Freeport, The Bahamas – Returning Grand Bahamian, Brian Botham, officially opened his dream bar and restaurant on Thursday, August 12th, in Lucaya, Grand Bahama. Red Beard’s Pub, formerly the Britannia Pub, offers affordable meals in a relaxing new venue for both locals and tourists to enjoy.
“I wanted to create a local bar for friends and visitors alike but I wanted to make it an affordable place for them to bring their families to eat too,” said Botham. Botham who grew up in Grand Bahama but moved away when he was a teen, back to his parent’s home in Canada, has always wanted to return home. “I brought my wife Debbie here and showed her the paradise I grew up in,” he tells us. “It wasn’t hard for me to convince her to make the decision to return.”
Botham, a former truck driver and safety consultant, spent the last 15 years driving all over the US and Canada before opening his own safety and consulting company along with his wife. “We’ve worked hard and been successful in our business, but at the end of the day we wanted to come and live here - we love it.”
Returning home has given him the opportunity to enter into the restaurant and bar business. Red Beard’s is uniquely located on the opposite side of Port Lucaya Marketplace and is adjacent to one of the islands largest condominiums, Harbour House. “We hope our location will be a benefit to the locals in the area, and also an alternative option in Freeport for dining,” added Botham. “We have booths for small dinner parties, large rooms available for private events and a huge deck that looks over the marina as well. We really can do a lot here and I’m excited about the feedback we are getting so far.”
For the tourists, Brian and Debbie, have capitalized on a pirate theme for the bar, playing off the name. The pub is decorated in pirate colours, with pirate paraphernalia and great pirate souvenirs for guests to purchase. “I’ve always fancied myself as a bit of a pirate,” jokes the bearded Botham, “so we went with the idea and it’s working well for a fun theme!”
In the kitchen Botham has hired well-known local chef Colleen Davies, who has been working tirelessly to create simple, home cooked meals - just like a ‘proper’ pub. “We wanted good food, not overly priced, and a simple menu for guests,” noted Botham’s wife Debbie. “It’s working well so far and we’ve recently added in Sunday Roasts with all the trimmings, which has also gone over really well.”
In attendance at the official opening was Grand Bahama Chamber President, K. Peter Turnquest, who noted “…on behalf of the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, I am extremely pleased to welcome Mr. & Mrs. Bottom to the business fraternity on Grand Bahama and we wish them every success in this new venture.” Turnquest along with other local businesspersons in attendance noted how happy they were about the Botham’s decision to return home.
“We encourage more of our citizens scattered around the globe to emulate them by bringing their positive experiences and expertise back to this island to help diversify the services available to resident and visitors alike,” added Turnquest. “The pirates theme of the restaurant and bar "Red Beard" and the location off midshipman road, are extremely creative and well situated and I am sure that with this kind of continued creativity, consistency of service and innovation in their product, they will do well.”
Red Beard’s is currently open 7 days a week, opening weekdays at 4pm and for late lunches at 1pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. “We are beginning to work with the local tour operators on the island and are hoping to increase our weekday traffic once the winter season picks back up,” noted Botham. “Debbie and I are really excited about joining the business community here and look forward to introducing everyone to our new pub – and we promise no plank walking!