The Bajan Rum Shop


Sally Miller

March 27, 2020

The rum shop has been a staple of Bajan life for centuries, with at least one at the heart of every community on the island. These local watering holes are very social settings, often with topics like politics, sports teams or current events being passionately discussed. Drinks and conversations flow easily, and some shops even offer bites to eat at reasonable prices to help soak up the alcohol.

Card games, dominoes and draughts are frequently played by patrons at these establishments, and are always fun to watch and take part in. You can find people from all walks of life at a rum shop, including politicians, business owners and sometimes even celebrities, all looking for a drink and a good time.  For a truly Bajan experience, be sure to go “fire one” (slang for have a drink!) at a rum shop!

R.A. Mapp

Eagle Hall, St. Michael

An old standby: At the Eagle Hall stoplight (close to Bridgetown), R.A. Mapp Bar & Grocery stands out for its colourful red exterior, longevity (which shows they’re doing things right), and rotisserie chicken. They’re open from 11am to 12:30am every day except Sunday. Friday nights are the liveliest. Tel: (246) 426-5953

Chicken Ritas

Silver Sands, Christ Church

This small establishment in the Silver Sands area of Christ Church has become famous for their delicious fried chicken. Order your rum by the bottle with a couple of mixers and you’ll get some cups and a bowl of ice. Relax and enjoy yourself because this chicken is made fresh to order, so it can take quite a while. Tel: (246) 428-6873

John Moore’s Bar

Lower Carlton, St. James  

Possibly the prettiest location for a rum shop, perched right on the Caribbean sea on the west coast and happily sitting on property that is protected from development by an Act of Law.

Plenty of seaside seating and chat from the regulars. At present, no food is served.

Nigel Benn Auntie Bar

Shorey Village, St. Andrew

Mrs. Lucille Hall is so proud of her nephew’s boxing prowess that she named her rum shop in Shorey Village after him. It was also good for business, with fans pleased to drop in and meet the champ’s auntie. Also proud of her knowledge and skill with the land, Lucille usually has good quality produce such as pumpkin, okras and cucumbers at bargain prices! She is fiercely loyal to well known local businessman Sir David Seale, whose rum brand Old Brigand she proudly pours for her customers.  (246) 422-9016