Created on Tuesday, 01 May 2012 03:28
Written by Andrea Milam
There’s a new man in charge at Skinny Legs, but fear not, fans of the iconic Coral Bay restaurant and bar — new owner Doug Bean won’t try to fix what isn’t broken.
Skinny’s was borne out of a partnership between the late Doug Sica and Moe Chabuz, who has overseen operations at the Coral Bay gathering spot since its founding 21 years ago.
“I’ve been doing it a long time,” said Chabuz. “It’s fun, but it’s still a lot of work. I want to spend more time with my wife, kids, grandkids and family I don’t see too often.”
Chabuz and his wife Toni are traveling in the states until later this year, and enjoyed a recent trip to Epcot Center with Chabuz’s nephew and his wife. The couple still has a home on St. John, and they plan to stay involved in the Love City community.
“We try and support Team River Runner, and Toni volunteers in the schools,” said Chabuz, who recently raised funds for TRR — an organization dedicated to bringing health and healing to wounded veterans through kayak adventures — during the 8 Tuff Miles race.
For Chabuz, passing the Skinny’s torch to Bean was a no-brainer. The new Skinny Legs owner has been on island since 1999, and has worked at the restaurant for 12 years, serving most recently as manager.
“I started as a prep cook, and I was the first waiter they ever had,” said Bean. “I also worked as a bartender. I’ve done every job.”
“Now I clean the toilets,” he added with a laugh.
Helping out behind the scenes will be Jaime Elliott, Bean’s wife and longtime St. John Tradewinds news editor, who plans to help expand Skinny Legs’ media presence.
“I’m strong creatively and have been enjoying playing around with the menu layout,” said Elliott. “The menu itself will not change, but it will have a new look soon. I’ve also been having a great time working with our fantastic web master Jean Vance on updating our web site, and we’re trying to maintain a stronger online presence by sharing more pictures and keeping folks up to date on our happenings.”
The Coral Bay restaurant has played an important role in various island benefits over the years, a tradition Bean plans to continue.
“I think it’s important for people to give back, and Doug and Jaime are all about that,” said Chabuz. “Doug Sica, my original partner, and I always tried to be supportive and contribute where we could, and Doug and Jaime have the same feel. That was a key thing in turning it over to them.”
Bean and Elliott both say they are thrilled to have the opportunity to take over the St. John icon, and both agree that there isn’t much, if anything, they will do differently.
“I literally remember the first time Doug and I walked in to Skinny Legs on New Year’s Day 2000, and I thought the place was so much fun,” said Elliott. “There were all these football games on and people watching and eating and having fun. It’s really just amazing that we have this opportunity now.”
“If anything, we just hope to continue the great tradition of great times and great food at great prices with really friendly people at Skinny Legs,” Elliott added.