St. Maarten Café set to re-open
When St. Maarten Café abruptly closed at the end of January after 26 years, the outpouring of nostalgia and grief was immediate. A Friends of St. Maarten Café Facebook group had 350 members by 6pm on the day this news was reported at readthehook.com, and some of those commenting describe bursting into tears at hearing the news. The following day, a vigil was held outside the door of the restaurant, with people leaving flowers and cards. Owners Jim and Lisa Roland, who finally chose to retire, said they were stunned by the reaction.
Today, the Facebook group has 795 members.
And now there's some more stunning news. Thanks to a group of long-time patrons and investors, St. Maarten will reopen.
"We always used to joke about how we should all get together and buy the place," says Tim Mulholland, a Charlottesville-based information technology executive, who, along with four fellow members of the UVA Trigon Engineering Society's alumni network, partnered with recent St. Maarten managers Russ and Nicole Hamilton. The New St. Maarten Trading Company LLC closed on the sale of the restaurant last week.
"It's nice we can come in and keep it the same old place," says Russ Hamilton. "It's nice to take over the legacy."
Mulholland says that dedicated St. Maarten fans can join the fun by becoming Founder Mug Members. A membership is $500 with the proceeds directed to start-up costs and working capital. The membership includes an array of benefits, including a new 24-ounce mug.
There's no set date on the grand re-opening, but both Mulholland and Hamilton predict a March opening. Stay tuned.Read more on: St. Maarten Café