Owners of a Frederiksted, St. Croix restaurant featured in an episode of the Netflix series “Restaurants on the Edge,” said the experience helped them refocus on connecting with the community.
In “Restaurants on the Edge,” the show’s team visits the owners of restaurants in scenic and spectacular locales who are on the verge of losing their businesses. The team takes on the task of turning it around.
Upon arrival at these restaurants in breathtaking locations, they assess how they can help save the business, taking into consideration local culture, food and a touch of the owner’s style in their redesign.
For episode six of the series’ second season, which premiered on May 8 on the streaming service, award-winning interior designer Karin Bohn, guru restaurateur Nick Liberato and former musician, food stylist and passionate chef Dennis Prescott dropped in on Louie and Nacho’s Beach Bar in Frederiksted.
“About a year ago we had the opportunity to take part in a new Netflix show called ‘Restaurants on the Edge,’” the owners announced recently on the restaurant’s Facebook page, sparked anticipation amongst the local community.
Restaurant owners Brian Montgomery and his business partner, Kevin Shea, who were featured in the Netflix series, opened the restaurant in 2017.
In the Netflix episode, the team tasks them with getting to know the community a bit more so they can better weather St. Croix’s slow season, a time when not many tourists visit the island. The pair want to attract more local visitors to their restaurant.
Montgomery is no stranger to the St. Croix restaurant scene. He also owns Smoke STX, on the same property with Louie and Nacho’s Beach Bar, and a Chinese cuisine restaurant called Seven Asian Fusion, on Strand Street near the Frederiksted pier.
“The show helped me to refocus on certain things, like making sure you’re connecting with your community. Not just locals, but the people that live here year-round. It helped us to refocus on connecting with everyone,” he said. “It was more about stepping back and connecting with the community. Learning more about the culture and the beauty of the island.”
Montgomery said he was pleased with the physical makeover the show’s team performed on the restaurant and relieved that the redesign did not resemble so many other beach bars.
“I wanted us to be unique and original and not like everyone else,” he said.
The redesign included new original art, paint and even a newly installed swing. “The swing set just couldn’t find a place, it was getting into other servers’ way,” he said with a laugh. “We had to take that down.”
For Montgomery what was most important for doing the show was “shining that spotlight on the island. At the end that is what is going to benefit me. I want to see the island succeed because it makes my home better.”
Also appearing on the show were Virgin Islanders who provided advice on how to connect with Crucian culture, including culture bearer Willard John, internationally known chef Digby Stridiron, reggae artist Pressure Buss Pipe and IB Design’s Whealan Massicott, just to name a few. The show also showcases the Virgin Islands’ history, architecture, landscape, beaches and music.
Louie and Nacho’s Beach Bar planned to host a watch party for the episode premier, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic they were forced to cancel.
The coronavirus “has been tough for all businesses given the new restrictions, but Louie and Nacho’s Beach Bar is still here,” he said. We are adapting to new guidelines and using the time to conduct new upgrades because it has been a year since we did the show.”
Since the show was taped about a year ago and it is an outdoor beach bar, the partners have applied new paint and upgraded the equipment.
“All in all, doing the show was great, it was hectic at times with filming, but the hosts, director and entire crew were true pros and made our part easy despite us being very nervous. We are very proud of how well the episode shows the beauty, culture and energy of the island and hope this will help shine a bigger spotlight on St. Croix and the U.S. Virgin Islands overall.”