Sweet Plantains is Back on the Market

sweet plantains

Yesterday we told you about a new restaurant that’s coming to Cruz Bay. Well today we’d like to tell you about an established restaurant out in Coral Bay that just listed for sale.

Sweet Plantains is up for sale, once again. The asking price? $250,000.

Here are the details straight from its listing:

Popular prime waterfront location. Successful award winning restaurant (5 star rating on TRIP ADVISOR). available now including comfortable living quarters upstairs (3/bedroom, 1-bath, new W/D, with beautiful ocean views and breezes). Plenty of parking and easy access off of main Coral Bay road (on VITRAN bus route 107). Sweet Plantains restaurant offers a large seaside patio dining area (apprx. 1,000 sq ft) with breathtaking bay and ocean views, a well appointed inside dining room with marble tables and vintage solid mahogany bar. Interior approx. 2,500 sq ft.) Lots of storage. Financial info. available upon signing N.D.A.. Shown by appointment only. Many improvements such as new roof and windows, new equipment. 

According to the listing, the owners are selling because they are possibly leaving island. The business comes with a seven-and-a-half year lease and monthly rent is $3,500.

Interested? Contact Diana Beam at (340) 775-0949 or [email protected].

14 thoughts on “Sweet Plantains is Back on the Market”

  1. Most people don’t understand just how difficult it is to run a restaurant. At $3500 per month that means you need to clear $116 a day in profit just to pay the rent. That does not include utilities, overhead including food and supplies or any profit for your own personal living expenses. Essentially you need to clear $42,000 a year just to pay the rent with no additional profit. Not to mention you do not own the property so in seven years you need to renegotiate or vacate the property. Oh one other thing, the $250,000 asking price! If you can get financing on that, and its a big if, with no down payment your looking at another $1000 bucks a month at least. So were up to $4500 a month with no profit or expenses factored in. You need to sell a LOT of painkillers to cover that. There are roughly 4500 residents in St. John. If each and every resident bought ONE painkiller from you at $6 a piece a year, that’s only $27,000.

    One final nail is that it is in Coral Bay which is on the other side of the island. I have no data to support this but Im guessing that at least half of St. John’s annual tourists never get past the Northshore beaches or Cruz Bay. If these restaurants were doing so great, they would not be for sale Caveat Emptor.

    • Chris, please do your home work on commercial leases and availability and costs of living accommondations before publicly passing judgement on pricing. Better yet, go there and enjoy an excellent meal and service (not just PAINKILLERS!), and see why they have earned a 5 star rating on Trip Advisor from locals and TOURISTS alike before publicly bashing other peoples hard work and success on social media!!!

  2. I have to suppose that Diana has some sort of interest or relationship with this restaurant. Perhaps Chris did not say anything that would help the current owners sell their business. But he also didn’t say anything that wasn’t true or that maligned the business. If someone was considering buying this placed and hadn’t considered all of the factors that he brought up, they have no business being in the market. I saw nothing that degraded the restaurant or attempted to devalue it.

  3. I’m not sure I agree with the factual part. Without being privy to the financials of the business Chris’ comments are purely conjecture. So it does make me wonder when someone uses a public forum like this to try and dissuade other people what their possible motivation could be?

    As well as not knowing the factual revenue of the business, he also fails to take in to account that the business comes with a 3 bedroom apartment. Which on St John are north of $2000 a month.

    So although to most of us it this is a lot of money, for the right person this could be a great opportunity. It’s just a shame that there always seems to be one person in the back of the room that likes to throw stones at other people’s efforts.

  4. All- I was not attempting to throw cold water on peoples dreams, but rather highlight the facts of the situation. The failures of restaurants are staggering in the this country, north of 70% of all ventures fail. It is important to know what you are going into with your eyes open. It is no skin off my back if someone else wants to take the plunge and I admire the courage, but hate to see people lose their life savings.

    As for Diana- I wish you the best and Sweet Plantains the best, Im sure all the trip advisor reviews are accurate and the food is wonderful. That being said, I do understand what the cost of living on St. John is. I understand that Power is up north of 50 cents a kilowatt which can lead to devastating monthly power bills. I understand food spoilage from lack of power, I understand cisterns and draughts can lead to expensive water bills and insurance. All of these things I didn’t mention in my first post but the fact of the matter is they are all costs on top of the costs already mentioned. Oh and what about employees? You have to pay some servers and bartenders as well which cuts into the bottom line. Im sorry the advertisement didn’t go well, but if your not finding a lot of takers for the business, there is a reason.

  5. Over the past 25 years, I worked closely with at least 25 restaurants (consultant and staff accountant) and it is by far the most challenging line of business.

    In general, the margins on meals is are small to begin with. Add unplanned spoilage, inventory shrinkage (servers giving booze away is the biggest hit to profits), and variable costs like utilities can suck every bit of profit out of a restaurant so fast the owner’s head will spin. Historically, a portion of sales typically didn’t hit the books, making it hard to judge actual cash flow but the increased use of credit cards has curbed that.

    I cannot pinpoint why some make and some don’t. I have seen fantastic chefs that put out wonderful food go down in flames and clueless fools make money in spite of themselves. Perfect locations that should draw traffic don’t and out of the way places have lines out the door. There is no logic to it.

    Best of luck to the current and future owners. While I only visited once, it was a memorable meal.

  6. Whatever “News of St. John” is, it is wonderful and informative!! Not pleasant every single minute, but then life is not always pleasant every single minute. Take life at it’s Best and leave the worst for complainers. St. John is and always will be my number ONE island of choice and as a travel agency employee for many years, I have seen over 31 islands. Cherish what you have in St. JOHN…I love it there!

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