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Thanks Zabar for your topic of the $11.00 hot dog at Smokeys

To be Frank - pun intended - there is a whole lot more going on at Smokeys than just a $11.00 hot dog - we were glad to see your posting because we also wanted to bring up our feelings about Smokeys and last year when we were there but did not want to get blasted by other "Anguilla Smokeys fans"

We are long long time Anguilla people - we always knew that we could count on a quiet night with simple food at Smokeys - sometimes we would even call in advance to make sure they would still be serving by 8 PM - and they would tell us we should try to come a little early just to be sure they would not be closing by that time.

After the hurricane two years or so ago - Smokeys re-did the outside and some of the inside - it looks GREAT!! They also started to have music on Sunday nights - at the beginning the Mussingtons. Anyone who knows Anguilla - knows the Mussingtons are one GREAT band - the place was packed! You had to be there on a Sunday night before 8 or 9 PM or you could not get in the parking lot!! Smokeys was doing great - everyone was having a wonderful time - there was a wonderful mix of many. many locals & visitors alike having a great time together.

You could still get a simple but good tasting meal at a reasonable price and drinks were not over priced.

All that changed last year - we went over one Sunday evening in November or December 2010 - the Mussingtons were no longer playing - they had a different band - now the Musical Brothers play every Saturday afternoon and Sunday evening - they also play at the Pumphouse on Thursdays - as much as I love The Musical Brohers - there is just so many times in a limited amount of venues on Island that I can listen to them play or dance too!! But more disturbing that Sunday evening was when we opened our menus and saw the complete change of menu - and the now unbelievable prices listed for what we consider again very simple, plain food - good but no where near worth the type of prices that were listed as we go to other more 'fine dining places' in Anguilla with similar or better 'local food ' that is served at lower prices. Also the price of their beer had gone up a few dollars and also the cocktails. I had a friend who had gone to a 'wedding dinner' one eveing - who did not know Smokeys had changed their Rum drink prices - who told me she almost passed out when she got the bill for their eveing drinks plus food tab.

Well after that evening in November or December we said we were not going back to Smokeys again - we did return for another vacation last February and went over to Smokey's on our way home from a night out elsewhere - it was around 9 PM and it was SAD SAD SAD - the parking lot was about empty - the Musical Brothers were playing to a few of the local followers and the place was DEAD! And so we left.

YES YES - We know what a beautiful location Smokey's has - one of the reasons we loved to go there but in this day of economic downturn - the last thing you want is to have less people coming to spend their money - it is better business sense to lower some prices and have more people than high prices with fewer people. $2 or $3 Caribs or Presidentes drunk by 100 or 200 locals & visitors is a lot more money than $5 or $6 ones drunk by 10 to 20 people - same with food - $18.00 - $21.00 dinners bought by 100 to 200 much better than $25-$35 dinners bought by 10 to 20 people per night.

I am asking Alan or Una to please remember how quiet and kinda sad Smokey's used to be back several years ago and remember how very happy and vibrant it was just two years go after the improvements made with your music & beachside service restaurant - we want to come back again with the same old menu and drink prices and have the wonderful time we have always enjoyed at Smokeys - we never cared if the service was sometimes slow - that was a great part of the overall atmosphere - and we were having such a good time dancing, drinking and eating we could have cared less - we love all the servers and know them well - we miss them and want to return to Smokey's

Stamford, CT
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11 reviews
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1. Re: Smokeys

We were there for lunch last week and had great service and still the best ribs I have ever had! We still love Smokeys!


Destination Expert
for Anguilla
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1,554 posts
9 reviews
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2. Re: Smokeys

We were there last week also. It was fine. We didn't go on a music day, but seemed the same as always. The menu was exactly as it was 2 yrs ago. Still enjoyed it very much.

New York
Destination Expert
for Anguilla
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3 reviews
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3. Re: Smokeys

We did not get a chance to go to Smokeys, but its a fun place,love the setting. Nice to hear you enjoyed!

rockville centre, ny
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1,495 posts
26 reviews
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4. Re: Smokeys

We went to Smokey's over Thanksgiving....it was first on hubby's list.

Service was not bad considering it was busy. Was expensive, but we had fun...Musical Bros. were playing and did some dancing. Have to pay a little extra for the whole experience...liken it to paying Bankie a cover charge to hear him sing at Dune Preserve.

However, there is a change to the rum punches...anyone else notice?

Las Vegas, Nevada
Destination Expert
for Anguilla, The Valley
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273 reviews
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5. Re: Smokeys

Punch is too sweet now.

I agree with everything westy said. Our last two visits the food and service have been not up to par. Nice setting, but...


East Coast
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250 posts
43 reviews
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6. Re: Smokeys

After hundreds of meals in Anguilla, the only time we have had pull your hair out, awful service was a 3 hour lunch at Smokey's two years ago. Instead of dealing with us honestly about the delay, the tactic of the servers was to hide. If we had been told the truth about the kitchen problems, we would have happily gone elsewhere, to return another day. Like "West," I didn't report this for fear of getting piled on by Smokey's fans. These threads persuade me that our incident wasn't so unusual after all.

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3 reviews
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7. Re: Smokeys

Thank you "Westy" for your courageous and informative post.

Although I did not mention it previously, I'm wondering if the closing of the Rendezvous Bay Hotel (RBH) and its Cedar Grove Restaurant had anything to do with the changes that were effected by Alan, Una and Clyde at Smokey's?

I'm guessing that the losses of RBH revenue to the Gumbs family had to have been a devastating blow, especially in consideration of their expectation of becoming zillionaires from the profits that were forecasted to be reaped by the sale of newly constructed apartments and deVILLAS on the RBH site.

However, instead of my "wondering" and "guessing" about the realities of life for the Gumbs family, I would prefer that Una and Alan addressed all of the disappointments that have been expressed by the members of this Forum before it is too late to repair the damage that has been done to the reputation of a true Anguillian landmark.

Having had personal experience with Jeremiah Gumbs ( the deceased patriarch of the Gumbs family), I am convinced that he would NOT be pleased with the negativity that is now being associated with Smokey's, and, I would bet that rather than utilizing "silence" as a strategy, he would be very vocal in immediately rectifying many if not all of the causes of the criticisms that have been published on this Forum.

I'm not suggesting that I believe that we'll ever see the former and very moderate pricing structure that once was so popular at Smokey's, regardless of the number of patrons. However, I'm confident that a properly managed Smokey's with an enthusiastic wait staff that was trained to be responsive to the whims of its paying customers, and, an expanded kitchen with more cooks who were eager to properly serve a capacity crowd would eventually return Smokey's to the top of the list of "do not miss" experiences for many of their former devotees, as well as, thousands of people who have never enjoyed this formerly wonderful dining experience!

Earth to Una.... are you out there??? Zabar

Atlanta, Georgia
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486 posts
4 reviews
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8. Re: Smokeys

All very interesting to read. On my most recent trip we had a disappointing lunch at Smokeys that seems to be in line with a lot of what I have read here. I do have a policy though of giving a place another shot if we have had a good time in the past and we plan to return next time. But two strikes and you are out! There are too many good places on Anguilla to allow for a third strike in my book.

Not to take this thread in another direction but I was curious since it was mentioned- Zabar, do you happen know anything about the current state of the Rendezvous Bay Hotel project? That whole situation makes me sad.

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9. Re: Smokeys

We were in Anguilla last week, during the very quiet period between Thanksgiving and the holiday busy season. We had a lite lunch at Smokeys and enjoyed the food as we did last January on our last visit. There were only 10 people on the beach that day, needless to say Smokey's was very quiet and we had no problem with our order or service. David was a most pleasant and efficient server, and after we ate, he had chairs put up on the beach for us. I met Una and shared some of her concerns and I believe that she will be working to improve service issues that have been addressed here. Personally, we are not daytime drinkers except for an occasional pina colada on the beach (which I did order later in the afternoon). I expressed to Uma that I was surprised to read complaints about the cost of a hot dog platter, when everything on this island is quite expensive. At our wonderful new Phillies stadium the cost is $7 for beer and at least $6 for a hot dog in a soggy bun wrapped in tin foil. They sell thousands upon thousands of each over the course of a long season in a stadium that is sold out of more than 45,000 seats for each game. Given the short tourist season and the amenities of a restroom and chair and view on a most spectacular beach, I believe a $5 beer and whatever entree one chooses is a bargain! Penny

10. Re: Smokeys

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