Corsairs Beach Bar On Jost Van Dyke Destroyed But Will Be ‘Serving Drinks By The Winter Season’
By Kevin Wilkerson, PubClub.com Travel Blogger
His bar is a shell – quite literally – of its former self.
Half the roof is ripped off, the facade is gone all that’s left is a tattered frame. It’s the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in what many believe to be the worst storm ever to hit the Virgin Islands. It has left the USVI and the British Virgin Islands in tatters.
In this exclusive Q&A interview with PubClub.com, Corsairs Beach Bar – which is in heavily-hit Jost Van Dyke – owner Vinny Terranova describes the BVIs situation in the immediate days after Irma. But also pay attention to his resolve. He vows to rebuild his bar and even declares “the future looks bright.”
Terranova, it must be pointed out, was not in the BVIs when Irma hit; he was by chance in the USA on other business and was making his way back on Tuesday, flying into Puerto Rico then taking a friend’s boat to Jost Van Dyke.
Q) How bad is the damage to Corsairs?
It’s 90% destroyed. Only a few walls remain. The bar is wiped out and the kitchen is in real bad shape.
Q.)What’s happening now in the British Virgin Islands? The people, the businesses, the damage? Is there any power, food, water? Are there any relief supplies arriving on the islands?
A.) The BVIs have never experienced a storm this bad. Food and water are scarce, there has been stories of looting on Jost Van Dyke where Corsairs is located. I have not confirmed it. The British have sent ships and aid is coming in, albeit slowly.
Q.) Personally speaking, what’s going through your mind now after Irma?
Rebuilding Corsairs and helping the locals get back to work. It’s gonna be a long road and we will come though this disaster.
Note: Corsairs has set up this relief fund: https://www.gofundme.com/Corsairs-JVD-Rebuild-Project-1
Q.) Do you plan to rebuild? Have you talked with other business owners and do they feel the same way?
A.) I haven’t talked to many other bar owners, but from what I’ve read we all will rebuild. I personally know Foxy and I know he has no plans of letting this storm win.
Q) How long do you think it will take to rebuild, get tourists back to the BVIs?
A.) It will take a few years to look normal again but we will get things up and running as soon as possible. I’m sure White Bay will be serving drinks by the winter season and we plan on doing the same thing.
What we will need is people to come back and not be scared from the false stories and lack of media coverage of the islands. We are a resilient bunch and look forward to renewing our great life in the Virgin Islands.
Q.) Will the BVIs ever be like they were before Irma?
Normal yes, the same no. Probably better but different. The one thing that won’t change is the people. Happy faces greeting tourists and locals alike. It’s a team effort and we need everyone to come back to visit us.
Q.) What message(s) do you have for relief efforts/governments of the U.S. and Britain?
A.) Keep bringing it boys! We need Britain and the U.S. now. Major efforts from friends of Corsairs are underway and we can’t be more thankful.
Q) What message(s) to you have for future BVI tourists?
A.) It’s gonna be greener and cleaner and the future looks bright, so get some shades! Come see for yourself. Social media can really help bring back these island and tourism so spread the word that we will be back!
Q.) Anything else you want to say?
A.) I want to thank everyone who has contacted us with words of support and help. It really helps life our spirits to see how much people care.
Noelle Gallegos says
I visited Corsairs in 2005 and Vinny couldn’t have been more gracious of a host. I send prayers for the speedy rebuilding and recovery on Jost Van Dyke and Corsairs. N.G.
That’s awesome. Thanks for the comment!
Bill Kasper says
I’ can’t wait to visit my uncle Vinny again soon.
Jerry patton says
While buildings are wrecked I know the spirits of you an your people are strong we wish the best for all were all pulling for you back here in Colorado hope people will continue to contribute to the rebuilding fund
George Lane says
Vinny “the blade”
The Lanes will be back! Hopefully April 2018. I need to put my business card back up at Corsairs.
George & Kathy
allen r baker says
Vinny is the best.. Have been there several times (Corsairs) and the place is great. Hope and future prosperity are in his future.
I live around the corner from his son and plan to revisit soon.
Steven Bloom says
We love Corsairs! We will be there to support Vinny and his island friends. God Bless Jost and the great people! Thank you Vinny for so so many fabulous memories! Can’t wait to get back! IRMA Who?
All the Best,
Mad Jack says
Today Democracy Now! Public broadcasting station, did extensive coverage story on your plight. Hopefully, it will help. Much concern from Colorado.
Julie Caouette says
Thinking of you Vinny and sending love, thoughts, and prayers from Barry and Julie, Lake Winnipesaukee NH
Judi brester says
Vinny , Dave , JR
Our hearts go out to you and your loss- we think our boat the Marsha Claire is demolished but we are coming back . We will bring supplies – wear our boots and try to help any way we can! I know you are a strong brave bunch hang in we love you❤️
Allan , Judi & Boat dog Matey from Montana
Thoughts and prayers go out to you all on JVD. Been there twice , can’t wait to visit again. Corsairs : Best fish taco I have ever eaten ! I love everything about this island and it truly hurts my heart to see the destruction of this beautiful place . The spirit of the island will be in the rebuilding . No matter how long it takes , I plan to come back there . It’s my favorite place Out of all the places I’ve ever been.
Sending love , stay strong
Denise Kreger says
My boyfriend captains a Boat for 1-1/2 months in the Spring and we will be heading your way! Vinny and his staff have always been so friendly and it is my new favorite bar and I look forward to visiting. We will have our business cards and a shirt from Steamboat Springs to hang.
Plant lots of palms and shade trees on Jost around the beaches so there is good shade for the visitors to make things very appealing. I’ll miss the Tamarind tree by Ivans. My boys swung on that swing 16 years ago! Keep up the positive attitude. People love all you folks on Jost and the islands.
I fell in love with Jost my first day trip there several years ago. My husband and I decided a few quick hours weren’t enough so we began spending our vacation on island ever since. We will be back as soon as we can. Until then I’ll keep praying and spreading the word that the islands will be back! ❤🙏🌴
Good news here – the charter boat companies are planning on having at least some boats ready by November!
Stacy McMahon says
Katrina from us home from JVD our first trip in 2005, Rudy evacuated me to Tortola during hurricane Otto in 2010 and now Irma and Maria…
JVD is our home away from home and we will support in many ways. Our hearts are broken but we know that with every disaster comes a silver lining of economic growth. Be JVD strong but keep your special charm!❤️❤️❤️
Keith. NOLA says
My return trip will be sooner than later Vinny , you are sir one of a kind , I know the island people hold you close in your efforts , as do the people who rely on you back home , and I know for a fact there’s many many family’s involved in your knowledge and experience in life . GOD SPEED MY FRIEND.
Marie from Michigan says
My love and prayers to all on JVD and all the islands!! We will be visiting in early March of 2018!! I am really looking forward to the Best Crab Cakes in All the Land at Corsairs!!!
Didn’t know that about the Corsairs crab cakes – will have to try them next time! — PubClub.com
donna and doug diercks says
vinny, just saw the damage to your bar “corsairs”. devastating! but having known you since 1983, we know that you will rebuild it better than before. we missed seeing you in sturgis. wish we could all go back to the old days in denver. so many great memories and friends like you. we are doing okay. may you and your family have a wonderful holiday season. we will be thinking about you. best wishes donna and doug