It’s Beer O’Clock in The Bahamas

3 March 2009 By Lisa Hoogerwerf Knapp

It’s always beer o’clock somewhere in the superyacht world. This column will slosh through the best crew watering holes from sea to shining sea. So grab a cold one as we virtually globetrot until we’re completely dehydrated.

It’s another tequila sunrise in The Bahamas, mon. But if you’ve got a headache from too many margaritas, a Painkiller is just what the doctor ordered. Try the Painkiller at The Pub in Port Lucaya on Grand Bahama (known to the locals as Pusser’s), where the pain is measured on levels two, three and four with increasing amounts of the best blended rums and fruit.

It’s a short stagger to Rum Runners overlooking Count Basie Square. This bar is famous for its coconut-shell Piña Coladas, but Javier Bolanos and Tara Manley of M/Y La Vida say it’s always happy hour there as they serve two beers for US $5. “We love going out,” Bolanos says, “but The Bahamas can be expensive.”

Also in Port Lucaya Marketplace, Shenanigan’s Irish Pub is the Waxy O’Connor’s of The Bahamas. It specializes in beers of the world and is the home of the only Dublin Draft Guinness in the country. Try the steaks as their food is good, too.

Moving south to Bimini, Capt. Rick Lenardson recommends the End of the World Bar in Alice Town. “It’s a shack with sand on the floor and underwear on the ceiling,” he says. “[But] the pizza is good.”

Capt. Lenardson also likes Wrecker’s Bar, located at the Spanish Cay Resort in the Abacos. “It sits on a reef and they serve good food, too.” He's also a fan of Pete’s Pub & Gallery, located in Little Harbour in the southern Abacos. The late Randall Johnston, a noted sculptor, established a bronze foundry there.

No article on Bahamas bars would be complete without a stop to top off at Nippers, famous for its Sunday pig roast. Located in the Abacos, Nippers Beach Bar & Grill on Great Guana Cay is a wild party place with lots of live music and enough Bahamas Papas to make your back teeth float. There’s a palm tree here that crew have shimmied around so much it’s lost its fronds. Nippers has great views from the bluff and there’s a swimming pool to cool off in – or throw someone into.

Moving on out to Out Islands, Staniel Cay Yacht Club is the most happening place in the Exumas, according to Engineer Jon. It has a simple, open-air restaurant with a thatched roof. The bartenders are reasonable and the prices are good. At dinner time, the pool tables are pushed aside to make way for tables of diners frothing at the mouth for tasty conch fritters.

Jon remembers – well, sort of – spending time on SCYC’s dock, where he enjoyed fresh conch “pistols” caught and prepared on site by the locals. The pistol is rumored to be the sex organ of the conch, but more reliable info says it’s part of the conch’s digestive system. In any case, it must be Beer O’Clock at SCYC if you’re sucking pistols.

Next stop: Beer O’Clock in the BVI. Bottoms Up!

Share your fave hangouts, libations of choice and anecdotes from bars in The Bahamas below.