Anyone who knows me know how much I enjoy a nice glass of wine. So I am extra excited to share today’s story with all of you!
For those of you who have visited St. John, you’re probably familiar with Island Cork/Kati Lago, the wine shop that was located over in Wharfside Village. Paul Tsakere opened it back in 2016. He remodeled the space about three or so years later, and ultimately rebranded it as Kati Lago, an homage to his Greek heritage. Well Paul decided to sell the wine shop last year, and from what I’ve heard, he is now living in Greece. There is a new owner now, and I think you are all going to love what she’s done with the space.
Victoria Theriault opened Wine Shop VI in the former Island Cork/Kati Lago space last month. Victoria is originally from Canada and recently moved to the island. She’s been connected to St. John for roughly two decades, as she has family who lives here. Victoria has ample experience in the wine industry, as she managed government-run liquor stores when living in Canada.
When you walk into Wine Shop VI, it just feels different these days. The space is warm and inviting, and there is a stellar wine selection. You can purchase wines by the glass, or you can opt to open any bottle available in the shop. (There aren’t any corkage fees, which is a lovely change.) Bottles are, of course, available to-go as well.
Victoria is offering small, shareable bites too. She has simple items like locally-baked bread and butter, charcuterie plates and more. She plans to introduce new items soon like chicken, liver and pork pâtés. There is a large deli case that also offers a variety of meats and cheeses to go.
Here are a few images that I took earlier this week:
And one thing I appreciate about the new layout is that the wines are now sorted by body and style, rather than by region, which makes it easier to shop for the style you like. And regarding price point, you can purchase a bottle for $33, or you can purchase a bottle for $1,000. Clearly that’s one that’s reserved for super special occasions! Most of the bottles are priced affordably, but there are some big boys for those of you who enjoy fine wines. Some of the more well-known brands include Shafer, Caymus, Opus and Sassicaia.
Wine Shop VI is open from 11 a.m. until about 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. It is open on Sundays from 5 p.m. to 9-ish p.m. It is currently cash or Venmo only, as she awaits getting her credit card processing set up. Want to know exactly where Wine Shop VI is located? Click here to check out our Restaurant Map.
I’m all about saving money, and I’m pretty certain many of you are too. Airfare has been pretty pricey over the past few months. Well I have good news to share with you all today. Airfare has started to come down! Of course some airports have much better deals than others, but there are deals out there!
Now you may be thinking, sure Jenn, but what about a place to stay? Well as I mentioned to you last month, St. John is slower so far this season than the past two years. I have seen numerous villas and condos offering last-minute discounted rates. So there are deals to be had, folks!
I asked my followers over on my Explore STJ Island Tours Facebook page what their home airport is. I received nearly 100 responses. I jotted down their answers, and then I got to work! I used the Explore function on Google Flights. (Go to google.com/flights -> Then click the Explore button in the left sidebar on a laptop/computer. If you’re using a cell phone or iPad, the Explore button is in the top menu. I chose a 1-week trip in the next 6 months.) Here is what I found…
Atlanta – The most inexpensive time for you all is coming up soon! If you are willing to fly Spirit, you can fly for $233 roundtrip! Delta is more expensive (as always it seems) at a whopping $947 roundtrip for those same dates! I don’t know about you, but I can suck it up on Spirit for a few hours to save over $700.
Boston – How does $308 roundtrip sound Boston friends? This fare is good from January 16th through January 23rd on both United and Delta.
Chicago Midway – You all have a little more time to plan. You can fly on Delta for $676 roundtrip from February 25th through March 7th.
Chicago O’Hare – You can save some money for those same exact dates if you fly through O’Hare (and forgive me for not knowing the distance between the two airports). You can fly from February 26th through March 7th for only $455 roundtrip. Want to fly nonstop? That’s a little more, but still a good price. You can do so for only $637 roundtrip on United.
Cleveland – Time to travel soon! You can fly for just $281 roundtrip on Spirit from January 21st through the 28th. Want a better airline? American isn’t too expensive. Their fare for those dates is only $476 roundtrip.
Dallas – How about a mid-month vacation? Your best time to travel is February 11th through there 18th. You can fly for as little as $314 on spirit or direct on American for $775 roundtrip.
Fort Wayne, Indiana – It looks like Spirit is the airline of choice in your area. You can fly for as little as $287 roundtrip from February 2nd though the 8th. If you prefer a different airline, American will cost you $486 roundtrip for those same dates.
Grand Rapids, Michigan – Looking to get out of Michigan for a bit? You can fly January 30th through February 5th for just $557 roundtrip on American.
Greenville, South Carolina – It looks like American is the airline of choice from your area. You can fly from February 27th through March 8th for just $502 roundtrip.
Hartford, Connecticut – Where are my Connecticut friends? (Hello mom and dad!) You all can fly here from February 5th through the 14th for $294 roundtrip on United or only $407 roundtrip on Delta.
Houston – Unfortunately it looks like Spirit is the best airline for you all too. You can fly for only $225 roundtrip from January 23rd through February 1st. Prefer Delta? Well that will cause a whopping $847 roundtrip.
Indianapolis – You can fly from January 27th through February 3rd for only $289 on Spirit. Want to spend a bit more for a better airline? You can fly those same dates on American for $486 roundtrip.
Knoxville, Tennessee – I wish I had better news for you all. The best I can find is $746 roundtrip on American from February 24th through March 3rd.
Little Rock, Arkansas – You can fly down on the east Saturday of the month and stay with us until February 3rd for just $558 roundtrip on American. Not too shabby from Arkansas!
Louisville – I’m actually surprised how inexpensive flights are from your area! You can fly for just $355 on Spirit or $580 roundtrip on American from February 20th through March 1st.
Miami – It’s worth it for you all to take a little drive and fly out of Ft. Lauderdale. You can fly direct, roundtrip on Spirit for just $182 roundtrip from January 19th through the 25th.
Minneapolis – You all have the most time to plan thus far. The cheapest dates for you is April 9th through the 16th. You can fly for $684 roundtrip, and direct, on Sun Country Airlines. Want to stay a little longer? You can save more than $200!
Nashville – Looking for a spring trip? The best dates for you are April 29th through ay 8th, which is typically pretty quiet time on island. You can fly those dates for just $336 roundtrip on United.
New Orleans – Where are my New Orleans friends? You can visit us soon! If you travel from January 26th through February 4th, it will only cost you $297 on Spirit or $434 on American.
New York – JFK is always one of the cheapest places to travel from, and this year is no exception. You can fly for only $317 roundtrip and direct on Delta from March 27th through April 5th.
Newark – This is also an inexpensive spot to fly from. You can pay just $281 roundtrip on United from February 23rd through March 1st.
Norfolk, Virginia – I fond pretty good airfare for you all, but it’s a few months out. You can fly for just $417 roundtrip on Spirit from May 6th through the 15th. You can American for $596 roundtrip for those same dates.
Oklahoma City – How does $558 roundtrip sound? American is offering this fare from January 28th through February 3rd. Pretty good if you ask me!
Orlando – Time to take a trip this month! If you fly January 21st through the 27th, it will cost you $232 roundtrip (nonstop) on Spirit or $333 roundtrip on JetBlue.
Pensacola – You can fly February 20th through March 1st for just $444 roundtrip on American. Spirit is less expensive for those dates, but there is a crazy layover time.
Philadelphia – I hate to tell you, but Spirit is the only realistic option unless you want to pay a ton. You can fly for just $215 roundtrip from January 28th through March 4th. American is charging $934 for those same dates. Ouch.
Phoenix – I can get you all here for cheap, but it won’t be pretty. haha You can fly from February 4th through the 11th for just $270 roundtrip on Spirit. Yes, that will be a long and uncomfortable flight, but it’s so cheap! Want a little more comfort? United and American are both charging over $700 for those same dates.
Pittsburg – You all can travel here from February 3rd through the 10th for just $285 roundtrip. That’s the price on Spirit, bit if you want a better airline, American is charging $508 roundtrip for those same dates.
Quad Cities (Moline) – Illinois – This is a new-to-me airport. The price isn’t amazing, but it’s not completely terrible too. You can fly February 25th through March 3rd for $746 roundtrip on American.
Raleigh-Durham – Wow, I am actually surprised by these fares! You can fly for just $297 roundtrip on United from February 12th through the 21st. Go book that flight!
San Diego – No wonder I’ve had so many West Coast guests lately… these fares are amazing! You can fly for as little as $324 roundtrip on United and Delta from January 28th through February 3rd. Wow!
St. Louis, Missouri – Not the cheapest, but also not terrible. You can fly for $523 roundtrip on American or United from February 25th through March 6th. Tampa – Spirit and JetBlue are your two go-to airlines. You can fly on Spirit with one stop for $230 roundtrip or stop in San Juan for a bit for $250 roundtrip. These fares are good for travel February 2nd through the 9th.
Washington DC – And last but not least are our friends in Washington, DC. It’s the cheapest to fly out of DCA for just $318 roundtrip on JetBlue. The travel dates for that fare is February 26th through March 7th. You can fly out of BWI on those dates for $438 roundtrip on Spirit.
Phew! Now that was a lot of work! I am just so happy to see that the airlines are coming back to earth and offering more affordable fares once again. I hope you are able to take advantage of some and are able to visit us soon! And if you aren’t able to, you can pretend to be here. 🙂 Check out our webcam page at www.IslandTidbits.com/webcams to see more than two dozen live streaming webcams. You can also check out our video page at www.IslandTidbits.com/videos to see our beaches up close, take rides around the island and more.
Hello everyone, and welcome to the middle of the week! This year marks the return of all of our fundraising galas. I don’t know about you, but that certainly makes me happy! Three great events are returning this year, and we have a great new addition too. These events are not just for residents. All of you are invited and welcomed to attend. They are so much fun, so please consider attending one if you can. Here are all of the details…
Saturday, January 21st: Animal Care Center Gala
I told you about this last month, but here is a little recap. The Animal Care Center is holding its first gala in three years, and it’s being held at a great new villa – The Last Resort. The event is scheduled for Saturday, January 21st. I will be there, and I hope you will be too! This is the ACC’s largest annual fundraising event.
Tickets to the ACC’s gala are $175 in advance and $200 at the door. They can be purchased in person at the ACC, St. John Hardware and Connections in Cruz Bay. Not currently on island? No worries! You can also purchase tickets by calling the ACC directly at 340-774-1625.
There will also be an online auction starting soon and ending the day of the gala. (I’ll keep you posted on it.) Items up for grabs will include boat trips, villa and hotel stays, gift certificates and more. There will be a silent auction at the gala, as well as a raffle and a great door prize. Click here to visit the Animal Care Center of St. John’s website.
February 4th: Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park Gala
Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park is having its first in-person event for the first time since 2020, and it’s returning to the same beautiful home where the last event was held. This was the last gala I attended before Covid changed everything, and it was a lot of fun!
Friends of the Park annual gala is being held on Saturday, February 4th at La Vita in Peter Bay. The cost to attend is $275, and it’s a pretty swanky event. This is one island event that I actually put heels on for! The event always features a great raffle and live auction, as well as great food provided by a local chef and entertainment. This event is limited to 200 guests, so please get your tickets fast if you plan to attend. Not on island February 4th? No problem! You can still purchase raffle tickets online or register to participate in the auction. Click here to purchase tickets, to register to bid and for more information.
February 11th: Island Health and Wellness’ First-Ever Gala
I am pretty excited about this one. Island Health and Wellness is holding its first-ever gala on Saturday, February 11th at ZoZo’s at Caneel Bay. This event will be Island Health and Wellness’ first fundraising event. It’s a great organization, and one that’s truly important to support. Island Health and Wellness offers free or low-cost health care to the island’s residents. It is rather difficult to obtain health insurance on St. John, so this is a much-needed organization.
Guests attending the event will don masks for the masquerade-themed gala, and will enjoy an evening of gourmet ZoZo’s food and drinks, and signature cocktails, and full bar followed by dancing underneath the stars at Caneel Bay beach.
There will be a limited number of tickets available for this intimate and special event. Island Health & Wellness encourages guests to purchase tickets early. VIP tickets feature a cocktail sunset sail aboard St. John’s famous Kekoa sailing catamaran before arriving at the ZoZo’s dock in style. Upon arrival, VIP ticket holders will join the rest of the gala guests.
Tickets can be purchased at www.islandhealthgala.com. General admission tickets are $350, VIP tickets are $500, and tables of eight are available for purchase to allow attendees the option to host a table/seating together for their group.
This important fundraising event will help Island Health & Wellness bridge the gap between what it costs to medically serve the St. John community and what patients actually pay. Island Health & Wellness opened its doors in 2017 and has provided over 9,000 appointments since then. The cost to patients is a set fee of $50 per visit, however, no care-seeker is turned away or denied services due to inability to pay. Island Health & Wellness subsidizes $400 on average for each appointment and provides over 2,000 visits per year. Click here to learn more about Island Health and Wellness.
March 4th: Gifft Hill Auction
Save the date for this one! There hasn’t been too much information released yet (to my knowledge) regarding Gifft Hill’s annual auction and event other than it is happening on Saturday, March 4th. The event is the private school’s largest annual fundraiser, and it is quite fun. The event typically features a silent auction, a very fun live auction and entertainment. A variety of restaurants provide food, as do students in the school’s food program. This is a fun and relatively casual event. Click this link to see the latest information.
For those of you who are not familiar with this spot, it is located in Cruz Bay about a block from the ferry dock. It is directly across the street from The Longboard and Cafe Roma and beside Connections. And as its name indicates, it’s upstairs, on the second floor.
I stopped by The Upstairs yesterday and took a few pics to share with you. Check them out:
It looks nice, doesn’t it?
Their menu is simple, yet yummy. There is a variety of hot dogs (all kosher), some apps, burgers and more. Check it out below:
The Upstairs opens at 11 a.m. daily and is open until it closes. 🙂 They offer happy hour from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. daily. During that time, Coors Light is just $3, and they also offer $8 bomb buddies (a combination of an energy drink and flavored vodka). You get two shots – one for you and one for your buddy – for the $8. And as you can see in the picture above, The Upstairs has four television so it’s a great place to watch a sporting event. Andy wanted me to let you know that all football games will be shown in their entirety, regardless of how late they last.
It can be a tad confusing finding the entrance to The Upstairs, so I made a quick video for you.
Want to know exactly where on island The Upstairs is located? You can find this restaurant’s location, plus dozens more on our searchable Restaurant Map at www.IslandTidbits.com/restaurantmap.
That’s it for today, folks. Have a great one! And thank you so much for reading!
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Hello everyone, and happy Monday! As many of you may know, I also own an island tour guide company here on St. John called Explore STJ. I recently took out a guests whose only request was to photograph beautiful places. Well clearly that was an easy task! He sent me several of his images last week, and I’d like to share them with all of you. If you are interested in taking an Explore STJ island tour with me, this is some of the beautiful things you can see…
We’re pretty fortunate to be in such a beautiful place! I have an idea, let put a visit to St. John on that New Year’s resolution list!