Captain Frenchy is an intriguing place. At first glance, especially if approached from the sand, it has all the makings of a traditional, down-and-dirty beach bar, albeit one with a distinctly Gallic vibe. But there’s a bit of a serious restaurant hidden in there as well.
First of all, it’s on a beautiful stretch of beach in Grand Case, the gourmet capital of St. Martin, a perfect base for some island hopping. There’s plenty of seating right on the wooden deck with picnic tables and umbrellas, plus loungers for rent on the sand. Or you can take a seat on the spacious covered patio or bar rail and still enjoy the gorgeous views and cooling breeze. And the staff are a seasoned-by-salt bunch that look like they just stepped off the deck of a French pirate ship.
It has everything you need for a great beachfront hangout. The perfect place to kill some time and sip a cold beer, a rum drink or, this being Grand Case, a perfectly chilled glass of rosé or champagne. And that buccaneering crew of servers are genuinely friendly and efficient.
Captain Frenchy is a family-friendly spot and well situated if you need to take a break from your beach stroll.
The place is a veteran of the Grand Case scene, though it has recently come under new ownership. Some sites now refer to it as Captain Frenchy by Fred. That has obviously prompted a more serious approach to food, particularly when it comes to dinner. But if you are going to run any kind of restaurant in Grand Case these days, fancy or casual, you have to be a player. The bar is set pretty high.
For us, however, the main appeal of Captain Frenchy is its fabulous location and classic beach bar vibe.
What will you have?
Beer: You’ll find St. Martin staples like Heineken, Carib, Presidente, Corona and Coors Light. And they do a brisk trade in Despé Classique and Despé Lime (otherwise known as Desperado – that beer tequila combo that is somewhat of an acquired taste).
Rum/Cocktails: A decent array of classic island cocktails, frozen or otherwise, including the rum-based Frenchy Signature.
Food: There’s a good tapas menu, along with lunchtime offerings of burgers, ribs, grilled chicken fish and lobster, mixed with French favourites like salad nicoise and beef tartare. Dinner kicks it up a notch or two.
The place can become quite busy and service slows when that happens. And I’ve heard that getting a table in the evening is sometimes problematic.
If it’s the classic beach bar allure of Captain Frenchy that you find appealing, you are unlikely to be disappointed. It’s one of the nicest places to while away a sunny afternoon on the Grand Case beachfront.
184 Boulevard de Grand Case