St. John residents will soon be able to satisfy their Mexican food cravings with authentic sizzling south of the border fare without emptying their wallets.
Nile and Courtney Wright are opening a Mexican grill and margarita bar — which will be called Cactus Blue if lawyers determine the name is available — at the former Stone Terrace location along the Cruz Bay waterfront.
The Texas-natives, who have been living on St. John for about five months, signed a lease for the Stone Terrace location last month. With the opening of Cactus Blue, the newlyweds are realizing their dreams, explained Courtney Wright.
“Nile has owned restaurants and bars in the past and we decided a little over a year ago — when we were engaged — that we wanted to move to an island and decided on St. John,” she said. “We were married at the end of March and moved here and seven months later we’re opening the restaurant. That was the goal all along.”
“Our dreams really are coming true,” Courtney Wright said. “We feel really blessed. Things are really falling into place.”
While St. John is new to the Wrights, the restaurant business is certainly not. Nile Wright’s mother owns the famed San Antonio Mexican restaurant Jacala, which has been a landmark in the Lone Star State for more than 50 years.
While the couple plans to borrow from Jacala’s recipe book, the Cactus Blue menu will be all their own, Courtney Wright added.
“Being from Texas we know good Mexican food,” she said. “We’ll use some of Nile’s mom’s recipes, but we’ll put our own stamp on things. Our idea is to have traditional Mexican dishes and also add a Caribbean flare to them.”
The Wrights are still in the process of creating the Cactus Blue menu, but have definite ideas about the prices they will feature.
“With everything that is going on with the economy right now, and things being a little shaky, we’re definitely looking to keep our entrees moderately priced,” said Courtney Wright. “We’re hoping to keep entrees priced between $12 and $20 and offer good portions.”
To wash down all the tasty Mexican fare, the Wrights will be whipping up icy cold margaritas and have already designed a signature “Mexican martini,” the couple ensures will sate even the thirstiest customer.
With a few renovations on their to-do list, the Wrights have been pleasantly surprised how well work is progressing.
“Everything is actually going really good and everything is falling into place,” said Courtney Wright. “We don’t want to rush things, but work is moving along really quickly.”
The couple is hoping to open the doors to Cactus Blue around November 15 and hope to welcome a big Love City crowd.
“I definitely think that good Mexican food is needed and we couldn’t be happier with the location,” said Courtney Wright.