St Croix is seeing a renaissance after the past several years of recovering from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, followed by the global pandemic. Quietly during this time, some businesses have closed, new ones have opened, and many have expanded. It’s certainly an exciting time to be here! Whether you are new to St Croix or have been traveling here for years, I’m sure you are going to be as excited as I am for some of the things you’ll find here. Below is a rundown of some things old, some things new, some things expanded, and a new hotel renovation in the ocean blue.
St Croix Restaurant Updates
El Leon Restaurant is now officially open! It is a contemporary Mexican restaurant located on the boardwalk at the King Christian Hotel. And as with all of the other projects taken on by Chris Pardo of “The Neighborhood Establishment” the décor is divine. Right now they are just taking walk-ins, but they will start taking online reservations via Open Table on November 2nd. Discover More
Jump Up Deli & Dem Tings– Opening Nov 2022! An authentic deli and unique island gift boutique in the heart of Christiansted. I’m really excited about this new spot in the neighborhood. Sadly, the iconic Café Christine has closed for good, but my friends Ellen and Todd have been working hard to bring something new and fresh to town while honoring some of the Cafe Christine vibe (and recipes!). I’ve gotten a sneak peek and can’t wait for them to open. The gifts are, as Ellen says, “Tings you didn’t even know you needed!” and I’ve already put quite a few of them on my wish list! Discover More
Breakers Roar Tiki Bar Has reopened after some renovations and updates. They will announce a new menu in the next few weeks, so stay tuned! Discover More
Rum and Wine Bar – Word on the street is that the new chef at this downtown seafood restaurant below the Comanche Hotel is the bomb and a skilled sushi chef. As someone who has to live gluten-free, I was excited when another “gf” friend informed me that the chef uses tamari (gluten-free) in her kitchen in lieu of soy sauce to make her recipes more accessible. They had a nice selection of sushi rolls and other menu items and I’ve been told that the food is really excellent. I can’t wait to get in and sample some for myself.
Alfio’s Pizza – Speaking of gluten-free friendly restaurants, Alfio’s is a newer business in Christiansted that’s not to be missed. Located in the former Paradise Café (if you’re old school), BES Craft Cocktails (if you’re newer) on the corner of Company and Queen Cross streets, Alfio is well-known island-wide for his pizzas and sauces that can be purchased in local grocery stores. He started out with pop-up tents and now opened his own restaurant serving up pizza, pasta, and daily specials. As a chef who is also gluten-free himself, he offers special gf pizzas too! You just have to call in your special order before 3:30 pm as it takes extra preparation time. Discover more
Café Fresco is closing their location on King Street in the courtyard of the Penthany building and moving to Gallows Bay with an expanded location and menu. Look for them to reopen in December 2022 in their new spot. Stay tuned.
Nauti Bar & Grille has closed on Hospital Street (just past Fort Christianvaern heading East) but it’s being reopened as Jubilee BBQ & Seafood brought to you by the same group that now runs Rum and Wine Bar (see above), ParrotFish, The Galleon, Deep End Bar & Grille, and the Castle St Croix event venue.
Six Nine Restaurant & Bar has reopened after some downtime this summer and renovations. They’ve renovated the bar and it looks fabulous! You’ll also find a new bar menu available nightly in addition to their lunch and dinner menus. Their sister businesses Tap Deck Bar & Billiards and Lyric Sails are also back in action. You’ll find their entertainment schedules up on STXCalendar.com so you won’t miss a thing!
Flyers Bar & Grill has sadly closed at the Salt River Marina location. However, they are reopening in December at their new location in Victoria House in downtown Frederiksted. They’ll be bringing their well-established menu and, of course, Scottie’s delicious homemade ice cream recipes along with them.
World Ocean School Update
First, the bad news. Schooner Roseway will not be here in Christiansted harbor this season. She is currently hauled out in dry dock for some necessary maintenance and repairs. Now, the good and exciting news, the World Ocean School is still coming to St Croix for the season with a different vessel. Along with Roseway, they have added another exciting vessel to their fleet, the Denis Sullivan. The Denis Sullivan is a three-masted, gaff-rigged schooner, a Great Lakes tall ship built by Milwaukee community volunteers 20 years ago. I was excited to have participated in a Zoom call where the captain, Christa Miller-Shelley, discussed the new ship, the challenges of getting the ship from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the plans for an inland transit down the Mississippi River.
You can keep track of the Denis Sullivan‘s trip down the Mississippi River, through locks and making its way to the open sea via the World Ocean School Ship’s Log – I can’t wait to see this amazing tall ship as it sails into Christiansted Harbor! The ship is expected to make it to St Croix in mid-December and sunset sails start up from Gallows Bay on December 22nd. I hope to see you aboard. Discover more about World Ocean School
St Croix Places to Stay – Resorts & Hotels
Hotel on the Cay – I’m really excited about this project, I think the entire island is! Located in Christiansted Harbor on Protestant Cay, this property has been in need of some love for a long time, and now it’s going to get it! The Neighborhood Establishment was awarded the RFP back in 2020. Since then, they have been negotiating the lease with the USVI Government. They finally signed that last week. The next step is for the lease to be approved by the Legislature of the US Virgin Islands at which point they will have a fully executed lease. And then, the fun begins! The project is multi-phased due to the existing conditions, permitting challenges, etc. The first phase will focus on improving the public beach, amenities, and the existing hotel rooms and event spaces. This will include food and beverage outlets, water sports, the pool area, and other amenities. The second phase includes the building of the new rooms, a marina/dock expansion, and various infrastructure improvements.
Hibiscus Beach Hotel – Once a popular spot on St Croix along the Pelican Cove beach in Princess, the Hibiscus Beach Hotel fell into disrepair and foreclosure many years ago. Just yesterday, the new owners announced a plan to revamp the hotel, located next to the Palms Hotel, with 80 rooms, a swimming pool, convenient parking, a gift shop, a meeting center, a fitness center, a spa, a restaurant, and other recreational facilities. Owned by several local brothers, including those that own The Market (formerly known as Plaza West), the project is expected to be accomplished in three phases with a target start date of 2023.
Chenay Bay Beach Resort -Chenay Bay recently announced that they are under new ownership and are undergoing much-needed renovations to the ocean-front property on the East End. Plans are to re-open the existing restaurant in a few weeks. They announced that they will be completely rebranding the property, renovating all cottages, building two new pools and a new restaurant. They have begun the cottage renovations while awaiting approval and permits for the additional plans for the pools and new restaurant. Their goal is to break ground near April 2023 (permits pending) and be complete by November 2023. Stay tuned!