November 25, 2016
The rum shop is an integral part of the Barbadian culture and history. But don’t let the name fool you now, we definitely do not spend all day just sipping on our great blends. Rather a lot of time is spent socialising with people from every social and ethnic background and no topic is off limits!
One of the unique things about the rum shop is its signage. Over the years, even though the traditional structure of rum shops has changed and evolved, one thing that remains the same is the signage! Most rum shops are creatively decorated by sponsors whether it is by simple poster ads on the interior or extreme exterior paint jobs. Seriously, you cannot pass a rum shop without taking a photo next to it!
Culturally, the experience is fun, laid back and unlike nothing you’ve ever seen before! So don’t just visit the rum shop to taste our great brews and blends. A trip to the rum shop will be one of the most fun ways that to experience the authentic Barbadian culture and history. If you happen to catch a round of dominoes or game of draughts, feel free to watch, learn and play!
1. ‘Cutters’ – Crane Beach, St.Philip, Barbados
At the higher end of the spectrum, this restaurant style rum shop offers a variety of traditional cutters. From baked ham to roast chicken breast, cheddar classic and even flying fish! What’s more, they come with a choice of sides such as macaroni pie, peas & rice, cup o’ soup and cole slaw.
No matter what your heart desires these fresh scrumptious sandwiches are guaranteed to hit the spot. Don’t forget to wash it all down with their award winning Rum Punch – yes, it’s that good!
Tip: This also goes great with some Bajan pepper sauce! Everything goes great with some pepper sauce if you ask me – but don’t take my word for it!
2. ‘East Point Grill’ – Ragged Point, Marley Vale, Saint Philip, Barbados
Located within walking distance from the Ragged Point Lighthouse and set on a cliff with the background being the rugged coastal scenery of east coast, this is a relaxed and friendly venue for the entire family. With a variety of beverages, cocktails and food options to choose from, you would not regret the drive.
Try it on a Thursday night when Karaoke is in full swing!
3. ‘The Village Bar at Lemon Arbour’ – St.John, Barbados
Another favourite rum shop is “The Village Bar”, known for some of the best pudding and souse on the face of the island. If you didn’t know, we Bajans are affectionately known as pork mouths, so it’s really not surprising that pudding and souse (made with various off cuts of pork meat) is a Bajan favourite. Traditionally this delicacy has become a Saturday ritual for many locals and can be found at ‘The Village Bar at Lemon Arbour’ all served on a deck overlooking the Barbados countryside.
4. ‘Bay Tavern’ – Martin’s Bay, St. John, Barbados
Popular not only with Bajans but tourists alike this rum shop is famous for their freshly prepared whole red snapper fish – yes, really! Located directly across from Martin’s Bay, this is the perfect place to experience local “Bajan” food overlooking the amazing sea view.
On Thursday night, this is definitely the place to be, but be sure to arrive early (11am) to have a chance to grab a picnic table with an umbrella! Enjoy food, drinks, laughter and dominoes on the seaside – the epitome of Bajan culture!
Although the Bay Tavern is notorious for its Thursday lime, you can stop by any day of the week for delicious local cuisine!
5. ‘John Moore Bar’ – Weston, St. James, Barbados
Yet another waterfront rum shop – oh the joys of island life, this quaint rum shop is always full with locals and tourists alike! But why?
Its authentic nature all adds to the characteristic charm that is ‘John Moore’. From the rustic building to informative chatter and of course, their speciality – rum, John Moore is like no other!
Rum shops can be quite loud but fun, with intelligent and informative conversations. Sometimes you can learn more about the island, it’s history and the people of Barbados by spending a few hours in a rum shop!
Cover Photo – StevenJemm