“Did you hear what happened at 23/7?”
“No, what happened?”
“Well, it’s kind of not there anymore…”
23/7 is (was) a bar about half a mile from my house. It was a really cool place – a bar right on the beach that never closed, had amazing pizza and a truly laid back vibe. There are plenty of bars on the beach in Negril, but this was one of the rare places that would let you sit at the bar for hours and didn’t really care how much you ordered (which is key for PCVs who make less than $10/day). When you did order, they had delicious drinks, awesome pizza and cold, cold Red Stripes ready. In short, it was one of our favorite places to hang out, watch the sunset and play bananagrams.
But all good things must come to an end, right? I got a call from Eric today (fellow Negril PCV and fellow 23/7 patron) who informed me that the bar was no longer there. “Um, what do you mean, not there?”
Apparently, late last night the owner (a middle aged Canadian man) got into a huge fight with a Jamaican – I think over a girl. The fight involved machetes and baseball bats and the Jamaican man got pretty cut up. He was taken the hospital to get all his cuts stitched up, but as far as I know he’s gonna be alright.
And the owner? He was caught by the cops at the airport while trying to flee the country. He’s in jail now, and no one is really sure what’s gonna happen to him.
After Eric relayed all this to me, I took a walk down to the bar to see what happened. The bar was a completely open bar, with a big thatched roof, lots of tables and chairs a big circular bar and thick, wood bar benches. Well, the tables and chairs were all gone, the flags, posters and signs on the wall had been taken, the alcohol was long gone and the bar itself was being taken apart by 2 Jamaicans who are planning on using the wood in their house. One of the bar employees was trying to sell off the equipment that was left – huge gas tanks, industrial stoves, etc. He has no idea what’s going to happen to the land or the property, and said he didn’t have enough money to try and take it over. (He did ask if I wanted to invest some of my money and go into a partnership with him. Thanks, but no thanks.) It’s a prime spot right on the beach and a good amount of property, so I can’t imagine it’ll stay vacant for long. I guess only time will tell.
In the meantime, it looks like we’ll have to find a new spot for bananagrams. There’s never a dull moment in Jamaica…