I guess Shipwreck was the first time I ever really paid attention to that unique and wonderful thing known as the beach bar. There it was, sitting all alone on a beautiful stretch of beach – a rickety hut, with a smoking BBQ and a few battered picnic tables and deck chairs scattered about. We ordered a couple of Caribs. The owner pointed to some shady chairs. “I’ll bring them over,” he said. “You go and relax yourself”. We did; and were hooked on beach bars for life.
That was almost 20 years ago, and Shipwreck was just a ramshackle hut. Today, it’s…well, it’s still a ramshackle hut, but a much bigger and busier one. And, in my humble opinion, it’s the best beach bar on St. Kitts (and that’s with some pretty damn good competition).
Seemingly cobbled together from planking and plywood, its a long, narrow structure that looks like it’s about to tumble onto the thin stretch of sand it overlooks. Seating is at the bar or water-facing railing, or on the beach itself. You will share space with people of all ages – ex-pats, locals and their families, and the more savvy and adventurous tourists. You will be served by friendly, efficient staff, who look like they were born to run a beach bar in the Caribbean. And, you will have a good time.
What will you have?
Beers: Local brews, including Carib, Stag and Skol Lager (on the lighter side), plus Corona and Presidente.
Rums: Excellent selection, from locally made Brinley (e.g.,Shipwreck) and Belmont Estate, through Meyers, Bacardi, and Captain Morgan Spiced, to El Dorado 15.
Food: A substantial menu of local and tourist comfort foods served in big portions (think they have a new BBQ now).
Shipwreck is generally refreshingly free from the bus loads of “see the island in an hour” cruise ship passengers. There’s often good live music – well chosen to blend in with the unpretentious vibe.
Admittedly a little off the beaten path, being a bit down (and up!) the road from the busy scene at Frigate Bay, but Shipwreck is well worth the extra effort to get to.