St. Thomas’ first-ever boat-only beach bar launched in January with a laidback toes-in-the-sand grand opening. Abi Beach Bar & Restaurant is located on a strip of pristine white sand on the island’s south shore on Green Cay, west of Bolongo Bay and east of Morningstar Beach. The name Abi translates into ‘a splash of fun’ and that’s exactly what this new water’s edge retreat offers.
“When we purchased the property in 2010, we were asked by tour operators to create an oasis for cruise guests,” explains owner, Dan Nicolosi. “I saw it and immediately fell for it. I was in disbelief that nothing had ever been done on this property.”
Nicolosi decided to go forward with the beach bar idea in June 2013. He obtained the permits and broke ground in December of the same year. Nicolosi came up with the idea to create the entire infrastructure from steel shipping containers and modified the containers on site. A little more than a year later, Abi Beach Bar opened. The open-air roof-topped 12ft x 20ft bar is the main attraction.
“We serve frozen drinks, fresh squeezed juice drinks and our signature drink – a pomegranate infused vodka with muddled mint. It seems to be an early favorite. The menu also includes mahi, chicken, turkey burgers, cheese burgers and veggie burgers as well as Caesar or garden salads to which mahi or chicken could be added. We also have sweet potato fries,” Nicolosi tells.
Live bands play each Sunday.
There’s a lot to do here besides eat and drink. Kayaks, paddle boats and boards are available for rent as are masks and snorkels. A regulation volleyball court sits on the sands. Those who rather lime will find beach loungers and beach chairs.
Access is by water only
“The idea is that we have a sanctuary and would like to keep it this way. We have a very protected bay where boats can anchor. Early on everyone seems to anchor by the bar but the best anchorage is to the east,” says Nicolosi.
The real focal point on this natural expanse of beach is the very limited signs of human habitation. No residences, no resorts here. This is exactly what inspired students at the Ringling College of Art and Design, in Sarasota, Florida, to come up with their design contest winning name Abi.
“The team that came up with the Abi idea liked the fact that it not only referred to the blue of the Caribbean water and the blue of the rare gemstone Larimar, but also to what our bar’s atmosphere was going to offer customers. That is, a place to relax and be playful by the water.
Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.