New Bar Opening in Cruz Bay

Image credit: Motu
Image credit: Motu

There are pretty exciting changes happening in Cruz Bay within the next few weeks, and we’re excited to tell all of you about them. You may have heard through the Coconut Telegraph that Motu is closing, and sadly that is true, but were happy to tell you that a new bar will be taking its place. The new place will be called DR!NK St. John and it sounds like it’s going to be just as great as Motu, if not better.

For those of you not familiar with Motu, it’s located across from Cruz Bay beach and right next to Grande Bay. The new bar – DR!NK St. John – is being opened by John Alvarado, who works as the sales director over at Grande Bay. He also owns a pretty fun bar over on St. Thomas, so we know the new place will be great. (You may recognize John from a House Hunters International episode that debuted a couple of years back when he and his family searched for a home on island. Click here to read an older story on the episode that was written by the previous owner of News of St. John.) One thing that makes us super happy is that many of the Motu staff will be sticking around, according to John, so the fun and amazing parties will continue. Sweet!

DR!NK St. John will offer the same beach lounge vibe and fresh cocktails as Motu, but with some subtle change. As the new name suggests, mixology will be the focus. The staff at DR!NK St. John have some new ideas to share but some the old favorites such as the Bushwacker will continue. Yum!

Motu will close after its annual Christmas Eve party.

Want to know more about DR!NK St. John? You can follow it on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/drinkstj or you can also visit its website at www.drinkstj.com

drink bar st john





13 thoughts on “New Bar Opening in Cruz Bay”

  1. sad to see Motu go and mixed feelings about John Alvarez taking this over. We are frequent visitors to STJ and always stay at Grande Bay. We met John four years ago and have seen him at the “complementary social hours” that GB puts on over the years. We visited over thanksgiving week for 10 days and were pretty much jilted by both John and one of the girls who works in marketing at GB (dark hair, dark glasses) after we discussed timeshare options and opted out. John snubbed us at the social hour and went so far as to blatantly call us on the carpet in front of other owners as well as staff at GB (Paul, etc) calling us cheapskates. After this we went and sat off to the side and chatted with others who were at the social hour. Prior to leaving we were confronted by the GB marketing girl (ticket keeper) who asked if we planned to pay the bill from the social hour the week before that we “skipped out on”. We were shocked and embarassed as several others heard her say this to us. We go to these social hours as they are supposed to be complementary for all guests of GB. However, take warning, if you do not plan to buy into their timeshare and are merely staying there through VRBO rental or similar then you really are not welcome. Suggest John get this straight before he opens his bar and changes the social hour to “owners of Grande Bay” vs. “guests of Grande Bay”. Was so very put off by his lack of professionalism as well as the girl’s accusation that we walked out on a tab (we had one drink each that evening) that we may never return to Grande Bay and certainly will never attend their social hour. The funny thing is we met a couple at the airport who recognized us from being at GB and we told them this story and they had a very similar story and also felt that the entire “complementary social hour” experience has changed over the years. What was once a friendly gathering of folks on vacation who were enjoying themselves, has now become an eletist club for only the owners and if you aren’t one of them, then don’t bother going. Sorry, will walk to Woodys for $1 beer or down the street for a drink at another happy hour, where we can actually socialize without feeling like we are thieves. Epic Fail. I hope his business tanks after the way he and his staff treated us.

  2. I am also sad to see Motu go. We really enjoyed it the past two trips, visiting several times each vacation. I thought it was a great alternative to the crowded bar scene at Wharfside (I am a fan of those bars as well) and the setting was nice.

    wow! To the story above. Even if there was some sort of confusion about who got comped drinks and who didn’t, it isn’t good PR to hassle renters over what probably amounted to $10. Happy renters=happy owners which is only good for grande bay as a whole. How did they know what you drank? The “shaming” and not picking over the drinks sounds like they are concerned about gabbing every penny.

    • I can assure you it changed our entire view of Grande Bay and John A.. This “free happy hour” is advertised as open to GUESTS of GB..in the past it was much different with obviously some talk of timeshare and a,little salesmanship going on, but no push. This year the new ticket Nazi (two drink tickets per person) (dark haired chunky dark glasses girl who is also in sales and marketing at GB) appeared to be being briefed by John, as were the bartenders… Kind of like “serve em up” if they are owners, but if not pull in the reins and dont offer up freebies. It was uncomfortable the first night we stopped but nothing compared to the following week when it was apparent Paul and Lindsey and some owners were even uncomfortable listening to John’s harassment. I couldn’t make this up if I wanted to… If they (john, bartenders, staff of GB (ticket nazi)) are going to treat Grande Bay guests who are not fractional or whole owners like this, then change the social hour and don’t have your signs all over the property inviting us. Otherwise be nice and certainly do nor confront people and accuse them of skipping out on a drink bill or hound them about being “too cheap” to buy into ownership if they merely come (per invitation). And we have no problem paying for drinks by the way….but when we do it won’t be at DRINK for obvious reasons.

  3. Dear Vicky M. or Lauren Katherine (as your facebook profile suggests),

    I normally wouldn’t respond to such negative comments on social media but I feel I must defend my personal reputation and character even if it is posted from an invented online profile. While announcing your actual identity is certainly within my right, I will hold the high ground and decline to do so.

    As we all know there are two sides to every story ….

    1. Although I am aware of the incident described above, I was not physically present for the actual event described. As a matter of fact, if you do not edit your comments to reflect that particular truth, I would be within my rights to pursue legal action for slander.

    2. The Grande Bay Residence Club has been hosting these events for 4 years without incident. While it is clearly a marketing event, all guests of Grande Bay are invited to enjoy cocktails courtesy of the Grande Bay Residence Club. Whether a guest is an owner, buying from us, interested in hearing more about purchasing a fraction, or just coming over for shared comradery – it has never and never will affect the manner in which Grande Bay staff or sales associates treat our guests. The mandate has always been to never “force” ourselves or our product on anyone via this or any other event.

    3. Grande Bay needed to implement a sign in and drink ticket system in order continue to afford and provide ALL guests of Grande Bay with complimentary cocktails. Our past experiences with an “open bar” for two hours twice per week was that some, thankfully a minority, would take advantage and host their own parties all the while charging our account.

    4. I know that we strive always to ensure that all of guests are treated with courtesy and respect – regardless of interest in purchasing. That said, guests who do not sign in do not receive tickets and as such are on their own to run a tab or pay the bar directly as they wish. “Signing In” does not come with ANY obligation to speak with a sales representative or get you on any “list” that we use. It is simply our way to gauge how many people attended the party and it assists us in better forecasting staffing or service levels needed from Motu.

    5. If there was a misunderstanding of our policy, I do apologize. However, anyone who actually knows me can attest that I have never and will never directly confront ANY person at any social event or any other public situation for that matter.

  4. Next time you come stay at Gallows Point Resort just down the road. They are ranked first is customer service and would never dream of treating their guest in such a horrible fashion. The property and view blow Grande Bay away! And there Monday night party is always free Food & drinks!

  5. “Although I am aware of the incident described above, I was not physically present for the actual event described.” john, i am not sure whether you were present at that particular time or if you arrived earlier or later or what you knew about being confronted, but since you admit here that you are at least partially aware that your staff “called us out” for not paying a bill when that in fact that was not the case at all, then you know this is a true statement. and yes, you seemed a bit angry while still smiling, toungue in cheek, and somewhat abrasive and confrontational in our opinion, there is no slander here, this is how we felt and what we perceived.. i will cease to post further but this is an accurate description of what we witnessed.

    • ‘John snubbed us at the social hour and went so far as to blatantly call us on the carpet in front of other owners as well as staff at GB (Paul, etc) calling us cheapskates.’??

      • I believe something to the effect of “oh come on…almost all these people here are owners,.you’ve been thinking about this for years, what are you saving it for, don’t be tight” was how it was said. Cannot recall “exact” words but the meaning was clear to us and it was embarassing…it translated in our mind to (jokingly or not) being called cheap, although to be correct cheapskate was not the actual word used so I rephrase that. And yes we felt snubbed from the moment we said ” we’ve got a good thing going renting from vrbo owners, really no need to buy in but happy all the others feel it is right for them”. Then three or four days later we came back to Motu and we were immediately confronted, publicly shamed in front of other guests and friends by your staff, and told that we needed to settle up our bar tab we skipped out on the previous visit..which translated to being called thieves. This was tacky, untrue, deliberate and underhanded and is also slanderous to us. Obviously we interacted with you and your ticket girl on a couple of “off nights”….or maybe we are just really overly sensitive.

      • Although your sales approach may have seemed lightheared joking and funny at the time, it came off very different to us as it made us feel we did something wrong and now owed you (GB). I admit it was the skipping tab accusation that really topped things off and is what upset us most. Incidentally, the sign in book was not there upon arrival and neither were tickets given out. Having never witnessed these happy hour steps at High Tide or Motu previously, we were unaware of your change in protocol. There is no excuse for the confrontation and accusation made by your staff when we did nothing wrong. If we perceived YOUR intent and communication, words, innuendos, or messages wrong or took them out of context i apologize.. Right or wrong intentional or not, we were made to feel like cheap thieves is all I can say.. And that ruined our perception of GB, which we love. There is NO mistaking your sales girl’s malicious intent in saying we stole drinks from GB or Motu. And finally, this is merely my recollection and my perception of events …my opinion. I do believe John did not mean any harm but that perhaps we took things wrong. His subordinate definitely did mean harm…and did cause us distress.

  6. Wow! In our 30+ years of coming to the island, this is definitely not the norm for the people we meet in our beloved St. John. We were considering GB fractional ownership but I think we will stick with our standard villa rental and grabbing a cold one at the Beach Bar. Thanks for the input.

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