by Vincent Mattiola
While you’re taking in the St. Kitts music festival, enhance your experience with some music and partying that’s uniquely St. Kitts.
De Strip – South Frigate Bay
No place embodies the spirit of St. Kitts quite like The Strip (“De Strip”), a collection of ten radiant beach bars thriving in the lush tropical atmosphere of South Frigate Bay. It’s impossible to play favorites here, with each venue offering a slightly different twist on local Kittitian flavors and indulgences for all senses. There’s a hedonistic ambiance on De Strip that borders on synesthetic; the sounds, aromas, flavors, and visual stimulations are palpably blended into an experience that you might call raucous, but undeniably captures the very essence of the St. Kitts musical entertainment scene. This venue spotlight therefore considers De Strip as one whole living, vibing, liming entity — an institution of the island.
The density of beach bars and restaurants on De Strip has grown since The Monkey Bar first christened its open-air dance floor in the early 90s and became a staple of the local music scene. Dancing with the stars overhead and sand underfoot, entrepreneurial developers quickly realized the potential of South Frigate Bay’s sweeping beach and ocean front access. Today, the waterfront is lined with unique establishments all designed to welcome patrons into the nightly seaside spectacle.
At the eastern end of the bay is The Dock, part of the Timothy Beach Resort, which hosts local bands or DJs on Sunday nights and allows visiting cruisers to tie up their dinghies on the small craft pier. Walking down the beach, we next come to Mr. X’s Shiggidy Shack, considered by locals one of the best “lime” spots on the island. Known for roaring bonfires, live music on Thursday nights, trivia on Wednesdays, Karaoke on Saturdays, and breakfast Sunday mornings, you’ll be welcomed by Mr. X himself in the characteristic “time well wasted” manner.
Continuing along De Strip, we find Zanzi Bar and Cathy’s Ocean View serving fresh local meals and cocktails to entertaining playlists each night. Vibes Beach Bar is next in the lineup, with a sports bar meets beach bungalow atmosphere and nightly themes supported by a variety of live entertainment. Oceans and Patsy’s Beach Bar serve homestyle favorites, with Karaoke “mike night” on Thursdays, in addition to popular artists performing most weekends. Boozies on The Beach and Inon’s Beach Bar complete our trip down De Strip with their friendly & engaging owners likely to join you for a sundowner while the music flows. It’s no surprise that South Frigate Bay is considered the indisputable center of nightlife on the island, where patrons need only let their senses guide them along a nightly journey full of local gusto and radiant energy.
The Godfather Music Beach Bar
Standing on the shore of South Friar’s Bay, the vista to the east remains much as it might have been during pre-colonial days with the rolling hills of St. Kitt’s Southeast Peninsula spilling, untouched, into the horizon. Nevis peak stands proud in the background, and the grand turquoise bay welcomes you to splash around and soak in the scene of yesteryear. Sounds and tempos of Afro roots pulse across the beach, with the distinct upbeat melodies of Africa Fête-style tunes stirring you to groove with the music.
Behind you is The Godfather Music Beach Bar, a modest, yet authoritative staple of the St. Kitts entertainment scene. Embodying a picturesque traditional beach bar concept, this humble venue is a bold demonstration of the will to intentionally defy the modern, gaudy waterfront development which has plagued the dual-island nation. In stark contrast to a cruise ship beach club in western Friar’s Bay, The Godfather has passionately served intrepid travelers, cruising sailors, locals, and expats since the early 2000s, although it was entrepreneur John Francis who solidified the venue’s distinction as a multicultural hub for artistic expression. As the epitome of “down to earth” himself, Francis has no reservations when he says, “what we do is different from what St. Kitts sells.” He’s not wrong, and as a champion of diverse global music, this enchanting venue supports live entertainment across a euphonic spectrum unparalleled for the region.
Hosting Full Moon parties, international artists, blues jam sessions, jazz, house, trance, ambient, and all genres of Caribbean music, The Godfather welcomes everyone into their immersive beachfront venue. Whether hosting a fundraiser, bonfire, BBQ, or volleyball tournament, there’s always something happening in South Friar’s Bay. Throughout June, drop your anchor and come visit during the week of St. Kitts Music Festival for a chance to bump shoulders with artists like Burna Boy and other African-roots music legends. The Godfather will be hosting unique events throughout the summer, so we invite cruisers to come see a different version of St. Kitts which revels in being an authentic, unpolished, and unapologetically “off-beat” experience.
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