LITTLE HARBOUR, BAHAMAS | Great beach bars, like faithful friends and fine hunting dogs, are hard to find. So when you come across one, you relish every moment you get to spend there. Even when you cannot remember some of those moments. And there is none better than the ramshackle establishment on Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas called Pete’s Pub.
It’s the weathered-wood, waterside structure that wows me first at Pete’s, but as charmed as I am by the edifice, I cannot help but wonder how it remains standing in even the calmest of conditions to say nothing of how it would handle any sort of storm.
The palm and sea grape trees that surround the shack give it an enticing tropical feel and so does the rum drink I order. It is called a Blaster, and while I never get an exact accounting of its ingredients, I can attest to its effectiveness as a smile inducer and escape mechanism. And I conclude that there are few things better in life than a proper rum-based beverage and a bar in which being barefoot is encouraged and the floor is composed entirely of sand. I happily move my toes through it as I think of how glorious the warmth of the day’s sun still feels on my face and arms.
In time, Pete’s starts to fill up, largely with people who have tied their boats at a nearby dock. The sun begins to set, and I order dinner, fresh grilled grouper with mango, as well as a bottle of a New Zealand white wine. Music starts to play out of speakers hung from beams, mostly reggae and then, quite appropriately, some tunes from Jimmy Buffett and Kenny Chesney. This is the paradise those two so often sing about – and for which so many of us pine. And I take note of how very happy I am to have found it this evening.