The Current State of the Island

Francis Feb 20 2019
Francis Bay, Feb. 20, 2019

Hello everyone and happy Wednesday! Today’s post will likely be a rambling one of sorts, so please bear with me! As I sat down this morning to think of what “news” I would share with you all today, I couldn’t help but think about how busy the island currently is. It’s amazing!! So rather than a traditional non-real news, “news” story, I am going to throw my thoughts your way. Enjoy!

Ok, so as I mentioned, the island is super busy! It’s President’s Week, which is school vacation week in many states. Well those folks have flown down here in droves, and it’s so great for the island. It’s so nice to see so many children playing in the water at Maho, Salt Pond, Francis and more!

The restaurants… my goodness, they are so busy! I went to Lime Inn for my anniversary Monday night and it was packed! With a wait! And it’s not just Lime Inn that’s packed… all the restaurants are packed! And not in an annoying way, but in a “yay, you all came back!” kinda way. 🙂

Now I get so many questions about Wharfside. I am happy to tell you that it’s really coming along. The Beach Bar has been open pretty regularly on the beach where they built a temporary beach bar right on the sand. A stage is permanently set up while construction continues in the main bar, and they have live music several times a week.

And things are happening right next store at Joe’s Rum Hut! Lots of tile has gone in on the waterside of Wharfside, and it appears that the roof that was damaged when Dreamweaver slammed into the building will be completed any day now. That is huge because then they can really start work on the Rum Hut bar below. A new main bar has already been built, so progress is happening. Three dollar you-call-it happy hour soon come…

The North Shore beaches look great as always. The island is a bit dry along North Shore near Cruz Bay, but with the downpour we received overnight last night, I expect that to green up pretty soon. Trunk to Maho is green, green, green!

Speaking of Maho, the new food truck and tiki bar isn’t open yet but it should be very soon.

I stopped at the Coral Bay overlook yesterday, and the view was just stunning. And Coral Bay itself looks very good. The former Island Blues building and the pinkish one beside it still need to be cleaned up, but other than that, the area looks great. On that side of the island, Coral Bay Caribbean Oasis, Wok on the Beach, Aqua Bistro, Pizzabar, Miss Lucy’s, Rhumb Lines (Indigo Grill) and Skinny’s are all open, and they are all hopping.

Coral Bay Feb 20 2019
Coral Bay, Feb. 20, 2019

I drove out to Lameshur last week, and that too looks great. The road was rather bumpy, but it’s always been rather bumpy. If you don’t mind a bit of off roading and your rental company allows it, it’s a nice place to visit.

And as always, the drive out to the East End is one of my favorites. The views out there are simply stunning.

I get lots of emails asking me if the island is ready for visitors and how it’s recovering. The answer quite simply is yes and beautifully. Now put your work aside and start shopping for airfare! We’re waiting for you!

Have a great day everyone. 🙂

35 thoughts on “The Current State of the Island”

  1. Thanks for the updates! 2 questions please. I understand that Rhumblines moved to Coral Bay but I was curious about the ambiance. I likes the dark otherworldly feel when it was in the market in Cruz. Is it the same way? Also, any timeline to Wharfside? I think it was coming along well back in November. Thanks again!

  2. Im getting married on St. John next year Presidents’ Day weekend. We were going to have the reception at Rhumb Lines until they moved we are so disappointed. Do you know if anything is going on in that space? Or a good second option?

    Thanks!
    Emily

    • Extra Virgin owners are opening a new seafood restaurant in Mongoose Junction where Ocean Grill used to be. Plan to open by July this year. My prediction based on the quality at current restaurant (which is also staying) is that this new restaurant will be the best on island.

  3. Thanks Jen! Just got in last night, and will be getting our Jeep today! Went to Longboard last night, and will say..everything looks really good. Lots of people in the streets..YAY!

  4. I was down there the week of 2/4. It was great considering all that the island and its residents have been through. I was told the Westin was at 35% occupancy that week and of course Caneel Bay is closed. Even with far fewer vacationers on the island the restaurants were crowded for their main sittings. I got the sense however that they may not have continuous turnover so if you are willing to eat a little later there was plenty to choose from without reservations. The cabs seemed to be hurting however. You see lots of empty cab parked by the ferry dock and the ones driving around only had two or four people. We had cab drivers willing to wait for us outside of shops etc. so as not to lose the fare.
    If you are considering a visit get you butts on a plane and get down there.

  5. Thank you for all the updates. My husband and I got married on Cinnamon Bay, in May of 2017. We were lucking enough to have my grandparents house to stay in. Unfortunately both hurricanes destroyed it. I’m really happy to hear that Coral Bay is coming back to life, the House was just up from Miss Lucy’s.

  6. Have property on the island that we rent and keep getting asked if Miss Lucy’s is doing Sunday Brunch yet. Would love to tell them yes, but haven’t heard.

  7. We are here and so happy to be back! The island looks great!! We were at hawksnest, maho and skinny legs yesterday! Cruz bay restaurants are hopping!!! Love this island!

  8. We love St John but were disappointed by the food options.
    The new Rhumb Lines was not good in so many ways.
    We liked the casual vibe at Skinny Legs and Aqua Bistro was our go to.
    Cruz bay had a few nice places to eat but we preferred the quiet side of Coral bay on our Jan 19 visit.
    The beaches were quiet and great during the gov shutdown but the coral reefs all over the island seemed to have taken a hit from Irma.
    We love this place and will be planning our next visit soon!

    • To illustrate that STJ has something for everyone, during our stay Jan 20-25, RhumbLines/Aqua Bistro was our go-to and we were not so thrilled with AquaBistro. that’s what makes Coral Bay so cool. Different strokes for different folks!

    • I hope your next visit you will try the places we locals love and eat at in Coral Bay Breakfast and dinner-Oasis by the sea.
      Breakfast and lunch -Pickles in Paradise .
      The owners of both Oasis and Pickles are the cooks in their own restaurants so it is the freshest and best food in Coral Bay .
      Ambience is also the most Coral Bay authentic as both are places the local artists,writers, &sailors hang out .

  9. We were there from Feb. 5-15. Great weather. The restaurants were busy but that’s ok with us. We just have a drink and conversation while we wait. I mean I am on vacation for heaven’s sake I have plenty of time. 🙂 We thought everything looked wonderful. So happy to see people looking happier these days. We love STJ and I am already waiting for airline schedules to post for next year.

  10. We are coming down first week of March. Can anyone recommend a day sail that’s still operating? I heard many were out of business.

    • Steve, we were on island in early December. With our favorite, Kekoa, not yet back in the bay, we took a couple of day sail trips on the Daydreamer (Cruz Bay Watersports) and had a great time. We did a Jost trip and a Christmas Cove/Pizza Pi trip. Both were very good and are reasonably priced. Great crew and pretty boat! Have fun on your visit. We love Love City!

  11. Would love to see some photos of the progress that you are talking about. Especially wharf side and coral Bay. Last time we were there there was still a lot of garbage to be cleaned up by the dumpster area. Already booked to be there again in April, and can’t wait!

  12. I was wondering about Bolongo bay resort. we are going on September. we wanted luxury and beautiful views with not a heafty price tag of course.

  13. Great update! We’ll be down there in 2 weeks to spen a couple of weeks in the sun. It’ll be great to get back to the place we love.

  14. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and updates on the island. My son and I spent a few weeks in July Volunteering with All Hands and Hearts . I had never been to St John before this trip. When we were there the greenery was very scarce. But I could see past the destruction of the hurricanes. There is a pure beauty on this island…. yes, the water and mountains and beaches are stunning but it’s the people of the island that are breathtaking. I miss your beautiful island so badly. My soul is aching for it. I need to come back.

    • Very well said! I’ve been going to St. John for 25 years and I still feel that same longing for it when I am not there It is a very special place.

  15. Visiting in March for the first time,just a few questions.
    Should we rent a scooter’s or a car to explore the island ?
    Best condo to stay in with pools, perfect beach, perfect view with sunrise?…is that possible?
    Thank you!

    • I suggest renting a car. I haven’t been to the island in a few years but the last time I went scooters were not even an option. Even if scooters are an option now, you’ll appreciate having a car for those steep hills, of which there are a few.

  16. We were here this time last year (5 months after the storms) and we’re back again this week. There’s been continued progress and the island’s much busier. Even happy hours are hopping! I have to disagree with Chris F – best snorkeling I’ve seen in a while at Trunk, and there’s more good restaurants in St. John than we have time to go to. We try to get to a new place each year and a new favorite is De’coal Pot. Great authentic Caribbean food. We missed Morgan’s Mango by two days last year, but cant wait to go back tonight (needed to make advance reservation). We’re staying in town and heard and saw work being done at Joe’s. Haven’t seen any progress or workers at Waterfront or Beach Bar (except beach hut for drinks at latter). I know insurance and construction workers can be an issue, but it boggles my mind that places that could easily take in $20,000 a day can’t work it out… sell place as is and let someone willing to invest get them operating!

  17. Thanks so much for sharing the great news about the island…it’s our happy place and what we like to call a little bit of heaven on Earth! Can’t wait to get back and bring our son for the first time! Miss you, Love City!

  18. This is fantastic news! Makes my heart shine bright to hear if the good news! Don’t worry , there are so many of us that dream for our next opportunity to get back to St. John 🙂

  19. Wonderful news about the island. Thank you. I was wondering if any one has heard any news on the status of Concordia? Has it been bought? Any idea if they are going to resurrect it or turn it into something entirely different? Thank you.

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