St. Kitts: The Strip in Review

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South Frigate Bay Beach in St. Kitts, or “The Strip” as it is known to locals, is home to at least a dozen beach bars/restaurants which stretch from one end of the beach to the other. With beach bars ranging in size and style from the “theme party a night” extravagance of Mr. X’s Shiggidy Shack to the “is this place even open” subtlety of Lava & Ground, you’re sure to find one that meets your taste and before you know it, you’ll be liming like a local.

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Best beach bar to hang out with expats or the best beach bar that reminds you of your favorite after work bar at home – The Dock Beach Bar at Timothy Beach Resort. Built by the resort a few years back in an effort to keep some of the Strip business closer to home, this bar is normally filled with older people staying/living at the resort, expats, or workers stopping by at the end of a long work day to enjoy the 5-6 pm happy hour and sunset.
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Best beach bar to run into anyone and everyone or the beach bar where you’ll most likely find a sunburned tourist trucked in from a cruise ship wondering out loud why the bar doesn’t sell overpriced t-shirts – Mr. X’s Shiggidy Shack. The biggest and baddest (in a good way) beach bar on the Strip, the Shiggidy Shack benefits from its location at the beginning of this beach bar nirvana which makes it the first beach bar cruise ship passengers come across. Throw in different themes for almost every night of the week and Mr. X draws as diverse a crowd as any on the island. And yes, they used to sell overpriced t-shirts (I have one) but don’t anymore and no one could explain why.
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Best beach bar to have the best food and be served by two of the nicest people you’ll meet – Cathy’s Beach Bar. The jerk pork melts off your fork and the lobster’s big-as-your-face-size is only matched by the party of flavors it throws inside your mouth. Add in the ever present and ebullient Cathy and her daughter and you may never get up from their tables.
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Best beach bar to see and be seen – Vibes Beach Bar. The newest and nicest beach bar on the Strip had yet to open when I was there but thanks to the great staff and owners, I was able to get a couple personal tours (and a bunch of free beer) before their grand opening. If the granite countertops, 5 large flat screen TVs, DJ booth, bamboo bar and modern furniture weren’t enough to impress you, check out their serving stand on the beach. Perfect for beach bums who dread ever having to leave the sand behind to order their drink, this serving station/bar includes a second deck which I wouldn’t recommend climbing up to after too many rum punches.
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Best beach bar to have a drink with the owner – Inon’s Beach Bar. If you go to the Strip and are dropped off next to the Shiggidy Shack, gather up your buddies and belongings and make the trek to the opposite end for the best “beach bar” experience you’ll have on this stretch of sand. Inon’s looks like the slightest breeze would blow it over but it would also be the first one to rebuild if a hurricane ever hit this area. Combined with furniture that looks like it was scrounged from construction sites (cable spools used as tables) and the chance to have a drink with the owner (as long as you buy it) and you will have the most genuine beach bar experience on the Strip.
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Other beach bars on the Strip that we weren’t able to experience:

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Chinchilla’s – Formerly the Monkey Bar, this location has obviously been neglected over the years and I’m hopeful the new owners will revive it. They (along with the locals) seem excited about the chance to offer Mexican fare and it’s a unique food offering that can’t be found anywhere else in the area.
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Alamo’s (or Alimo’s) and Lava Ground Beach Bars – Neither of these bars was open any tine I walked by them but according to the locals, they are still active beach bars. There isn’t much to either one of them but that just adds to their charm.
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Breeze’s Beach Bar – The only other beach bar on the Strip besides Vibes that offers a separate serving stand/bar directly on the beach so you only have to walk 10 feet to order a beer instead of 25.
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Patsy’s Beach Bar – I really wish I had the chance to visit Patsy’s but it never seemed to be open when I was around. Looked nice enough, though, and it had a large covered seating area next to the main bar.
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Elvis’s and Family & Friends Beach Bars – One of the larger bars on the Strip, I never got a chance to visit Elvis’s as it too seemed to be closed more often than not. Its owner recently passed away but I hope it stays open for my next visit. Family & Friends was also closed most of the times I walked by.
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Buddie’s Beach Hut – Not actually on the beach but located behind Inon’s. This beach bar gets hopping late Friday nights which apparently is too late for me since I never saw it open.
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Go to http://www.communitywalk.com/IslandBabble#0004IL;F for an interactive map of The Strip and other areas in St. Kitts.

Author: Tom W.

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