The beautiful Italian restaurant on the second floor of Mongoose Junction is closed. Again. (We knew this would happen.) The phone's still ringing, but nobody's answering.
The old management vacated July 1st, but left the answering machine on. Don't bother to make a reservation.
There's no word on what happens to the space now, although a Help Wanted ad on Craigslist may provide a clue that, come fall, Paradiso or another restaurant, will be open in the fall.
At the least, the ad offers a glimpse of life in the often dark, sweltering, crowded kitchens of some restaurants on the island.
"Saute, expedite and grill positions available for re-opening of our very popular, busy restaurant. Searching for even tempered, hard working and committed chefs/line cooks. Closed for 9 weeks, scheduled to re-open November 8, 2010 and close down again in August 2011. Must commit to entire season. Compensation: hourly $12 – $16."
Frankly, the ad sounds like just the kind of Boot Camp-experience anyone thinking about opening a restaurant should have, according to Cheryl Geller of Coral Bay. In a post on the Virgin Islands On-Line forum, she cited her experience opening and running three restaurants. The latest is the popular Coral Bay boite, The Tourist Trap.
"Trust me… unless you have money you can afford to throw away, you do not want to come down here and open a restaurant until you come down here and work in a restaurant for at least a year. If you open a restaurant here without first knowing the lay of the land you just took what in a best case scenario is a rough road (opening a restaurant) and you poured oil all over that road then covered it with nine inch nails and disconnected your breaks. This is one of those rare occasions when I know of what I speak."