The SunShine Shack is one of those places that are powered by pure personality.
Sure, it has a glorious location, sitting on the sugary white sand of Rendezvous Bay, one of Anguilla’s best beaches. But at first glance, there’s not much to it. It’s a small wooden structure consisting of a bar, BBQ station, kitchen and covered area, all painted white with the familiar Rasta red, gold and green trim. The whole thing is covered in scribbled messages (including one from me written a while back) and festooned with faded flags and banners donated by visitors over the years. There are a few basic stools, chairs and tables. Beach chairs and umbrellas are also available.
It may seem like a humble, somewhat basic bar on the beach, which it is. But it has a distinct funky, fun vibe that elevates it to the point where it regularly makes lists of the Top 10 Beach Bars in the islands. And that’s where the personality comes in – in the form of the ever-smiling, smooth talking and tirelessly enthusiastic Garvey Lake, the owner/chef/bartender /welcoming committee and heart of the SunShine Shack. Which is why you’ll often hear it referred to simply as Garvey’s.
Garvey and his small but hard-working team manage to ramp up the simple menu and drink offerings. Against a soundtrack consisting mainly of Bob Marley and, well, more Bob Marley, the Shack is a great place to chill old-skool with a beer, tropical drink and good island food. Plus the killer views of St. Martin across the water are a bonus. And they’ll regularly feature live acoustic music by local artists and, occasionally, even Garvey himself in the afternoon.
It’s a combination that draws both locals and a varied international clientele, from longtime fans to newcomers, who quickly buy into the Shack’s mantra of “Live Up. Love Up. Live On!”. You may even run into some of Anguilla’s other beach bar legends dropping by to lime for a while. A good sign.
What will you have?
Beer: Pretty much just the Anguillian staples, like Carib, Corona, Pesidente, Heineken, and Coors Light. But it’s sure to be cold and at a reasonable price, especially for an expensive island like Anguilla.
Rum/Cocktails: A basic lineup of decent white, light, amber and dark rums. More than adequate for mixing, but not the place you would go for a fine sipping rum. People speak highly of the tropical cocktails, which include Garvey’s Famous Rum Punch, Banana Baileys Coladas, Lime Daquiris and a pretty tasty Frozen Mojito.
Food: The menu is short and simple, featuring such items as BBQ ribs, BBQ chicken leg, BBQ ribs & chicken combo, grilled lobster and broiled snapper. All come with Garvey’s Awesome Sauce and are served with popular island sides such as rice and peas, salad with avocado, coleslaw, grilled plantain and fries. Meals are tasty and more than ample.
The SunShine Shack is not a big place and seating is limited, as are its opening times, usually 10:00am to 9:00pm. Usually. In fact, the whole schedule thing can be a bit fluid. Technically, it’s closed Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, but those closed days can vary, depending on what’s going on. Best to check the opening days on social media before you make a special trip.
With Garvey at the helm, a ‘to-die-for’ location and a true island vibe, the SunShine Shack punches well above its weight. It’s a funky, fun and unabashedly friendly little place. And no matter who you are or when you go, you can be sure Garvey will make you feel welcome.