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Here's the scoop:
On Sunday June 19, Viva La Revolution Cantina will open in Mongoose Junction in the location of the former Virgin Fire Gril with some revolutionary ideas. Cruz Bay’s vibrant restaurant scene’s newest venue is a Mexican restaurant and a collaboration of Michael & Barbie Barry and the staffs at Sun Dog Cafe and Virgin Fire Grill.
Viva Cantina is taking a fresh approach to all of the aspects of a restaurant, on the culinary side with a menu of genuine Mexican food this is approachable, authentic and very flavorful. Everything is made in house: made to order corn and flour tortillas, inventive truck stand tacos, Mexican favorites (enchiladas, chile rellenos, fajitas, tamales) plus the traditional combination platters. The menu is accented by a wide array of tequilas, served in flights, as margaritas or in pitchers for the table that can be paired with the extensive taco menu. “We love the flavors of Mexican food and it lends itself so well to sharing experiences, gluten free options, featuring super foods and keeping our sourcing local, with very few exceptions”, said Michael Barry. “We will be planting a garden with the supervision of Gifft Hill School’s Earth Program to supplement our sourcing, working with the Roller Farm in Coral Bay (Josephine’s Green Burrito is slated for the menu), our local boat captains and farmers in the US Virgin Islands whenever feasible.
The business model is revolutionary as well. Owners Michael and Barbara Barry are distributing 25% of the restaurant’s value to the employees in the form of profit sharing, with the option for staff to reinvest into ownership shares. In management, Viva La Revolution will strive to empower shareholding employees to participate in the creation of the standards of excellence in the restaurant, and thereby add value to the operation. Compared to the business model for Virgin Fire Grill, Viva will be able to provide a better value for the guests.
“I think we all feel that there is a sense of anticipation in the air right now. There are so many changes and uncertainties in our world, and the way that we look at it” said Michael Barry, “suddenly it seems there are new and exciting possibilities and the mandate and freedom to embrace them. This is the essence of Viva La Revolution Cantina: we embrace fresh approaches to everything in the restaurant, and every aspect of the guest and staff experience.”
Viva La Revolution will be open from 4 pm daily at first, but will open for lunch for the coming season. Ample free parking is available behind Mongoose Junction for guests of the cantina.
“We’re very proud of what we were able to achieve at Virgin Fire Grill”, said Barbara Barry, “and we thank everyone for the support. It was a beautiful restaurant, but at the end of the day feel that we wanted a much less formal place, one that embraces all of the comforts of Mongoose Junction but that was more casual in nature. Michael and I now have twenty years of restaurant experience on St. John, and Michael has participated in the ownerships of an additional eleven restaurants over the years. We felt that it’s time for us to begin the process of divesting, and what better way than to do this by by empowering the staff? We are fortunate to be able to do so."
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