While I recently named the Sunshine Shack as my favorite Anguilla beach bar, Elvis’ Beach Bar and the Dune Preserve were always a very close second. Both have managed to grow and expand without losing the charm that made them great in the first place, not an easy thing to do when the trappings of money tempt you to “get big” and bring in even more cash while losing your soul along the way.
Elvis’ Beach Bar, located on Road Bay in Sandy Ground, has one thing the Dune Preserve can’t offer no matter how hard it tries – stunning sunsets over the beach. If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you’ll know how important sunsets are to me – they’re nature’s free evening show that no manmade spectacle can compete against. Add in a sundowner, a dash of green flash (if you can spot it), and you’ll come to the same conclusion I have – beach bars and sunset were made for each other. And with a gregarious King Elvis lording over his throne at the north end of the beach and Brett Fetterolf making sure everything keeps running smoothly, this beach bar institution should remain a must stop on any Anguilla itinerary for years to come.
The morning I left Anguilla, I went to Elvis’ to try and snag some more images and videos. While I was there, I started up a conversation with an individual who looked like he came straight from central casting and was there to audition for the role of Ernest Hemingway. An obvious lifelong seafarer, this man’s skin was as tanned and creased as your favorite pair of broken in leather shoes, with thinning gray hair covering his face and an old worn cap atop his head to fight off the sun’s rays . Look up salty soul in the dictionary and you would find a picture of him. While a lot of places wouldn’t normally open their arms to someone like this, he fit like a glove at Elvis’ and is one of the reason I love beach bars. Hearing his stories about his sailing adventures over the previous six weeks in the Caribbean was a last minute surprise during our 48 hours in Anguilla. Like the many pirates who had plied their trade over the seven seas centuries before in search of treasure, I had found mine in the form of a gruff voiced, salt covered, gray haired man of the sea and I couldn’t have been more thrilled.
Elvis’ Beach Bar has grown from humble beginnings to become a world renowned beach bar where, despite the Hollywood royalty getting their pictures taken with Elvis and TV shows Brett appears on, salty souls like my Ernest Hemingway look alike still feel comfortable walking up to in whatever clothes they put on that morning. I don’t know a lot about a lot but I know beach bars and Elvis and Brett deserve all the praise and adoration befitting beach bar royalty. Thanks for keeping it real, guys, and giving salty souls a place to call home.