STJ’s Floating Taco Bar May Be Shut Down; Owners Asking for Public’s Support

STJ's Floating Taco Bar May Be Shut Down; Owners Asking for Public's Support 1

If you’re a regular reader of News of St. John, chances are you’ve read about Lime Out, the floating taco bar located out in Round Bay on St. John’s East End. Lime Out is a neat little concept – Essentially, it’s a small floating restaurant & bar, but the caveat is that you can’t actually drink or dine on the Lime Out. You must either take a boat to it and tie up – the tacos are passed over to your vessel – or you can paddle out using a kayak or paddle board and take a seat on a raft which is tied up to the Lime Out, or perhaps be lucky enough to grab one of the 18 submerged barstools that are attached to the boat. Check out the pic above to see how it works…

Lime Out has become wildly popular since it opened in March 2019. Here at News of St. John, we repeatedly get asked about it, and we have many guests who opt to paddle out for a quick lunch during our News of St. John island tours. It has received international media attention – pretty impressive in my book! – and it was even named one of the world’s 100 greatest places by Time Magazine. 

Well it seems that the future of Lime Out is now in jeopardy, and the owners are asking for your help. Rather than me explain it to you, I will let the owners explain it. Here is the letter they sent me Wednesday morning:

Lime Out, the floating taco restaurant located in Round Bay on the East End of St. John, seeks the support of the Virgin Islands public after being denied a mooring permit. Lime Out opened in March 2019 and has since garnered an impressive following, brought an immense amount of positive press to the Virgin Islands via millions of media impressions, as well as offering a unique attraction and destination in local waters. The business is at risk of closing, as at this time, there is no precedent for a business located on the water within an area where moorings do not currently exist.

Prior to opening last year, Lime Out received its business license, anchoring permit, fire inspection, health inspection, and all business paperwork and licensing necessary to conduct business. Lime Out iscurrently working with various government agencies in an appeal process to come up with a permanent, viable solution. Given that no precedent has been set for floating businesses in the USVI, Lime Out understands the need for legislation and regulation and prides itself as setting a positive example for the type of responsible business conduct that Virgin Islands entrepreneurs should uphold. Lime Out is in support of legislation that promotes responsible business and ensures that Lime Out and any similar future business ventures abide by the law and protect the Virgin Islands now and for years to come.

Lime Out, which is owned and operated by life-long residents of St. John, is sustainable and environmentally conscious, supports other local businesses and provides a unique experience that can be found few other places in the world. In many ways, Lime Out leads in sustainability practices. With re-usable cups and biodegradable containers, they strive for a zero-plastic and low-waste operation. This, combined with being entirely solar powered, makes the boat self-sustaining and low impact. In addition, the heavy-duty kitchen prep, cleaning, and refuse, is all handled at their sister location in Cruz Bay.

Lime Out encourages visiting and local families to remain in USVI waters by creating an unparalleled destination and creative lunch spot accessible by water. This initiative has helped charter boat captains to show guests recreation options available in local waters, kept tourism dollars in the USVI as opposed to sending them to the BVI, as well as encouraging international tourists to come to our waters. The Lime Out also supports community initiatives and encourages guests and mariners to be mindful of the environment, bringing attention to sustainability and responsible enjoyment.

The far-reaching popularity and support for Lime Out to date has been enormous, demonstrating the public desire for this innovative business. If you are interested in sharing your support for Lime Out, the owners urge the public to please contact them to share a letter of support. These letters will be gathered and presented to the Legislature of the Virgin Islands in an effort to allow Lime Out to remain open and continue to serve the boating community and visitors and locals alike.

For more information on Lime Out, please contact Chelsea Baranowski at [email protected]. You can also view information about Lime Out’s economic impact, environmental sustainability, location and more via a presentation accessible at www.LimeOutVI.com/lovelimeout.

Have an opinion on this? You can contact Chelsea directly (contact information above) or you can voice your opinion to the Department of Planning and Natural Resources. You can contact their media representative via email at [email protected]

You can also help keep Lime Out open by signing the online petition here: https://www.change.org/p/virgin-islands-dpnr-keep-lime-out-open

We will keep you all posted on this. In the meantime, have a wonderful day everyone!

23 thoughts on “STJ’s Floating Taco Bar May Be Shut Down; Owners Asking for Public’s Support”

  1. You should add all the contact methods for the government. Who, email, phone, etc. Makes it much easier for people to drop a line.

      • I live in Coral Bay and I’ve only been to Lime Out once. It’s admittedly not my thing, way too much of a hassle eating tacos on a raft! But is there a reason Lime Out needs to be on the East End? Wouldn’t it be better in an area that already has permanent moorings and/or is more accessible for potentially drunken patrons who dont arrive by boat?

  2. It sounds to me like this has given St JOHN a step up after the low blows of the storm. I do not understand why the local and federal government agencies would not walk them through whatever process THEY feel necessary to continue bringing business back to the island. I find it interesting that they would hamper any growth to the area.

  3. I have no horse in this race. I read fully, Lime Out’s commentary above. Nowhere do I read the “other side”. What is the government reasoning not to make permitting permanent? There’re always two sides to every story that need to be considered before opinion can be rendered.

  4. No!!!!!!!! This is hands down top 3 spots in the VI. Dylan and his team are phenomenal… the Bozeman family will be sending emails, letters, etc. Please post all possible contact methods so we can start bombarding the whom ever we need too.

  5. Denying the business a ‘mooring permit’ in an anchorage that has no designated mooring field at present is the problem the business faces. Is this where they must be to be successful? Should any vessel be able to just decide they want to apply for a mooring permit in a bay where mooring permits have never been issued?
    The Government agency DPNR is not at fault or even wrong here, the agency is simply applying the rules as they are currently written, to extend a mooring permit to Lime Out at the location they are asking for would be outside the mooring regulations and easily considered favoritism and open to criticism.

  6. Not sure why this would happen. My guess is people are jealous of the popularity. Sounds like they have jumped through all the hoops. Let people have fun. Hope it’s there for awhile. We were looking forward to adding it to our trip. We love Hansen’s Beach!

  7. Not sure why this would happen. My guess is people are jealous of the popularity. Sounds like they have jumped through all the hoops. Let people have fun. Hope it’s there for awhile. We were looking forward to adding to our trip.

  8. Jenn, Thank you for being willing to print more balanced report by seeking the views of the East End residents. I sent you a letter on behalf of the Friends of Round Bay and you have my permission to print that in its entirety. The Lime Out never had permission to be in the Round Bay every day. They have been in violation since the 14th day of their operations. It is very concerning that they are misleading their customers and supporters into believing that they are eco-friendly when, in fact, they are violating almost every law on the books that are in place to protect the environment and the surrounding neighborhood. They have been told to stop violating the law – this is not a random decision of the DPNR. These laws are in place for a reason. They need to relocate to an unrestricted area in a non-residential area just like every other business in the VI would be required.

  9. I can see both sides of this issue. Lime Out is a cool attraction and the environment needs to be preserved. Hopefully some sort of rotation of mooring locations or other compromise is possible?

  10. Only the viewpoint of a visitor but we should be reluctant to criticize those who are tasked with applying laws and regulations fairly to everyone. It concerns me to see a business go about things the way Lime Out has and it would set a dangerous precedent for the future of the island to allow businesses to circumvent the law as long as they are popular.

    If we’re being honest with ourselves, we know that even with the best of efforts, Lime Out has a negative impact on the environment.

  11. This is a classic case of “not in my backyard”—-which, let’s face it, Coral Bay has a long history regarding this attitude. If I were a resident of the east end, I might tend to agree. What everyone should realize is that all of St John is almost totally dependent on tourism to support the economy. The infrastructure of the east end is dependant on the economy also.
    If Lime Out has been legally ordered to shut down, then they should obey the law and do so—-but they should appeal immediately.
    Let’s hope the authorities sort this out, because Lime Out is definitely a new, popular, draw and is supporting tourist income in the Coral Bay area.
    EVERYONE involved is part of the PARADISE of St John—-MAKE IT HAPPEN.

  12. Miss Lucy’s, Oasis, Pickles, Skinnys, Gibney Beach, Beach Bar, Joes Rum Hut, High Tide, Mongoose, Caps, the list goes on and on

    HOW IN THE HELL ARE THESE NOT IN CZM VIOLATION?

    If you are going to apply the law OBJECTIVELY and not in some back-room basing your decision on who-the-owner-is and whether you like them or not, welcome to the Banana Republic.

    If you shut down Lime Out then you need to shut it ALL DOWN.

  13. We are regular visitors to the East End. For us it’s the best part of the USVI, since we come for snorkeling and solitude. From our perspective, Lime Out is a distinct negative — the amount of boat traffic we experienced last week was truly jarring. The letter above refers to keeping “tourism dollars in the USVI as opposed to sending them to the BVI” but in our case this is exactly wrong: we’ve never been interested in the BVI, but Lime Out is making us consider other islands, or at least other parts of St. John, for our next visit. Why tow that thing over there every single morning? Why not set up in an actual moorage like they are supposed to?

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