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Jack’s Bar opens in Bequia

Jack’s Bar opens in Bequia


Billed as “the most innovative beach bar in the Grenadines”, Jack’s Bar opened last Friday March 30, with a gala canapés reception for over 100 guests from Bequia, St. Vincent and beyond the islands.

Located on Princess Margaret beach, the bar, which is more than a bar, as it incorporates a restaurant, boutique and spa, is the brainchild of Englishman Richard Brindle, his wife Katie and their business partner, Tony Regisford.{{more}}

Brindle said that in 2001, while visiting, he couldn’t get a hotel room in St Vincent, but someone recommended that he take a ferry and hop over to Bequia.

“I instantly fell in love with the place!” he exclaimed. “I then bought some land at Friendship in 2002 and built my home called “the New Eden House.”

But Richard didn’t just find a piece of paradise on Bequia; he also found true love in his wife Katie who was also vacationing on the island. And as fate would have it, the two got married at the St. Mary’s Anglican Church in Bequia. Their union later produced a baby girl named Ines Kathrine Bequia Brindle.

Totally head over heals in love with the island paradise, Richard and Katie decided to invest some more in Bequia, this time in Jack’s Bar which was named after Richard’s late father.

Jack’s crew is all smiles: Anthony Regisford, Katie Brindle, Manager Zoe Raguette and Richard Brindle at the opening of Jack’s Bar in Bequia .

A staunch environmentalist, Katie said that the property was designed so as not to disturb the natural beauty of the surroundings. “We kept a lot of the trees because Bequia would be destroyed if it ever became over commercialized and over constructed. We built the business around the whole environment and absolutely nothing goes into the sea. We are absolutely committed to this because this beach is perfect and we are trying to be eco-friendly. We are not polluting the water and I couldn’t bear to think of this Island as being destroyed. We run this operation from a social point of view more than anything.

Having someone who understood their needs and how they wanted their business operated was key, and businessman Tony Regisford was just the man for the job.

As a director of the company, Tony brought his local skills to the table.

“Although this is a locally run business it is a blend between tourism products. This bar was intentionally built with an open nature to signify to everyone that they are welcome. For tourism to work, it has to be a blend of tourists and locals so that the visitors can experience the local ambiance,” Regisford explained.

He said that it is the Brindles wish to see their operation become an internationally famous bar and they believe that it could put this country on the map.

The Director pointed out, “Jack’s Bar must be the pull because the Grenadines has a long off season, … that is why we are not going to look to the traditional sources of tourists, but we have also instead concentrated on the local and regional markets. There are people in places like Trinidad with money in their pockets who would love to holiday here but they just need something to bring them.”

The bar has its own jetty, and Regisford noted that an environmental assessment had been done before the physical planning board granted approval for the jetty’s construction. And according to him, a lot of thought had gone into the size, pile and even height of the jetty.

“There were a lot of initial concerns, but it was designed with minimal environmental impact, that is why we have not brought the jetty right across the beach or right up to the building. People walk along the beach and go across the rocks, so we did not want to interrupt that passage and it is quite tastefully done,” he remarked.

Regisford also noted that Jack’s Bar would provide employment for locals not just in the restaurant and bar but for those in the water taxi service. He said that arriving by boat for dinner could be a romantic experience, and encouraged everyone to use the water taxi service.

Heading up the all-local staff is Manager, Zoe Ragguette who expressed confidence in the success of the enterprise. She declared, “I was here since the foundation of this building, and I am so overwhelmed, it is a part of me. I watched it build up and I take pride in this building and what I am about to do. I look forward to the challenge… with my team I know we can make it.”

She told Searchlight that she was looking forward to the busy Easter weekend, and invited everyone to the Princess Margaret beach and Jack’s Bar.

Jack’s Bar was built in 10 months by local builder Richard Hutchinson and designed by local architectrchitect Gary Peters with some input from a UK based architect.