Travel

10 Must-Visit Crew Bars Around the World

8 April 2022By Olivia Michel
Sheer Rocks Antigua
Credit: Archie Brooksbank

Finally have some time to yourself and plan to spend it bar-hopping ashore? If you’re looking to find yourself amongst fellow yachties in your downtime, head to these bars beloved by superyacht crew in the world’s most popular yachting hotspots, from Antibes and Mallorca to Fort Lauderdale and the Caribbean islands.

Credit: Tap 42

Tap 42, Fort Lauderdale

Perfectly situated right next to Fort Lauderdale’s yachting district, it's a short trip from the marinas and crew accommodations to this budget-friendly Floridian gastropub. Tap 42 is known for its special deal days such as free drinks for ladies’ night every Wednesday and bottomless brunch on Sundays. The menu features typical American fare such as beefy burgers, moreish mac and cheese, barbecue ribs, and southern-fried chicken, plus fresh-caught seafood like grilled mahi mahi, jumbo shrimp, and ahi tuna tartare. The drinks list is populated by carefully curated, locally brewed beers and whiskeys.

Credit: Chat ‘N’ Chill

Chat ‘N’ Chill, Stocking Island

Capt. Jeff Callahan of 31.55-meter Burger yacht Northland recommends this barefoot beach bar in the superyacht hub of the Exumas. He says the Chat ’N’ Chill is always “absolutely loaded with crew.” This buzzing hangout is famous for its Sunday Hog Roast and the menu is garnished with Bahamian beers and local dishes, including conch salad and burgers with a side of rice and peas. There’s plenty more to do than eat a meal there — visiting crew can swim with stingrays, mingle over a game of volleyball, attend barbecue parties, or even upskill with an on-site mixology course.

Credit: Julia Starkey at Caribbean Jules Photography

Willy T’s, Norman Island

Floating in Bight Bay just off the coast of Norman Island, this Caribbean beach bar is a legendary yachting institution in the British Virgin Islands (BVIs). Only accessible by yacht or tender, The William Thornton — affectionately known as Willy T’s — is a rowdy pirate ship party boat, where guests drink shots off waterskis and jump into the water from the top decks. Specialities on the menu include traditional chicken roti as well as locally sourced conch fritters and mahi mahi sandwiches, while drinks are mixed with the bar’s own brand of rum. Willy T's first opened in the 1980s and rose from the ashes in 2019 after being wiped out by Hurricane Irma two years previously.

Credit: Hogan's Pub

Hogan’s Bar, Mallorca

When Hogan’s burger bar opened in Palma’s Santa Catalina district in 1996, it was the first authentic Irish pub in Mallorca. It became an instant hit, and with live music events and sports showings, the bar is now a favorite among crew cruising the Balearics during the Mediterranean season. Ideally located, the bar offers direct views of the marina and sees a regular stream of yachties visit for a pint of Guinness and a hearty meal. The menu specialises in burgers, chicken wings, and nachos, with everything on the menu made from scratch.

Credit: Archie Brooksbank

Sheer Rocks, St. Johns

One of two restaurants at Coco Bay Resort in western Antigua, crew come to Sheer Rocks for sundowner drinks or days off. All reservations receive a free drink on arrival and the menu is extensive, featuring tapas dishes like fried croquettes, pata negra platters, and truffled mac and cheese as well as local conch or clams. All seafood is carefully sourced, with only line-caught fish and hand-dived lobster on the menu. Other specialities include the homemade banana baked Alaska drizzled with local honey and a selection of aged rums and cigars will finish off the night. Alongside taking in stunning views out to sea, guests can also enjoy two infinity plunge pools and relax on linen-draped daybeds.

Credit: Absinthe Bar

Absinthe Bar, Antibes

Located deep in the underbelly of Antibes’s old town, this speciality bar can be found in an underground cave just a 10-minute walk from the superyacht hub of Port Vauban. Decorated with retro posters, an original 1860s zinc bar, and absinthe memorabilia, Absinthe Bar has a unique atmosphere and offers something slightly different for yachties who have already sampled the other crew hotspots of Antibes. The forgotten drink favored by the bohemian set of the 19th century is revived at this dive bar and served in the traditional way, with a flaming sugar cube on top.

Credit: Abracadabra

Abracadabra, Nelsons Dockyard

Affectionately referred to as “Abras,” this Antigua institution has recently reopened its doors after an extensive two-year renovation. Swaying palm trees, live music, and the sound of waves lapping the shores of Nelson’s Dockyard set the scene for memorable nights at this restaurant and nightclub. The menu features Italian cuisine, with dishes like eggplant parmigiana, deep-fried calamari, and Neapolitan meatballs complemented by an extensive variety of cocktails. The bar itself describes the clientele as a mix of “yachties, local residents, and celebrities.”

Credit: Soggy Dollar

Soggy Dollar, Jost Van Dyke

An iconic watering hole for yachties cruising the Caribbean, Soggy Dollar is so named because guests can only access the bar by swimming to the shores of White Bay on Jost Van Dyke island. A collection of superyacht guests, bareboaters, and crew flock to the lively BVIs bar to sample its signature drink, “The Painkiller,” invented here in the 1970s and concocted from a mixture of dark rum, coconut cream, pineapple, orange juices, and freshly grated Grenadian nutmeg. Partner your drink with comfort food and local seafood, such as lobster rolls or fresh mahi mahi.

Credit: The Boatyard

Boatyard, Fort Lauderdale

The aptly named Boatyard has all the right elements to attract yachtie types; a prime waterside location near Fort Lauderdale’s marina district, nautical interior styling with a laid-back atmosphere, and a menu that focuses on fresh seafood from the local waters. Diners can dig into offerings from the raw bar, including oysters, ceviche, and shrimp, or go big with a plate of lobster and tuna tacos or grilled mahi mahi and swordfish from the wood-fired grill — plus the wine list is extensive if you’re just dropping by for a drink and there's vegan options as well. The Boatyard describes itself as an establishment “that embraces the pulse of the city’s yachting culture,” and there’s even a 120-foot (36.5 meter) dockage option for those who want to drop anchor right at the doorstep.

Credit: Saba Rock

Saba Rock, Virgin Gorda

Self-described as a “haven for yachties, divers, and kiteboarders for more than 50 years,” this small island in the BVI’s North Sound holds a charming, rustic resort with a large mooring field for visiting yachts to drop anchor right out front. Founded in the 1960s by a pro diver, Saba Rock still offers courses from diving to windsurfing that crew can enjoy on their day off — if they haven’t already booked a session at the spa to relax after a long shift. The open-air restaurant and bar is familiar with welcoming crew to its shores and has a menu featuring a fusion of Caribbean and international dishes, including conch salad, mahi mahi ceviche, blackened grouper burgers, or grilled lobster.

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