Happy New Year’s Eve everyone! Here is a brief rundown of the top happenings on island this year… Enjoy!
The year started off with a bang when we heard about yet another marina proposal out in Coral Bay. This proposal was courtesy of Sirius Development, LLC, also known as T-REX, and it includes a marina and a hotel/resort complex.
Just a few days later, however, Coral Bay made major news as it was featured in the NY Times as being one of 52 places to visit in 2016. Did you make it?
Then who can forget one of the biggest stories that happened back in January when the feds seized the Mister B car barge due to its failure to pay a substantial debt. And sadly, the Mister B continues to sit at the car barge dock today.
But our very favorite story of January involves a lovable little pooch named Moose. Moose lived at the Animal Care Center for almost five years and at times, was considered unadoptable. Well Moose proved us wrong when he flew up to Massachusetts and is now one of the happiest pups we have ever seen. Yay Moose!!!
The crew from HGTV – who really seem to love it down here – visited the island once again in February when they filmed an episode of Caribbean Life. The show featured our friends Shawna and Chris, the new owners of St. John Car Rental. We also happened to meet our other good friends Liz and Steve Horner, the new owners of the Barefoot Cowboy that day!
We got a new bar here on St. John in late February when the Bowery finally opened its doors. The Bowery is a nice, dark, air conditioned bar located beside The Beach Bar. It held its official launch party in early March.
And after sitting vacant for years, Pond Bay, the failed development over in Chocolate Hole, finally sold. Nothing really has happened over there since, but we have hope.
We had some pretty huge news to share April 1st when we announced that Joe DeCourcy purchased Wharfside Village, both the buildings and the land. Many people thought it was an April Fool’s joke, but it was actually very real news.
The Barefoot Cowboy got new owners in April when Liz and Steve Horner, two former Texas residents, moved to town and took over the place.
Sadly the beauty didn’t last too long because the Saharan Dust rolled in hot at the end of the month.
The crew from Comedy Central’s The Daily Show showed up on island in May when it filmed a hilarious segment on the election. That segment aired the following month in June, and it was absolutely hysterical.
We also got another new restaurant on June when Virgin Fire transformed itself into Viva Cantina.
One of our favorites events happened in July – the Chaotic Kayak Race. The event raises money to bring wounded veterans to the island for a week of rest and relaxation.
We had some more positive real estate news in July when the former Voyages building out in Coral Bay, which sat vacant for years, finally sold.
And yet another marina proposal was released in July, this time over in Cruz Bay. The proposal caused quite a stir and it also garnered us here at News of St. John a new, number one fan who we love, love, love!
One of our absolute favorite restaurants closed in August – The Tourist Trap. We sure do miss Larry and Mary and those fantastic tacos!!
We had a ridiculously cool visitor in August too when a flamingo decided to check out some of the world’s best beaches for a couple of days.
And to finish off the month, we learned that X on St. John had closed its doors for good.
In early September, we learned that Sweet Plantains rebranded itself into Skipper’s Brit Pub.
We also learned in September that Concordia had been sold and “working” plans for a new eco-resort had been released.
The island lost a great restaurant in October when Ms. Vie announced that she would no longer be operating her Snack Shack out on the East End.
Major work started happening at Wharfside Village in October when new owner Joe DeCourcy started to give the waterfront complex a nice little makeover. Work is continuing, and it’s really starting to look great.
But by far, our favorite story of October is thanks to all of you. Because of your generosity, we were able to raise more than $10,000 by holding a raffle. The money raised was donated to the Animal Care Center, St. John Rescue and other worthy organizations here on island.
Yet another new restaurant opened in November. Knox and Ollie’s opened their doors over at the Westin on November 1.
We had some huge news the very next day when we found out the The Beach Bar had sold. The new owners Reed and Sherrie Compton hail from Alabama, and said they’d always wanted to operate a business here on island.
And HGTV House Hunters crew visited the island yet again in late November, this time to film our friends Julie and David, who manage Coconut Coast Villas.
Island Cork opened its doors at its new location at Wharfside in early December. Paul is now offering a wide selection of meats and cheeses in addition to fine wines from around the world.
We also told you about several changes that have been happening over at Cinnamon Bay. The parking has greatly expanded, and the old tents are slowly being replaced to nicer eco tents.
And last, but certainly not least… We unveiled a new St. Johnopoly game for the island! The 2nd edition is selling like hotcakes and we could not be more proud. If you haven’t already, you can get yours at www.newsofstjohn.com/stjohnopoly
That’s it folks. It was a great year, wasn’t it??!! I hope you all have a fun and safe New Year’s Eve this evening! Adios 2016!!