Come along for another wonderful beach bar adventure in the Bahamas as only Ian Corks can tell it!
Although we have hoping around the islands for 20 plus years, until recently, we hadn’t visited Eleuthera.
We had heard nothing but good things about this quiet Bahamian island, that lies some 80 miles – or a 20 minute flight – east of Nassau. Among those positive reviews, the name Tippy’s kept popping up.
Tippy’s Restaurant & Beach Bar seemed to be an island hotspot, with more than a few dedicated admirers. We liked what we heard about Tippy’s, described by one reviewer as a beachside shack with an appealing “barefoot-casual environment, with old window shutters used as tabletops and sand in the floor’s crevices”.
The food was supposedly simple but well prepared and the location to die for, if a bit out of the way. We also heard tales of Elliot, Tippy’s famous singing bartender. So, naturally, Tippy’s ended up on our exclusive list of ‘must-visit’ beach bars.
When we finally planned a trip to Eleuthera earlier this year, a visit to Tippy’s was top of the agenda. As such, I admit to being a bit concerned when I heard that Tippy’s had just reopened after an extensive revamp and “upgrade”, with a new management team. Experience has taught me that, when it comes to beach bars at least, “upgrade” does not necessarily mean improvement. Had we missed the bar’s glory days?
Tippy’s is located at the end of a winding, bumpy road that runs off Queen’s Highway, Eleuthera’s main road. It’s about a ten minute drive from the capital of Governor’s Harbour. It’s part of Pineapple Fields Resort and sits on French Leave Beach, a lovely curve of sand, stretching off on either side of the bar’s location.
It certainly looked inviting from the road, but I’ve been fooled before…
Well, I can’t speak to what it was like before, but if Tippy’s had its loyal fans back then, it’s sure to add many more now, us included.
The new management team, which now includes Elliot Rolle (that legendary musical bartender) as a partner, have obviously built on the bar’s strengths.
The sand between your toes feel may be gone (at least from the inside space), but the layout is open and inviting, with a breezy, covered section leading to ample patio space overlooking the terrific beach. The décor is bright, colorful and whimsical.
The bar lineup and food menus are solid. In fact, both offer a much better selection, and quality, than usual in a beach bar.
The wooden bar itself is particularly well positioned – the perfect place to sit, gazing across at the ocean, or passing the time of day with Elliott or another member of the friendly staff. We were there for lunch and the vibe was totally chill. There was a good mix of tunes playing, with ample contributions from Elliot along the way.
Have to admit, it took us a while to get to Tippy’s but, believe me, we’ll back back there as soon as we can.
About the author
An award-winning medical/healthcare journalist and lifestyle writer based in Toronto, Ian Corks now edits a travel website focused on the Caribbean at www.seasonedtraveler.ca. He is a certified beach bar aficionado and reviewer.