Earlier today we mentioned how a handful of restaurants are currently feeding people for free. One of those restaurants is The Longboard, the popular coastal cantina located in the center of Cruz Bay. Today we’d like to introduce you to Clint Gaskins, the owner of The Longboard.
Clint and his wife Kristen opened The Longboard on May 1, 2015. Clint was in his hometown of Charleston when he saw that Hurricane Irma had set her sights on St. John. Clint being Clint, he quickly headed to the VI, leaving his pregnant wife Kristen and their daughter Marley in Charleston. (Side note: Congrats Kristen!! CNN accidentally made this announcement to the world about two weeks ago … oops!) He wanted to be on the ground in St. John to help the island, check on the safety of his staff and board up the restaurant properly to ensure that the Longboard could respond and get back up and running as quickly as possible in order to feed people.
Clint’s exact words to me via text on September 5th at 1:52 p.m. – “…we got a community to help going forward.” Hurricane Irma hit St. John on September 6th.
The Longboard was relatively lucky in terms of damage from Irma, and after spending a day cleaning, repairing and prepping, was able to open on Friday, Sept. 8 to provide free meals to St. John’s residents, and continued to do so every other day for the next week. The restaurant opened up at 3:30 p.m. on those days, reserving the first 30 minutes for first responders and emergency personnel, and then opening to the public with complimentary food
With continued efforts on behalf of Clint and The Longboard team, and an unofficial partnership with Cruz Bay Landing who was also providing residents with food, locals have had access to hot meals every day thanks to these two dedicated local businesses
The Red Cross took notice of their efforts and met with Todd Beaty, owner of Cruz Bay Landing, and Clint. On Monday, Sept. 18, The Longboard and Cruz Bay Landing officially commenced food service on behalf of the Red Cross to continue to be able to supply food for residents and emergency personnel. The first dinner served by the Longboard was rice bowls with cauliflower or pork – hearty, delicious Longboard-style nourishment for our Love City’s strongest.
The two restaurants together have been providing 2,000 free meals per day to first responders and residents. Through October 17 to start, each restaurant will be giving out 1,000 meals a day, comprised of 500 bag lunch meals and 500 hot meals. Hot meals will be available at each location, and a portion of the bag lunch meals will be distributed across the island and the rest available for pick-up at each establishment.
Clint and his staff’s commitment to St. John is much like that of the rest of the community; a dedication to helping our island remain strong and rebuild, one day at a time.
“The St. John community appears stronger than ever, the dust is settling and now that the second storm has past, we are ready to get back to business and making STJ great again,” Clint said.
Clint has shared that the trees are growing green buds, the donkeys are emerging and the National Park is working hard to clear the North Shore Road. Everyone that remains on St. John is rising to do their part, come together and spread hope.
Moments like this one are inspiring and are the reason Love City will endure. (Link brings you to The Longboard’s Facebook page)
Details of current food program as follows:
Bag Lunches: 10AM-12pm bag lunch (some portions are distributed across island)
- Cold cut sandwiches, potato chips, granola bars, whole fruit
- Wraps (chicken/cold cut), potato chips, granola bars, whole fruit
Dinner Meals: 2pm-4pm hot meals at The Longboard
- Rice, beans, braised pork, cabbage slaw
- Rice, roasted cauliflower, stewed chicken salad mix
- Potatos, pork/chicken, slaw
In addition to Red Cross support, The Longboard is also raising money to keep the effort’s going and to support relief efforts for Love City. This is a long road ahead, and all the support possible will be needed to keep aid coming and to support the cause. Please visit https://www.gofundme.com/stjohnrelief to donate.
12 thoughts on “Meet Clint.”
Stories like this are encouraging, but I fear that the truth is being omitted in some of this reporting-we speak to residents of Coral Bay (only on quick, garbled 30 second calls) and hear they have no hot meals, very little distribution , no sanitation set up and very little reaching them. Please dont focus on the good by not reporting the lack of progress elsewhere; with the recent landslide on Centerline I hear it will still take time to get to Coral. There should be a Red Cross feeding station serving a hot meal occasionally in Coral as well-until gas arrives, and generators are made available, these folks are cut off with next to no supplies.
This is my sister who lives on St. John. I am her sister staying with our 96 year old Mother who is trying to get the media aware of the situation in the Islands and trying to get Linda home. Any and all help is so appreciated.
Bless and protect. Meggie ps my email is [email protected]
Jenn, could you do a story on Indigo Grill in Coral Bay. They are providing free food and the last I heard (today) they were getting no assistance from the Red Cross. Coral Bay is so cut off and not fairing nearly as well as Cruz Bay.
Perhaps you can get some assistance out to that end of the island. Thank you for keeping us informed.
I would happily do that. Can you please email me at [email protected] with contact info?
What awesome people! Can’t wait to get back to STJ and eat at these 2 restaurants again!
The Longboard is our FAVORITE restaurant in Cruz Bay. We try to eat there at least twice each time we go and we recommend it to everyone who will listen.
Clint and Kristen: THANK YOU so much for what you are doing to help. It’s heroic and inspiring. I can’t wait until we can make it back there and try to repay some of your generosity.
I love Longboard since they opened. On our week in St John we’d eat there twice but have a drink many times during our visit. Their food and drinks were yummy, fresh and flavorful. Always had great conversation with the bartender. I can’t wait to get to St John and visit the restaurants that helped so many. Much love. Thank you.
I said from the beginning that The Longboard was spared for a reason & they (along with Cruz Bay Landing) are fulfilling that reason! Great job everyone…..y’all rock! These are 2 of our favorite places to eat on STJ & we can’t wait to get back there to support them again with our dollars!
Keep up the good work guys! We’ll be back to help stimulate the economy as soon as we can!
It warms my heart to see these faces – strong, resilient & a ‘can-do, will-do’ attitude – I wish I could physically be there to work/help but for now, I can pray and that I will do! One day, one step at a time my friends – All of STJ will be back stronger & brighter than ever!! XO
Don’t forget about 420 and Sharkey. He’s also been supply hot meals