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Say it Ain't So! John Eddie Bites the Dust!

sunshinefun
May 16, 2013 07:42AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 587

The server community has been abuzz all week with the news that John Eddie's Low Life Bar & Refuge is closing its doors. Some say its a summer closing only but others think its permanent until new owners can be found. I've only been there a few times and enjoyed each visit. I am sad to hear that they are shutting it down because it really helped breath life into the boardwalk area. The owners are nice people who invested a lot in St. Croix.

Re: Say it Ain't So! John Eddie Bites the Dust!

speee1dy
May 16, 2013 08:12AM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 8,379

i am sorry to hear that

Re: Say it Ain't So! John Eddie Bites the Dust!

vicanuck
May 16, 2013 08:18AM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 2,181

Hopefully its only temporary. We need people who are willing to invest in STX.

Re: Say it Ain't So! John Eddie Bites the Dust!

LiquidFluoride
May 16, 2013 09:52AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 1,940

I go there almost every thursday night! damn this would be a shame; I'm friends with one of the bands that plays there regularly as well.

Re: Say it Ain't So! John Eddie Bites the Dust!

terry
May 16, 2013 10:32AM

Registered: 13 years ago
Posts: 2,535

I sthat the one that moved into the old Stixs location? Haven't been able to get back since Nov, but they were not opened up when I left. IF this is the case, they sure didn't last long. They spent more time remodeling than open.

Re: Say it Ain't So! John Eddie Bites the Dust!

sttanon
May 16, 2013 10:46AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 266

Quote
terry
I sthat the one that moved into the old Stixs location? Haven't been able to get back since Nov, but they were not opened up when I left.

They really didn't open until right around Thanksgiving. I know the owner have to find out the story...

Re: Say it Ain't So! John Eddie Bites the Dust!

Iris Tramm
May 17, 2013 10:16AM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 681

Quote
sunshinefun
The server community has been abuzz all week with the news that John Eddie's Low Life Bar & Refuge is closing its doors. Some say its a summer closing only but others think its permanent until new owners can be found.

I wonder how much their first WAPA bill was.

Re: Say it Ain't So! John Eddie Bites the Dust!

OldTart
May 17, 2013 10:26AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 6,524

Quote
Iris Tramm
I wonder how much their first WAPA bill was.

This seems to be brought up all the time when a business folds and particularly when one folds just a short time after it's opening. When you plan on opening up a business you don't just walk in blindly with no idea of your operating costs so why should the cost of WAPA come as a surprise and be cause for closing the doors? WAPA isn't the scapegoat for everything.

Re: Say it Ain't So! John Eddie Bites the Dust!

Iris Tramm
May 17, 2013 10:29AM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 681

Quote
OldTart
Quote
Iris Tramm
I wonder how much their first WAPA bill was.

This seems to be brought up all the time when a business folds and particularly when one folds just a short time after it's opening. When you plan on opening up a business you don't just walk in blindly with no idea of your operating costs so why should the cost of WAPA come as a surprise and be cause for closing the doors? WAPA isn't the scapegoat for everything.

Dunno. I speak from direct experience. I have a very good friend who owns half of the commercial real estate in C'sted. He can't keep tenants because they are always shocked by the WAPA bill. Maybe they just don't do research. Starry-eyed island dwellers and all that. Tenants end up trading him things like cars because they can't afford to pay the rent because of the monsterous WAPA bills. Restaurants are especially susceptible to this fact.

YMMV on STJ.

Re: Say it Ain't So! John Eddie Bites the Dust!

Jamison
May 17, 2013 11:09AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 1,037

Quote
OldTart
Quote
Iris Tramm
I wonder how much their first WAPA bill was.

This seems to be brought up all the time when a business folds and particularly when one folds just a short time after it's opening. When you plan on opening up a business you don't just walk in blindly with no idea of your operating costs so why should the cost of WAPA come as a surprise and be cause for closing the doors? WAPA isn't the scapegoat for everything.
I agree. Over and over, as soon as something goes wrong, blame WAPA.

I am pretty certain JEs isn't planning on being permanently closed.

Re: Say it Ain't So! John Eddie Bites the Dust!

sttanon
May 17, 2013 11:33AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 266

Quote
OldTart

This seems to be brought up all the time when a business folds and particularly when one folds just a short time after it's opening. When you plan on opening up a business you don't just walk in blindly with no idea of your operating costs so why should the cost of WAPA come as a surprise and be cause for closing the doors? WAPA isn't the scapegoat for everything.

I can say this, the owner of the place was/is well aware of WAPA costs because of the business that he owned before John Eddies and he has lived on STX for awhile. As far as how long it's closed, that depends on several things from what I was told but at least until the start of STX season..

Re: Say it Ain't So! John Eddie Bites the Dust!
avatar

bathiel
May 17, 2013 11:52AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 515

Based on my observation, it's possible that the owners simply didn't generate enough business to cover what they apparently knew in advance would be a pretty high overhead. The place rarely seemed to be "hopping," and even on St. Patrick's Day, when all other places were jammed, the top floor was only about half full. I've been there on a Friday night when they had a good band playing, and there might have been 10 people milling about upstairs.

Just from my perspective, I don't think they've done enough to distinguish themselves from other places and give people a compelling reason to go there. Yes, the view is great, but to me, the menu's nothing to write home about. Maybe if they tweaked that part of the business, it might help get more people interested in coming.

Bernie

Re: Say it Ain't So! John Eddie Bites the Dust!

divinggirl
May 17, 2013 06:18PM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 887

I have never eaten there primarily because almost everyone (with 1 exception) I have talked to said the food was marginal at best. I was waiting for them to work the kinks out. The menu is extensive but if the food isn't anything to write home about why would anyone go there? I have stopped going to a few restaurants on island because the food is not good. I really miss Stixx. It wasn't a great environment but the burgers and pizza rocked so I kept going back. Restaurants need to stop trying to have a million things on the menu. Do a few things and do them well. IMO

Re: Say it Ain't So! John Eddie Bites the Dust!

stxrumrunner
May 17, 2013 07:17PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 7

Once the development of John Eddie's began, officials should have jumped on supporting this high end endeavor that has added a great venue to the boardwalk. The boardwalk itself is an embarrassment, the lighting and general maintenance leave little to be desired. Christiansted town suffers greatly from crime, poor parking, and now the bypass which allows people to simply forget it exists. John Eddie's is a place that invested greatly to improve the image of St. Croix and its dwindling nightlife by building a state of the art stage to host live music. It is a place that employs several local people and supports local music, hopefully it will continue to shine bright as the cornerstone of the boardwalk,

The plan is to reopen. This would be best for our town of Christiansted.

Re: Say it Ain't So! John Eddie Bites the Dust!

OldTart
May 17, 2013 09:21PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 6,524

So we segue from it being WAPA's fault to the government's fault? When the owner of the establishment decided to "greatly" invest in the business, did he do so on a promise from "officials" that lighting and general maintenance improvements in the vicinity would be undertaken?

Re: Say it Ain't So! John Eddie Bites the Dust!

Linda J
May 17, 2013 10:44PM

Registered: 13 years ago
Posts: 3,903

IMO, one problem that plagues many restaruants is an overly ambitious menu. When I see a 4 page menu, I know that they are not cooking, they are reheating. I'm with the other posters, do a few things, do them fresh and well.

Re: Say it Ain't So! John Eddie Bites the Dust!

Stxer1
May 17, 2013 11:36PM

Registered: 7 years ago
Posts: 281

In reviewing the posts on this board about this establishment, most have complained that the food and service were way below par. I don't read that the issues have much to do with the boardwalk or WAPA. Of course, they don't help the situation, but apparently they are not the focus of the many negative complaints. Leo, on the other hand, comes on here and tries to win customers back. I've seen absolutely nothing from the owners of this business.

Re: Say it Ain't So! John Eddie Bites the Dust!

vicanuck
May 18, 2013 07:41AM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 2,181

It must be difficult for them to compete when Brew Pub fires up the Heineken floating stage with the boardwalk dance party. All the lasers, smoke and special effects really get the kids going. The sound system Brew Pub has almost overwhelms JE's and is a big draw for the younger crowd. Unfortunately, the Brew Pub action seems to scare off the older JE types. Last time I witnessed this, JE had about 1 patron for every 50 at Brew Pub. That's what they have to compete against.

Re: Say it Ain't So! John Eddie Bites the Dust!

Jamison
May 18, 2013 11:18AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 1,037

It actually has worked pretty well when a lot of different bands play and they all usually work together, so you can walk to the different spots and see different music, except when Brew has a big name act from the states.

When JEs opened, the town decided it had waited long enough then started tearing the streets apart and closing traffic, it was a nightmare. Parking sucks and the only lot you can use, even the police will tell you not to go to. They have the funds to replace the sorry state of the boardwalk and they haven't done it, probably waiting until next tourist season starts. They also have the funding to instal new lights and they haven't done that either. So yes OT, the government was expected to do its job and help the town out, but it hasn't. Same with the police. We shouldn't need to have business owners paying security guards to watch the streets, but we do.

There were plenty of mistakes made with JEs and it's extremely difficult to be a new owner of a restaurant. They are some of the nicest people and have taken some lumps and learned a lot and next season, when they reopen, it will go much better. As far as not coming on the board to defend themselves, I am pretty sure they, along with the entire staff, don't even know this board exists.

Re: Say it Ain't So! John Eddie Bites the Dust!

JulieKay
May 18, 2013 05:40PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 1,341

I've heard they are re-opening too, according to some of my friends that work there.

For me it always was just the "vibe" at JE. It never felt laid back enough for me. I have a couple of good friends who work there and I've told them the same thing. It lacked feeling like a place I wanted to just hang out. And I thought the food was very good most of the time, but their menu was unapproachable for some, I'm not sure the concept of "Tennessee by the Sea" is working, except for tourists who are looking for that. The service was also really spotty, but they're not the only place with that situation. But I dunno, it just was missing something for me. I hope when they re-open in the Fall they figure out how to find the magic juju.

Re: Say it Ain't So! John Eddie Bites the Dust!
avatar

rotorhead
May 18, 2013 06:33PM

Registered: 12 years ago
Posts: 2,445

I tried JE's a few times. Being from Tennessee, I was hopeful. I grew up in Memphis and went to school at UT Knoxville. I was disappointed. I am not sure about where the "Tennessee" came from, Jack Daniels BBQ sauce? It never impressed me.

Re: Say it Ain't So! John Eddie Bites the Dust!

Ms Information
May 18, 2013 10:25PM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 411

Quote
OldTart
So we segue from it being WAPA's fault to the government's fault? When the owner of the establishment decided to "greatly" invest in the business, did he do so on a promise from "officials" that lighting and general maintenance improvements in the vicinity would be undertaken?

I throw my 2bits worth only because I care about businesses in the VI contributing to the economy.. I once owned a restaurant in the western US that looked like it flourished, but eventually failed. I have watched dozens and dozens of restaurants in the Virgin Islands open with great hopes, but then fail to sustain themselves.

I add this on to "old tarts" post because I know she was able to keep her business going beyond the usual. She did this by hard work, personality and maybe a little luck. My observation is that most new restaurants have very little chance of sustained success. Unfortunately only world wide formula chain restaurants seem to survive. That is not because they are good or well run, but because they have lots of money supporting them.

I hope that new entrepreneur will continue coming and trying. We know that only a few will succeed, but we need the the effort. If this sounds like a negative comment, it is not. I would like every new business to succeed, but that is not what happens. We all take our shot and contribute to the economy. I go to those new places and hope they succeed.

Re: Say it Ain't So! John Eddie Bites the Dust!

speee1dy
May 19, 2013 06:42AM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 8,379

dont the facts say that most new restaurants fail within the first 5 years. i would think it would be even tougher down here. even if you know about wapa, you still have hope that the business you do will sustain that major cost.

Re: Say it Ain't So! John Eddie Bites the Dust!

StCroixBeachBoy
May 19, 2013 09:40AM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 95

I usually stay quiet on this stuff but I'll throw in my .02 on this one. It is disappointing that they aren't doing well, but I knew from day one that they'd have a tough row to hoe (good ole Tennessee term) when I saw how much $$$$ they were pouring into the space.

I can't comment on the food, unfortunately we've never eaten there but not for lack of trying:

1) Went for dinner in early Dec. No food on the menu. Stayed for a drink, way overpriced and underwhelming. Who charges $10 for a drink on this island unless you're the Buccaneer or Carambola??? Felt way too touristy. Left hungry and drove out of town to one of our tried & true establishments. Papi always delivers smiling

2) Decided to try them again in Feb. Stood at the top of the stairs for over 15 min to be seated and no one even acknowledged us. FAIL. Had a nice dinner at Angry Nates.

Sometime in March, I had an opportunity to share my experiences with the owners, and did. They encouraged me to try again, and we did.

3) Tried again about two weeks ago. This time it was busy...but again couldn't even get a hostess, server, or bartender to even acknowledge us for over 15 min, even to tell us how long the wait would be. Sorry, that is unacceptable, even by island standards. I'm not going to beg someone to take my $. Went to You Are Here, and had a nice experience. It was our first for that place, but we'll be back.

If they close it will be a shame, but they clearly aren't ready for prime time.

Re: Say it Ain't So! John Eddie Bites the Dust!

Neil
May 20, 2013 07:44AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 988

Quote
vicanuck
It must be difficult for them to compete when Brew Pub fires up the Heineken floating stage with the boardwalk dance party. All the lasers, smoke and special effects really get the kids going. The sound system Brew Pub has almost overwhelms JE's and is a big draw for the younger crowd. Unfortunately, the Brew Pub action seems to scare off the older JE types. Last time I witnessed this, JE had about 1 patron for every 50 at Brew Pub. That's what they have to compete against.

And yet Brew Pub's food quality and service and menu has never been consistent either, and they are farther from good parking and kinda run down. So what's the difference? Higher standards for start ups?

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