When I think of beach bars I think of beautiful views with my feet in the ocean, sand between my toes, while sipping on an ice cold drink. Yep, it’s a pretty simple concept and Saint Martin has plenty of them.
It’s important to note that most of the beach bars in Saint Martin are currently hard at work trying to rebuild after Hurricane Irma. But I thought it’d be fun to write about a couple of our favorites, what we like about them and why we went to them over and over again.
The first beach bar I’ll be featuring is Calmos Cafe. Calmos is located in Grand Case on the French side of Saint Martin. For context, Calmos was absolutely leveled by Irma. You can see photos of the damage here, but for this post I want to focus on Calmos the way we remember it, and hopefully the way it will be again someday soon.
Along Boulevard de Grand Case you’ll find the best dining experiences in the entire Caribbean. Magical French influenced cuisine can be found in numerous cottage-style restaurants that line the quaint, sandy street that runs parallel to the beach along Baie de Grand Case.
Many of the restaurants and businesses that line the northwest side of the street overlook the beach, with the island of Anguilla floating in the distance. As you pull onto Boulevard de Grand Case, after passing the small local airport, one of the first places you come across is Calmos Cafe.
Calmos is conveniently located across the street from a large parking lot, so finding a spot to park is rarely a problem. Located near the beginning of Boulevard de Grand Case, it’s a perfect place to start if you want to spend some time exploring this magical area.
Just a friendly reminder, Calmos Cafe was flattened by Irma so my description is the way it used to be set up prior to the storm.
Calmos had a small boutique that lined the street with some of the coolest t-shirts on the island. On front of the shirt was the iconic “c’est la vie” saying, while a pair of beachy-looking feet adorned the back of the shirt with the words “Calmos Cafe” written directly under the feet.
When you entered Calmos you’d walk down a small boardwalk that ran alongside the boutique. Upon entering, the brightly painted bar is the first thing you’d see. It was a small little bar that tempted you with the views in the distance.
As you continue, you’d stumble right onto the beach, littered with picnic tables and beach chairs that would get softly serenaded by the sea water when high tide came in.
Calmos’s menu was a pretty simple fare and, to be honest, we never really ate a full meal there. For us, Calmos was a place we’d come to in the afternoon to grab some appetizers (those fish fritters…yum!), have a cold beer or piña colada, relax and swim for a few hours as we watched the sun dip into the ocean.
It really is/was the perfect little beach bar. The wait staff was always friendly and, if you stick around after sunset, they’d often have live music.
Calmos is a huge reason we fell in love with Grand Case. The beach is so serene and quiet, devoid of the crowds of tourists you find at some of the bigger beaches on the island, like Orient Beach and Mullet Bay. When you’re there, it really does feel like you’ve stumbled across a place that hardly anyone else knows about.
Below, I found a couple of nice videos that highlight Calmos Cafe. I think they’ll help you get the feel for the place. But nothing can replace the real-life experience. Here’s hoping Calmos comes back soon!
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