The Bahamian Night Life Hall of Fame (For 80’s Babies)
So its 04, I’m on summer break and I’m in love with Brenly….
I was a late bloomer so I hadn’t graduated from college yet and all of my friends were at home making money and being responsible adults.
Well, lets use the word “responsible” loosely as they weren’t so much mature as they were paid alcoholics with shitty cars.
I had never partied in Nassau ever due to the fact that I never touched a drop of alcohol until I was 21.
I’ll never forget, because it was a coconut rum and orange juice.
As the years passed I developed what my AA sponsor would later describe as a “tolerance”. So, when I got home, I had to establish myself as a certified degenerate making bad decisions and doing irreversible damage to his liver. That time period between 04 and today allowed me to put together the definitive/irrefutable/no I’m not going back and forth with you niggas list of the Hall-Of-Fame Night Clubs in The Bahamas. I know you cynics read that and said, “ain’t nothing to do in Nassau” but let me live, fam.
The Blue Note (King of Knights)
Bluenotes (yes I’m doing this on purpose) was the disaster that everyone seemed blissfully unaware of with the exception of a chosen few. Why call it a disaster you ask? Let this sink in:
$10 all you can drink between 5pm and 9pm.
And no, don’t come to me with this new Bahama Grill bullshit because y’all pile up in there like grabs in a cage and by the time you’re able to get a damn drink the happy hour is damn near over….though they do have conch balls (pause)…so there’s that.
No no…Bluenotes was spacious as hell, the waitresses knew you so they knew to keep it coming and you would achieve a level of drunk that made you make bad decisions like eating Sbarros knowing you’re on a budget.
I don’t know about y’all budget but Sbarros has never not been too expensive for my life.
Funny enough that my first drink ever was with Elaine as was my most drinks ever as I recall so many nights us rushing to McDonald’s before they closed at 10 just to eat our weight in Big Macs and….ya know….not die from alcohol poisoning.
Sadly, the controllers of Bluenotes did what Bahamians love to do: they went too far.
Short version: They moved the happy hour to the Hilton because a 4 star hotel is a good place to put drunk niggas for 4 hours and, well….niggas did what niggas do.
That shit closed down shortly thereafter and forced us all back to the original club scene….
Yes yes I know you 70’s babies are all waiting to get in the comment section like…..
Like I said, I am speaking to a select crew who didn’t have the privilege of going to the zoo.
The Zoo for our generation was Waterloo.
Arguably the best reggae on the island without fear of being shot. Its where all the wanna be private school gangsters went, where all the wanna be “classy” jungless went, and where most of my friends went to find….um….”female tourists”.
Waterloo was superb.
Amazing music, 2 bars, and then that saint of a woman that made edible masterpieces out of unleavened bread, ketchup, hot sauce and kraft cheese. Oh no one knew how she made half the shit she made…..we just knew we needed to get home safe and her food soaked up just enough liquor to accomplish that.
The only problem with Waterloo was that gaddamn pool that everyone seemed to fall into and the inevitable stabbings.
Oh, I’m sorry….you thought because I said earlier that no one got shot that it was safe?
Waterloo was stab city. If you felt like god gave you too few crevices on your body you had a free option to step on a niggas Jordans and he would happily provide you with a new hole courtesy of his knife shank.
Like I remember one time seeing a man who just got the shit stabbed outta him outside of Waterloo, bleeding all over the road. What were Bahamians doing in this situation?
STILL GOING INSIDE WATERLOO!
Waterloo is closed now, sadly, and so is my old haunt Shooters which was attached to it. But we got over it pretty quickly when Bahama Joes opened up.
Bahama Joes was….
I’m sorry….I…I’m getting emotional just typing this.
Cause niggas don’t even know….like….Y’ALL DON’T EVEN KNOW!
To this day every time I see one of its 27 owners I’m like…
Bahama Joes was perfection.
From location to atmosphere to crowd.
That was the one place in Nassau where you didn’t have to leave after happy hour because shit would absolutely get lit after the couples and work crew left. Jaz and crew would kill the lights and the turn up would begin. One minute you’re having drinks with your loved ones discussing your life and what all you accomplished that week and the next….
They were a 5 minute walk away from Imperial and a 6 minute walk away from McDonald’s….what else did you need exactly? It was the one place similar to Cheers where everyone knew your name. God help you if Alex was bar tending and Emilio was pretending to be a DJ because then you know you were about to have the most confusing night of your existence. Alex would be getting you loaded off some shot he came up with earlier that day that included fire and Emilio would just play whatever the fuck was on his heart in that moment.
Sadly Bahama Joes closed but right before they did they were the perfect transition if you wanted to go to another downtown hall of famer…
There was a time friends of mine LIVED in here (cough *Pasta* cough). But back then for us there wasn’t even an option. Every weekend was literally the same. Barring a random house party at your gf’s vegan friend’s house, you hit Bahama Joes till about 10 when your drunk was exactly where it needed to be and then you hit Bambu.
Now there are 2 types of Bahamians.
There are the ones that saw me say “Bambu” and said to themselves “The gay club?….he like man aye?”
There are the ones that heard it and said “…aren’t they racist? They is let niggas in there aye?”
And there are the rest of us that were happy that the first 2 never got in far enough to know the difference.
Bambu is the only club on this island where I can say they did an amazing job at weeding out the undesirable kids that just wanted to cause an issue. (Please reference earlier Waterloo stabbings.) And know how they did it? With music.
See, people assume Bambu is racist and or gay but please understand there was a method to their madness.
Know what Bahamian people really hate outside of health and reading books?
Techno music and homosexuality.
Somehow, someway, we decided that techno music was gay music. The owners of Bambu realized this and let those rumors fly. The results were uncanny…
While Glenvardo went to Charlies to enjoy his “Vybez Kartel”…his girlfriend was texting him …
Fam, that is my favorite part of Bambu…like do the math on that one Glenvardo.
Bambu is still kicking and doing their thing but we got big for our britches and decided that we were making more money and thought we deserved a better experience so we moved across the bridge to…
Aura was where you went when you decided you were done with the downtown scene. Aura happened when all of us started having disposable income.
Well….not all of us…..some of us.
There was always that crew on Facebook posting statuses at 11 pm about how great their life was while me and my girl were getting dressed to head out and be happy.
Aura divided the rich from the poor pretty quick seeing as 1 drink cost like $88. Like legit you couldn’t (Can’t) go in there with less than $500 on you. Only way you could survive that place with less was if you had a solid pre-drinking game or your girl was willing to hide the mini scotch bottles in her purse and let a nigga live.
But niggas were in there enjoying what they thought was the greatest club in Nassau.
Sidebar: Anyone who has ever traveled knows that its not. Aura is a shitty club anywhere else in the world….lets be clear on that.
But I digress seeing as I was in that number grateful for what it brought to the table at that time.
Unlike the other bars mentioned that went under due to customers leaving or in-fighting, Aura was the one that ended Aura…..kinda. See, they got slick, realized “locals” could afford their exorbitant prices and got sneaky and made it a non-cash bar.
Credit/room cards only.
Which, lets be honest, was pretty smart.
Sadly for them that didn’t go as planned as that little trick lasted maybe a month until Scotiabank was like…
Ya, that went left really quick. The drug dealers, scammers and number boy cronies were right the fuck back in that joint making VIP look like an episode of Love and Hip Hop Atlanta.
Aura is now the place you go if you’re attending any function over PI or if someone randomly says “I mean…y’all wan go Aura until we sleepy?”.
Nassau has come a long way. We’ve lost a lot of good bars and clubs along this rough little journey so I’d like to take this time out to acknowledge them and give them their proper due.
Pirates Pub (If anyone….ANYONE knows the name of that skinny Haitian girl that made the wings in there please DM me….she is important and we have to protect her.)