Cooper Island Beach Club’s New Restaurant
The Cooper Island Beach Club has been a popular BVI destination for both bareboats and crewed charter guests from the early 1970s when it began. Back then, one small building housed a restaurant where Jan Short cooked great meals and her husband Tim entertained with stories of his travels. Chartering had barely started and they were lucky if more than two boats anchored there overnight in high season. Tim would row out to each boat, to invite them ashore. I’m not sure if it was the pirate image with his beard and pipe, or the Cornish accent, but they invariably joined him.
In conjunction with Long Bay Hotel, the club expanded enormously. The new bar, now out on the beach and the enlarged restaurant, became incredibly popular. A dive shop opened up, so charterers wanting to dive the Rhone and other nearby spots could do so, while the rest of their party relaxed or partied on the beach. Even in the early days ferries came from Tortola, particularly on the weekend, so many families made a day of it (it originally was a club that members could join).
The name has never changed, but the club now has new owners, who have added and upgraded cottages, building on the resort concept. Their new restaurant opened last month and the reports we have received have been good. We would love to hear from any charterers who have had a meal, or spent time there recently. How did you enjoy the atmosphere, the facility and the food? Send us an email or use our new Facebook page which is an excellent place to pass on comments and share views. Visit the Ed Hamilton & Co site for information on other popular stops in the British Virgin Islands.
The top picture is of the new bar / restaurant, but we couldn’t resist adding Ed’s pictures of Cooper Island in 1974. Tim and Jan are the couple in the center and Miles Cortner is on the left. Miles worked for the then largest bareboat company, CSY. In the mid 70s he sailed off on his beautiful yacht ‘Sea Swan’ (which he built with his wife, Betty Lou) and cruised for the rest of his life. The bottom picture shows the empty bay and the Wharram cat that Tim and Jan sailed from England. We really have been there since chartering in the BVI began!