A New Beginning for the End of the World

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At the edge of the Atlantic and the farthest boundaries of the Bahamas, in a small bar off Queen’s Highway, roamed the ghosts of presidents, outlaws and writers.

But after years of neglect, even Ernest Hemingway couldn’t get a drink at the End of the World Bar.

Now, under the leadership of new manager Sandra Fieger, the bar has undergone a serious renovation and is set to open again this Thursday.

“The islanders themselves are ecstatic about it,” Fieger told Caribbean Journal. “There’s a long list of regulars — and now they have somewhere they can go and let their hair down.”

Fieger has overseen a dramatic restoration of the bar, which is known as the End of the World Saloon and Sandbar, including entirely new electrics and plumbing, an extension of the bar, and an expansion of the interior, including tiling the floor to save what Fieger said had become a “tragic mess.”

The history of the bar is long but mysterious. The aforementioned Hemingway is known to have frequented the place, along with musician Buffett, who, like many visitors, signed his name on the bar counter. Civil rights icon Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., popularized the place when he made frequent sojourns to Bimini in the 1960s.

Powell was known to dock his fishing yacht, Adam’s Fancy, at nearby Brown’s Dock, and when controversy arose in New York he set off for Bimini, frequently entertaining the visiting press corps at the End of the World.

Most of Bimini’s octogenarians say the bar has been around at least as long as they can remember, but none is quite sure when it opened.

Even Presidents Truman and Nixon were said to have had a brew at the place.

Bimini visitors tend to arrive in the summer, meaning generally quiet winters. Fieger said the bar would help strengthen tourism, and improve activity, in the summer months.

“[The bar] means tourism income in the summer,” she said. “In the winter all the tourism goes away, and you’re down to the 1,600 inhabitants here who live where with very little to do and nowhere to go. It will allow us to do things with them, and with special venues.”

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