Caribbean Beach Bars: Blue Bitch Bar, Philipsburg, St. Maarten

Despite the threatening name, you'll find plenty of happy people at this island landmark


A favorite watering hole in downtown Philipsburg, St. Maarten, the Blue Bitch Bar is a lot more welcoming than its name might imply. The moniker actually has nothing to do with a depressed and unpleasant woman, or even a strangely hued female dog. In local parlance, a blue bitch refers to a type of shiny rock that can be found along the island’s coastline. In days past, island beachcombers would gather these rocks for sale as building materials. The namesake bar is adorned with an array of these stones, hence the name.

Located on the boardwalk at Great Bay, the bar draws an eclectic mix that ranges from locals to cruise ship crowds on shore leave. There’s plenty of rum-based concoctions, live music in the evenings, and a kitchen that cooks up Creole-inspired offerings, along with ribs and the expected burgers and such. And yes, you can buy the T-shirt, which usually includes some caricature of a blue-colored female dog, along with the signature catch phrase “a fun place to chill when you are in heat.”