Below is the fifth and final installment in the series.
In 2017, hurricanes Irma and Maria dealt a huge blow to the restaurant business the BVI. Damage ranged from a few restaurants and bars escaping with just needing minor repairs to most with significant damage such as roofs being blown off to those that were in the path of tornados that the hurricane spawned and were completely destroyed. Many of the restaurants were housed in buildings with wood frame construction which was no match for the 250+ mph winds during Irma.
The bad news is that while many of the damaged establishments have either completed or are in the process of repair and rebuilding, there will certainly be a significant number that will decide to throw in the towel and remain closed permanently. In addition, most of the high end resorts and their restaurants including Peter Island Resort, Rosewood Little Dix Bay and The Bitter End Yacht Club will remain closed until the end of 2019 or early 2020.
The good news is that, since the end of 2017, the BVI has made significant progress in repairing and reopening restaurants and bars for locals and visitors alike.
According to BVI Traveller’s database of BVI Restaurants & Bars, as of July, 2018 approximately 123 were open for business and while 32 remain closed. The restaurant business was able to get back on its feet quickly as many of the establishments could be reopened temporarily under a tent or makeshift structure until more permanent repairs were able to be made. Such was the case with the BananaKeet Cafe and Myett’s on Tortola, Sidney’s Peace and Love on Jost Van Dyke, The Wonky Dog on Anegada and many others.
In addition, the fact that close to 80% of the business were open by July makes the restaurant industry the fastest recovering sector in the territory!
Looking forward to the 2019 tourist season, BVI Traveller has reported on an additional 10 establishments that have reopened with more to come. Those include well-known places such as Foxy’s Taboo on Jost Van Dyke plus Brandywine Estate Restaurant and Quito’s Gazebo on Tortola.
All in all, the restaurants and bars sector has made significant progress, and is leading the way in the overall recovery in the BVI.