Pan Am Pavilion has been a Christiansted destination for decades, offering quaint boutiques, small offices, and restaurants. If you haven’t been there, I’m sure you’ve seen pictures of the beautiful entry from Strand Street with it’s historic Danish brick arches dripping with ferns. Like many buildings and businesses on St. Croix, this little gem recently changed hands. We are thrilled to report that Derek Shupe acquired the property, and he was kind enough to give me a tour and tell me about his vision for Pan Am Pavilion.
Many of you know Shupe, but for those who haven’t had the pleasure let me just say he defines the term ‘go-getter’. He has already opened several successful restaurants on St. Croix, including Christiansted favorites Shupe’s on the Boardwalk and Brew STX. Successes aside, what we love most about Shupe is that he’s truly invested in St. Croix and the people who live here. Now, he has taken the earnings from his other businesses and is reinvesting them into Pan Am Pavilion…and his obvious passion for rvitalizing the space is infectious.
First and foremost, the buildings and grounds themselves will be refreshed. New paint, solar panels, and better lighting were just a few of the items we discussed that he plans to address first. Shupe’s goal is really to beautify and rehab the area inside and around the pavilion so it’s a more attractive place for people to spend time perusing the shops and enjoying a bite to eat. These renovations, especially better lighting, will also provide a welcoming and safe gateway from Strand Street to the Christiansted boardwalk. By making this area safer and more attractive Shupe hopes to encourage patrons on the boardwalk to also check out the businesses along the pavilion and up on Strand Street.
While many of your favorite Pan Am businesses will remain, there will also be a few exciting new additions coming soon. Staying where there are will be Pan Am favorites: Purple Papaya, Steele’s Smokes & Sweets, The Boardwalk Parlour, Ruba’s Nail Oasis, Many Hands, Cruzan Creations, Jolly Treasures, Toast Diner, Velvet Haze Lounge, St. Croix Surf Company, and Shupe’s on the Boardwalk. Coming soon will be a couple of new restaurants that are sure to become new foodie hot spots. On the Strand Street end of the pavilion (in the old Nelthropp & Lowe location) will be a brand new American casual fine dining restaurant, which will feature some of the original historic brickwork inside. At the other end of the pavilion, near Toast, look for a fun and creative walk-up taco stand. There will also be some new unique boutiques for all of you shoppers out there.
As for the second level of the Pan Am Pavilion, including the former Parrot’s Cove and Tivoli Gardens locations, we’ll have to wait and see. Although part of the upstairs space may continue to be used periodically for special events, the possibilities for the second story are endless…so stay tuned.
All of us here at GOTO would like to say congratulations, Shupe, on your newest venture! We can’t wait to see the Pan Am Pavilion get the love and attention it deserves, and to see you bring this fabulous property to its full potential in the coming years.
-Jennie Ogden, Editor