For a place on the tiny island of Nevis to become one of the most famous beach bars in the world, it must have something going for it. And Sunshine’s certainly does. Full disclosure here, I have a huge soft spot for this place. I first discovered it 17 years ago, while visiting the island on a day sail from St. Kitts. We were warmly welcomed by Sunshine (Llewellyn Caines) himself, to join the few customers at the small, humble shack on the beach that day. And the welcome has been equally enthusiastic on each of our subsequent 10 or so visits over the years. Sure, he doesn’t remember our names, but make no mistake, Sunshine remembers us.
Today, Sunshine’s is a decent sized place, with comfortable seating under the roof around the main bar, on the patio surrounding a second bar and scattered picnic tables – all painted in bright red, gold and green and adorned with flags donated by happy customers from around the world. It’s an iconic look, much copied around the islands.
It’s usually a bustling, friendly, happily chaotic place. You’ll meet all kinds of people from around the world, drawn by past experience or the bar’s international reputation. Some don’t know what to make of it, while most get the place instantly, and sit back, soak it in and enjoy.
What will you have?
Beers: Pretty much everything available on the island, led by local favourites Carib, Stag and Skol.
Rum & Cocktails: A good selection of islandy staples, but don’t bother. Go straight for their signature drink: the Killer Bee – a rum-based doozy with orange and passion fruit juices and a dollop of honey. Rum punches aren’t usually my thing, but this one is delicious. Also, I’m no lightweight when it comes to the booze, but I wouldn’t recommend more than two of these guys.
Food: Sunshine’s menu has come a long way, but let’s just say the emphasis is on hearty and big. I’d put the grilled lobster or lobster sandwich on the top of my list.
Sunshine’s can get busy, especially with day trippers from St. Kitts and the designer-bikini crowd from the neighbouring Four Seasons. But if you witness the occasional attitude there, it’s likely to come from uptight, overly entitled customers, who kind of miss the point of a place like this.
Sunshine’s reputation has been well earned, and they work hard to live up to it. A must stop on Nevis, and I’d even say worth the trip from St. Kitts.