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St Kitts / Beach bars

By Deana Bellamy, James Henderson

There are two main strips of beach bars in St Kitts, on Frigate Bay South and on South Friar's Bay and increasingly individual bars now opening up on other bays. In Frigate Bay they stand almost shoulder to shoulder on the grey-black sand.

Most of the bars are fairly simple, with a classic Caribbean feel and a wooden, open-sided layout and they all have a lovely setting looking out onto the Caribbean Sea. Some are no more than shacks. They may not be open all day during the week (though at least a couple on the main beaches will be, so you can always find one at which to base yourself for the day), but things liven up for the weekend from Thursday nights, starting with the weekly bonfire party at Mr X’s Shiggidy Shack. On Sunday people converge along the beach throughout the day for watersports and beach activities and often they stay well into the night for the live music and grilled fare. Most visitors to St Kitts will include a trip to the Reggae Beach Bar down at the end of the South East Peninsula where Vervet monkeys romp about.

Note: Very few of the beach bars and small restaurants will accept credit cards.

Buddies Beach Hut, Frigate Bay South - Popular beach bar and restaurant right at the top end (northern) of ‘the strip’. Free beach chairs for customers. Open Tue-Sun until midnight and Fridays until 4am.

Inon’s Beach Bar and Grill, Frigate Bay South - A very simple shack plonked on the sand at the far end of the beach (next to Buddies), with wooden benches under a covered area. Popular on Friday nights when a DJ draws in the local party set

Lion Rock Beach Bar, Cockleshell Bay - Very simple, open-sided beach bar plonked right on the sand, with splendid views across the Narrows to Nevis. Lovely strip of golden sand and ideal for a day of beach-bound peace and relaxation. Run by owner George, aka ‘Lion’, who is clearly identified by his grey Rasta dreadlocks. Open daytime only, serving simple food and drinks.

Mr X’s Shiggidy Shack Bar & Grill, Frigate Bay South - The most popular beach bar along Frigate Bay beach, Mr X’s sits at the southern end, near the car park, just opposite Timothy Beach Resort. The scene is very laid back and simple, with a relatively small, stand-alone wooden bar surrounded by tall stools set on the sand, picnic benches dotted around (some with shade) and an eating area to the rear with larger tables under canvas. A basic, open-air kitchen serves a variety of grilled dishes including fresh fish, lobster (their most popular at US$30 for a whole one), ribs, burgers and chicken. No credit cards. This is a fairly active area of the beach, which becomes pretty busy at weekends, especially on Sundays. You can hire kayaks, pedal boats, snorkelling gear, windsurfers, sail boats, jet skis, beach umbrellas and sun loungers from Mr X’s Watersports, which is part of the setup. On Thursday nights there normally a bonfire, live music and a fire eating display. There is karaoke on Saturday nights and a bonfire party every full moon.

Monkey Bar & Restaurant, Frigate Bay South - Owned by Kittitian Roy Gumbs, a former Commonwealth Middleweight Boxing Champion, the Monkey Bar is a favourite with locals and visitors. It sits in the midst of the string like bars along the beach, although the Monkey Bar is rather less rustic looking than some of the others. An octagonal wooden bar is attached to a raised, covered dining deck which serves fresh lobster amongst other seafood dishes. Open for lunch and dinner – reservations required in season. On weekends the pace picks up and music is played late into the night.

Rainbow Bar, Frigate Bay South - At the heart of the Strip, a brightly painted wooden bar with some parasols and loungers out front. Very easy and cool place to linger for a few hours and a few beers.

Reggae Beach Bar & Grill, Cockleshell Bay - An open-sided bar around a colourful chattel house on the nice strip of sand, with good music and a very easy air. Run by the former owners of Turtle Beach Bar and Grill and to the same format. Beach chairs, umbrellas and beach volleyball, kayaks and snorkelling gear for hire, plus a water taxi is available to take you across to Oualie Beach on Nevis. Small gift shop. Open on Friday nights for grilled lobster special, Happy Hour from 5pm-6pm. Live steel band on Sunday afternoons, which attracts a fun crowd of Kittitians and ex-pats. Occasional special events. Look out for the tame Vervet (green) monkeys, which you can feed by hand. Regular opening hours 10.30am to 6pm.

Shipwreck Bar & Grill, South Friar's Beach - Down a dirt track in the southern corner of South Friars Beach is a weathered and unassuming wooden cabin, the infamous Shipwreck Bar, home of ‘Nuf Nuf Niceness’ as their sign proudly proclaims. A quintessential ‘barefoot’ beach bar with an open sided dining deck full of quirky touches - fishing nets hung from the roof feature an intriguing array of ‘collectables’ - it is the favoured liming spot for ultra laid back rogues and barflies from all walks of life. The views across to the peninsular are eye-catching and the snorkelling is good (there is gear for hire) and the sand is mousey grey. Beach chairs are available. A good place for sunsets to accompany one of their signature drinks - Green Flash, Pirates Punch or Beach-A-Loda. There is a very simple lunch menu serving grilled ribs, chicken and fish, burgers and tacos. On Sunday afternoons they have live entertainment from 4pm and things get fairly lively, and there is a bonfire party on the full moon. Watch out for the ‘no see ums’ (sand flies) that come out in the late afternoons.

Sunset Beach Bar, South Friar’s Bay - Also known as Olivia’s and Hanley’s, Sunset Beach Bar is an octagonal bar with a covered deck at the top end of the beach. Parasols and loungers and some sports equipment.

Sunset Café - Timothy Beach Resort, Frigate Bay South - Friendly and pleasant seafront setting just above the bottom end of Frigate Bay beach, with a covered dining area and a full service bar. You can opt to dine alfresco or simply enjoy a cocktail out on the terrace, where colourful picnic benches set along the white picket fence look out to sea and along the beach. Inside the covered dining area you can watch the chef at work through a large bar hatch. A varied menu includes both international and local dishes such as conch fritters, fungi and fish, roti, burgers, BBQ ribs and grilled fish. A good option for those looking for an alternative and less hectic option from the more rustic bars along the beach.

The Beach House Restaurant, Christophe Harbour - Stylish, breezy spot on the south east point of the peninsular, facing across ‘The Narrows’ channel to Nevis. Relaxed yet sophisticated open-sided bar and restaurant which underwent a complete makeover when the former Turtle Beach Bar & Grill was taken over by Kiawah Partners in 2008.

Ziggy’s Beach Bar, Frigate Bay South - One of the favoured chill-out spots in the middle of ‘the strip’. Basic wooden beach hut with a shaded area for relaxing and a simple wooden dance floor on the sand.

Browse Beach bars on other islands

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Looking for inspiration?

  1. Discover the north of the island on the Scenic Railway
  2. Hike through the rainforest to Mt Liamuiga Volcano Crater
  3. Visit Caribelle Batik at Romney Manor for a taste of culture
  4. Have a flutter at one of Frigate Bay's Vegas-style casinos
  5. Take the ferry across to Nevis for a day's sightseeing

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