So…while we were in San Nicolas, we decided to have a couple beers at Charlie’s Bar, for old time’s sake. My,my how what was once “charming and cute” has turned into filthy and rundown, with service with a smug attitude. The first table we sat at was so sticky it was gross. the adjoining tables, same story, we did not even want to touch the tables…the cutsie collection of junk on the walls is so old and covered in dust and crud that it is just not “cute” anymore, it’s a health violation. We were a bit weary of ordering off the menu after seeing the filthy conditions of the place, so we just asked for an order of fries to take the edge off our appetites and beers (they didn’t have any appetizers or snacks on the menu). The bartender informed us that fries were only a side dish and we could not order them alone—really??!! I offered to pay whatever they wanted, just needed a nibble…the attitude was wrought with sarcasm, as they just don’t serve fries without a meal, how silly of me to ask for such a thing. At first, I thought they must be joking with me, but no, no it was not a joke. This is how we do business, like it or not.
We are an island that prides ourselves on service, hospitality, and doing our utmost to accommodate guests—and although Charlie’s Bar thinks because they are a supposed island icon they can slack on cleanliness, service, and hospitality, this is just not right. It scares me to think that this is a spot many journalists and visiting press are directed to (I think it is just merely a habit to think this is where tourists should go when in San Nicolas). It is often referred to as a “tourist trap” on many review sites, and rightly so—but wow, we should not be promoting this place as one of our national treasures—that shipped has sailed in a very big way. Go to O’Neils for a clean environment, tasty local and regional cuisine at fair prices, friendly and ACCOMMODATING service—a place that does not take your patronage for granted. Or head to Rum Reef by Baby Beach, or El Gallo Rojo on mainstreet. Sorry, Charlie’s Bar—your time has come and gone—there are too many establishments bending over backwards to accommodate their guests, make them know their business is appreciated, and quite frankly, San Nicolas deserves better—and hopefully, in time, more restaurants will be able to open there and show guests how much they appreciate them without sarcasm and flippant attitudes. Besides us, there were only 4 people in the place—gee, I wonder why.=