Your Guide to Nightlife & Entertainment in Tobago
For an easy, early evening lime, happy hours are a great way to start off the evening. Exotic drinks, live entertainment, delectable food… These all await you at a range of bars, clubs, and restaurants.
You can sip on a cocktail at the open-air, poolside bar of the Chart House/Sundowner’s Bar at Crown Point Hotel (daily 5–7pm) and watch the sun disappear into the Caribbean Sea beyond Store Bay. Sports bars like the snazzy new Bar Code in Scarborough are an emerging format in Tobago, and great for happy hour and beyond. Here you can enjoy an array of signature drinks and local or international dishes, while taking in a seaside view. You can shoot some pool afterwards, catch one of the sports games on their big-screen TV, or enjoy a live performance. Or try Pino’s in Scarborough, an open-air bar with colonial architecture, which is popular with after-workers.
You can also choose from the Pavilion Restaurant and Seahorse Inn which both offer exquisite views of Stonehaven Bay.
If you’re in for just a quiet movie or a show, the multiplex cinema MovieTowne cinema at Gulf City Lowlands Mall is the island’s only cinema. Many restaurants, bars and other locations, especially in the Crown Point area, offer a variety of nightly live entertainment. If there are no big festivals or events on, bars, clubs, hotels and restaurants feature local music acts as regular and rotating headliners performing a range of musical styles. There are pool halls, casinos, karaoke nights, and Itsy Bitsy Folk Theatre also presents dinner theatre several Tuesdays during the year. The Golden Star has been closed since 2009, but used to host a variety show or, depending on the time of year, a local talent contest called Scouting for Talent. The talent on offer varied hugely in quality, but generally supplies fun for all, and a DJ-powered party follows the mayhem.
If you’re a blackjack buff or a roulette regular, choose from the Crystal Palace Casino (Scarborough waterfront, upstairs of Bar Code), The Royalton at Crown Point Hotel or Sunset Palm Club (Buccoo Junction, Mt Irvine).
Tobago is staging big music concerts these days, often featuring Jamaican dancehall or reggae singers – more choices on the entertainment menu.
Not that music is confined to big events. Bars, clubs, hotels and restaurants feature local performers as regular and rotating headliners, with theme nights reserved for hip-hop, jazz, Latin, reggae, R&B, and of course calypso, soca and steelpan music.
There is live music 7–9pm, Thursday through Saturday at Chart House/Sundowner’s Bar; Friday and Saturday sees the Kariwak Players performing at Kariwak Village (Store Bay Local Road, Crown Point); Blue Haven Hotel, has live music Thursday (guitarist), Friday (pan) and Sunday (band); the Robinson Crusoe Pub (Vanguard Tobago Golf and spa Resort), Wednesday (karaoke), Friday and Saturday (band – TT$30 admission); and the Pelican Reef Bar and Grill, Tuesday (guitarist), Wednesday–Friday (band).
One of Tobago’s most popular spots is Café Iguana Jazz Bar, where fine food and a relaxed atmosphere is allied to live entertainment: Thursday 8.30–10.30pm (live jazz); Friday 10pm–midnight (local band); Saturday 10–11pm (African Drumming); Sunday from 9pm (Latin Dancing).
The annual Great Fete Weekend in July is a six-night party at Club Pigeon Point, with DJs, sound systems and live entertainment. April is jazz month, with local, regional and international jazz (and non-jazz) talent and aficionados descending on the island for the annual jazz festival.The Jazz Experience in April presents great live entertainment in Plymouth, and has the whole island buzzing with parties, barbecues and excitement.
Sundays are a no-contest. All roads lead to Buccoo and its famous Sunday School street party. Each weekend in Buccoo the Sunday School Street Party ensures revellers party their way into the new week. It's is a drama in two acts that every Tobago visitor should experience. The first, 9pm to 11pm, is targeted largely at visitors, with steelpan music from the Buccaneers and dozens of craft, food and even gambling stalls filling the street and environs. From 11pm, the local crowds begin to swell and DJ music continues in the beach facility and neighbouring Hendrix Original Sunday School until the party dies out. Make sure you’ve got plenty of energy, though, because on a good night that can mean 5am.
Featured Night Spots
- Bar Code Sports Bar & Grill (Scarborough): this stylish new sports bar is located right at the Scarborough port, giving you relaxing views of the ships and ferries coming and going. Enjoy a range of signature drinks and local and international dishes (including a local staple, fish broth); shoot some pool; watch big sports games on their big-screen TV; or rock to the beat of their live music acts. 639-CODE, www.barcodetobago.com
- Sea Horse Inn Restaurant & Bar (Black Rock): featured on the UK’s Richard & Judy show (GMTV) and the Travel Channel, there’s a little something for any palette – from seafood to steaks, local creole to international and fusion. Enjoy beautiful oceanside breezes and views of Stonehaven beach, where giant leatherbacks come ashore March–August. Sip delicious cocktails at the bar, or dive in to a delicious 3-course meal under the stars. There’s nightly entertainment at peak times of year. 639-0686, www.seahorseinntobago.com
- Blue Waters Inn Restaurant (Speyside): 660-2583, www.bluewatersinn.com
- Chart House Restaurant (Crown Point): 639-8781, www.crownpointbeachhotel.com
- Cocoa House Restaurant & Bar (Golden Lane): 660-0416, www.footprints-resort.com
- Pavilion Restaurant (Black Rock): 639-0361, www.stonehavenvillas.com
- Sundowners Bar, Royalton Casino, and Chart House Restaurant (Crown Point): 639-8781, www.crownpointbeachhotel.com
- Café Iguana (Crown Point): iguanatobago.com
- Kariwak Village (Crown Point): kariwak.com
- Le Grand Courlan Resort & Spa (Black Rock): legrandtobago.com
- Speyside Inn (Speyside): speysideinn.com