The property where Oceana stands has a long and varied history. The estate was originally settled by the first Danish Governor of St. Thomas, Jurgen Iversen, between 1672 & 1679. It had a variety of owners during the 18th century, and the estate’s name changed several times.
In 1894, the Russian Consulate Theodor Brondsted bought the property for $12,000, including many acres under sugar cultivation, the cisterns and the Villa. He renamed the estate Villa Olga, and used it as the Russian Embassy for the following nine years. In 1904 he sold the property, and it has been resold many times since then.
The main house is thought to date from the 1850’s; however, there is evidence of foundations dating to the early 18th century. It was built with thick rubble walls to withstand hurricanes and earthquakes. The doors and windows have wooden hurricane shutters and are trimmed with brick brought from Scotland as ballast.
Decorative tile work on the staircase entrance dates to the 1900’s. The surrounding galleries are a typical West Indian architectural feature meant to tame the tropical sun and catch the tradewinds. The house was badly damaged by Hurricane Marilyn in 1995, but was lovingly restored and renovated.
It opened as Oceana Restaurant & Wine Bar in 2002. Fifteen years later Oceana Restaurant was decimated by two category five hurricanes, Irma & Maria. The main house remained almost entirely intact.
Following a two year labor-of-love rebuild, Oceana reopened her doors in 2019 as Oceana Restaurant & Bistro.