On Friday, June 30, Marina Cay, an 8-acre private island just offshore from Beef Island, Tortola, will once again spring to life in its newest iteration, to the delight of local residents, charter boat crews and island-hopping visitors. The new Marina Cay Bar & Grill will be open Wednesday-Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., serving lunch and dinner in a picturesque, open-air setting overlooking Tortola and other nearby islands. Managed by Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina, Marina Cay will be accessible to local residents, visitors and resort guests via Scrub Island’s private ferry, as well as charter boats and island-hopping adventurers via 29 mooring balls, which may be reserved via the BoatyBall app.
“This is an exciting new chapter for Marina Cay, which has been a treasured landmark in the British Virgin Islands for generations,” said Julianne Corlew, Vice President & Managing Partner of Mainsail Lodging & Development. “We’re thrilled to reopen the island and the restaurant, once again welcoming our BVI neighbors and visitors from around the globe to enjoy the tastes and sights of the Caribbean on Marina Cay.”
Opening with a limited menu, Marina Cay Bar & Grill will feature starters such as Sweet Potato Shrimp, Greek Salad with marinated olives and feta cheese, Sweet Cane Rum Glazed Wings and more. Handhelds will include a Crispy Snapper Sandwich and Captain’s Burger, while featured items and chef specialties will highlight Jerk Chicken, Baby Back Ribs, and Mahi Mahi served with a choice of freshly made side dishes. From the bar, signature cocktails will pay tribute to select island resorts and destinations with items such as the Painkiller (Soggy Dollar Bar, BVI), the Original Mudslide (Wreck Bar at Rum Point, Grand Cayman), and the Hemmingway Daquiri (El Floridita Hotel, Cuba), in addition to its own custom-created Welcome Punch, Crazy Spiced Margarita, and others. Non-alcoholic drinks, beer and wine will also be available. In addition to superb culinary offerings, Marina Cay presents spectacular island views and the perfect hangout spot for an afternoon and evening with its collection of hammocks, colorful Adirondack chairs and beach palapas. Showers are available on-island to boaters, and the neighboring Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina offers fuel service, ice, trash disposal and other provisions from its fully stocked market at Scrub Island Outpost.
Marina Cay’s intriguing history dates to the late 1930s when it was home to newlyweds Robb and Rodie White. His best-selling book of 1953, Our Virgin Island, chronicled their life on Marina Cay and was later adapted for a film starring Sidney Poitier and John Cassavetes, which was partially shot on location. In 1956, the island was purchased by New York City native Eugene “Gene” Tonkonogy, and later a small resort charmed decades of travelers from around the globe. In the 1990s, Charles Tobias established a Pusser’s Restaurant at Marina Cay which became a popular gathering spot until Hurricane Irma forced its closure in 2017. Today, the island is leased by Scrub Island Development Group, and future plans include additional activations which will appeal to destination weddings, as well as public and private events.