to show them the place and we also may have made a brief appearance over on Angel’s Rest, the US Virgin Islands’ only floating bar … (Click here to read all about that.)
I recently heard a rumor that Ms. Vie stopped serving friend chicken, so I decided to chat her up a bit. Well it turns out, that after more than 30 years, Ms. Vie was simply sick of cleaning up grease every day. And you know what, I don’t blame her. She’s still serving up food, just of the grease-free variety. She’s now offering island-style rice and beans with or without meat sauce, and also hot dogs.
Ms. Vie is open Tuesdays through Saturdays until 5 p.m. In addition to serving food, she charges $2.50 per person for access to her beach. Her beach has restrooms and chairs for use. Ms. Vie’s is located out on the East End of St. John.
21 thoughts on “End of an Era at Ms. Vie’s”
How sad, we will miss the chicken and cakes. They were so good!
Yes it’s her beach…is that ok with you!?
Not really as it’s a violation of VI Code, specifically:
12 V.I.C. § 402 (2014)
§ 402. Open beaches and shorelines; shorelines defined
(a) It is hereby declared and affirmed that the public, individually and collectively, has and shall continue to have the right to use and enjoy the shorelines of the United States Virgin Islands as “United States Virgin Islands” is defined in section 2(a) of the Revised Organic Act of the United States Virgin Islands.
(b) For the purposes of this chapter “shorelines of the United States Virgin Islands” shall mean the area along the coastlines of the United States Virgin Islands from the seaward line of low tide, running inland a distance of fifty (50) feet; or to the extreme seaward boundary of natural vegetation which spreads continuously inland; or to a natural barrier; whichever is the shortest distance. Whenever the shore is extended into the sea by filling or dredging, the boundary of the shorelines shall remain at the line of vegetation as previously established.
12 V.I.C. § 403 (2014)
§ 403. Obstruction of shorelines prohibited
No person, firm, corporation, association or other legal entity shall create, erect, maintain, or construct any obstruction, barrier, or restraint of any nature whatsoever upon, across or within the shorelines of the United States Virgin Islands as defined in this section, which would interfere with the right of the public individually and collectively, to use and enjoy any shoreline.
I believe that law has to do with approaching the shoreline from the ocean, not from the land. If you approach from the land, you are often crossing private property and would need permission from the landowner.
Vie is allowed to charge for access across her land. The Open Shorelines Act does NOT mandate access.
No, it’s NOT her beach. It is owned by dozens of the Heirs of George, Marsh and Sewer. Her interest, if any, is tiny. She was just smart enough to capitalize on it. Nor was the campground hers, recently firmly established by the VI Supreme Court after she claimed adverse possession. Good on her for making a living out there . . . Is THAT ok with you?
I heard it was a St John beach…not hers.
So it ain’t so?
Every June since 2009, at least one day of trip was reserved for rolling eastbound and down for Vie’s Snack Shack, where the culinary mantra is, “don’t knock it ‘til you’ve fried it.”
Vie’s famous garlic fried chicken–which I’m pretty sure was pecking the ground near the picnic tables not long before coming to its final resting plate–is sublime and comes with a Johnnycake just in case you need to slap your heart and put some stank on it.
Add the palette-cleansing artery-clogging Conch Fritters and you’ve just hit the Tri-Fried-Fecta. They’re awesome, and Vie didn’t fry her fritters until they ended up like hard, little hockey pucks like a lot of places do.
Besides not wearing shorts with a forgiving elastic waistband and popping an anticoagulant, my only lament after experiencing the connubial fusion of all-purpose flour and partially-hydrogenated vegetable oil that is Vie’s Snack Attack was not trying one of Vie’s famous tarts.
All joking aside, Vie’s Snack Shack was my favorite eating experience on STJ. She’s authentic and makes no apologies for serving unfashionably good fare in a world that’s become increasingly dependent on food for affirmation instead of enjoyment.
Even though it probably saves my heart, it also breaks my heart to hear she’s no longer frying. I am glad she’s still at it though. May have to stop by anyway to pay my respects to Johnny over a plate of red beans and rice.
Boooo! By the way, does Cory’s novel come in paperback?
Yes, but unfortunately, the pages are cocktail napkins from the Beach Bar and smell like a cross between a Painkiller and conch fritter or simply a, “Painfritter.”
I’ll miss her chicken – the fried and the ones running around the picnic tables! I’m glad she’s still around and I understand her being tired. But, turning her unique food experience into a common hotdog stand is a terrible shame!
Maybe she would consider leasing her shack out to someone willing to bring a new twist.
The best fried garlic chicken & Johnny cakes ever. I get it. Glad we got to eat there so many times. We’ll go back & have a hot dog though. God Bless her.
My family and I will be coming down in May to St. John for our 4th trip in 6 years. We stay in the Coral Bay side and love it. For such a small island it seems to have all these small treasures that keep popping up (love to you also Jenn) and making each trip a new treasure in itself. So now day one, it’s going to be Ms. Vie’s for lunch and Aqua Bistro for dinner.
Really people? Does it really matter, she is an island icon, and this thread is petty and stupid. Drop your need to be right and enjoy everything the island has to offer. Geesh……
We can’t wait to return to St J in May, this time with extended family. Looking forward to visiting Vie’s Snack Shack on the East End. We’ll go for one of her Fenway Franks that plump up when they’re cooked. And then enjoy a cocktail or 2 on the water @ Angels Rest.
So we went to Vies beach today at 4pm. She told us it was too late for us to go on the beach and use it. We offered to give her more money. She said no you don’t have enough time and then threatened to call the local police if we used the beach. We left and we were quite offended. Is it her beach or not. I guess she hates the floating bar bc we told her were just wanted to swim out and have a drink and she said she didn’t care and it was not her bar. We were exactly one year ago and had no issues. I would love to know if it is her beach bc if not I would like to tall that old bitty to kiss my ass. I am happy to pay but she was being ugly for absolutely no reason other than she could!!
Although I loved her garlic Chicken and Johnny Cakes in our first visits 15 years ago, for the last 10 years we exclusively went for her beans and rice dish. It was so good we talked to her about her recipe. So that is what we go there for now. So I loved hearing that she did not close, however, I hope that is still the case after Irma and Maria and that she is well and able to bounce back from that.
When visiting ms vie for over 30 years last trip being about 5 years ago. Best chicken ever gonna be sad to go back n not get chicken n conch. But I’ll still go visit ms vie first time there was when I was 12. I’m 44