St. John’s nickname is “Love City” because, it was said, there wasn’t much else to do there. Well, St. John may still have no movie theater, no bowling alley, no golf course, and no library – but they do have plenty of bars.
(Now, by bar, I am only recommending places to drink – food, although it may be available, is not counted in the rankings of these bars. Some bars have great food in addition to being a great bar, and some, well – you’re not there to eat, are you???)
Woody’s Seafood Saloon – Can’t Miss It, Cruz Bay. Yes, that’s Woody’s with the people spilling out into the street, almost getting run over by random cars and taxis. Yes, it’s crowded – yes, it’s crazy, but Woody’s is bar none the best people-watching on the whole island. Where else can you get a mix of locals, tourists and a few random oddballs, all melting into one fun mass of humanity night after night? It’s only an added bonus that Woody’s has an awesome Happy Hour from 3-6 each day with cheap beers, island specialties, and mixed drinks. The only downfall? Time seems to fly when you’re at Woody’s – you may show up at 5:00 and next thing you know, you’ve missed your 8:30 reservation down the street. Good thing they serve great bar food until 2am – the latest place on the whole island.
The Beach Bar – Wharfside Village, Cruz Bay. Where Woody’s is crazy fun, The Beach Bar is relaxed beachside cool. Located right on the water, sit at the large square bar and listen to the waves lapping at the beach, or listen to the great live music available most nights. Don’t miss the Sunday Jazz Festivals with jazz greats playing all afternoon. Also, if T-Bird is playing, stake your territory and enjoy an awesome show. Best bartenders on the island, and best Painkillers outside of Jost Van Dyke. Food is pretty good too. Don’t forget to ask for the Silver Spoon if nature calls – you’ll look like you’re a regular.
Fred’s Disco & Lounge – Downtown Cruz Bay. You may laugh when you first see Fred’s – it seems more like an empty garage than a “disco.” But on most Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, Fred’s has the best local music anywhere. Inner Visions, Ah-We Band and my personal favorite, Cool Sessions are some of the local acts that can be seen at Fred’s most of the time. Although the clientele may be mostly West Indian, do yourself a favor and spend some time inside. The drinks are cheap, the music is awesome, and the West Indians are fun and enjoy watching you try and dance!
The Gecko Gazebo – Mongoose Junction, Cruz Bay. Besides being a fun local bar, the Gecko has great frozen drink specialties and lively conversation to boot. In the middle of the nicest shopping on St. John, it’s a good place to relax after a day of shopping. If Tyler is working, then you’ve got some special entertainment on your hands as well. Also, if Tyler is working, make sure you have a ride home, because he is known to pour a strong one once in awhile. (So I’ve heard, anyway.)
Aqua Bistro Bar – Coccolobo Mall, Coral Bay. This cute round outdoor bar is a good place to sit and have a few drinks while others shop in the little mall that surrounds it. Always an interesting local crowd around to entertain you with their stories and maybe an argument or two. Good food, too.
Skinny Legs, Coral Bay. Skinny Legs is probably the only other bar on St. John as well known and well loved as Woody’s. Always crowded on Sunday during football season due to their numerous TVs, Skinny Legs is a great place for drinks, a damn good cheeseburger and the game. Good local music most nights, too. Only downfall – the bugs suck – but, they have bug spray behind the bar if you ask for it.