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“Interesting stop”

Charlie's Bar & Restaurant
Ranked #2 of 15 Restaurants in San Nicolas
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$0 - US$30
Cuisines: International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar Scene
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, After-hours
Description: Charlie’s Bar & Restaurant was founded on September 18, 1941 by a Dutch couple, Charles and Marie Brouns. They chose their location in San Nicolas as it was close to the large Lago Refinery: this provided a steady stream of clientele in the form of seamen, contractors, and oil workers.Over the years, Charlie’s Bar became a destination returned to by countless friends from the past, accompanied by new patrons anxious to visit what has become an iconic island institution…”If you haven’t been to Charlie’s you don’t know Aruba!”Today, Charlie’s Bar is recognized as one of the Top Ten Bars in the Caribbean; and is a must see destination for first time visitors who will undoubtedly encounter and enjoy the company of many repeat clientele from literally all over the world. Everyone comes for the ambiance; the real connoisseurs are here to enjoy the intercontinental cuisine offered by Charlie’s Menu. Everything from jumbo shrimp to fine tenderloin steaks and fresh local seafood are at your beck and call. The menu is varied and prepared fresh each and every day try our “Honeymoon Sauce” with your entrée (if you like things real hot) or tone it down with our Creole style of preparation. Daily specials and home made snacks round out the menu for the inquisitive diner.Presently, your host, Charlito (the third generation Charlie) says, “Everything we do is focused on one thing, creating an unforgettable memory that will leave you wanting to return.”
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Interesting stop”
Reviewed 25 April 2014 via mobile

This place is pretty cool to stop at. Lots of memorabilia from all over the world on the walls. Staff is very friendly.

Helpful?
Thank Stag556
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montsy, Guest Relations Manager at Charlie's Bar & Restaurant, responded to this review, 7 June 2014
Dear Stag556, thanks for visiting us and taking the time to write a review. We are glad you enjoyed your visit. Cheers!
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338 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    181
    97
    34
    11
    15
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Seattle
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“A bit of 'history'.”
Reviewed 18 February 2014

Charlie's is quite the place. It's the kind of place you imagine Hemingway being - an expat bar. Sit's in downtown San Nicholaas not far from the refinery. The bar itself is quite unique with items from all over the world on the walls and ceilings. The beer is cold and the food quite - surprisingly - good. But it's expensive. Lunch with 2 beers and a glass of wine ran $68. Credit cards are not accepted. The last thing you should know is that, depending on the time of day, you're bound to run into a working girl, so don't be surprised. Still, we had fun and felt safe - we'd heard before to be careful. We'd go back there for lunch again.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Jefe52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montsy, Guest Relations Manager at Charlie's Bar & Restaurant, responded to this review, 7 June 2014
Dear Jefe52, thank you for your visit and review.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver
Level 6 Contributor
162 reviews
78 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Off the beaten path”
Reviewed 16 February 2014 via mobile

We stopped here after making the drive to Baby Beach. Yes, this place is different, and could be seen as touristy. The thing is, while we were there there was only two other tables of people (so not over crowded), a nice local fellow on the way out talked to us about the menu, and the three guys working were all super friendly, and helpful. I had the ceviche, which I was different than other ceviche I have had, but still quite good, especially when I added more "honey moon sauce". My husband ordered the fresh fish, which was tasty, ant the eight year old just shared with him. We all left satisfied and happy, and enjoyed looking at all of the "stuff".

Bonus, we asked about a restaurant that we had visited several years back, and the bartender knew where we were talking about. He actually knew the owner who since passed away, and he used to work at Charlie's. Just a small world moment, that was kind if cool.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank getawaygirlDenver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montsy, Guest Relations Manager at Charlie's Bar & Restaurant, responded to this review, 7 June 2014
Dear getawaygirlDenver, thank you for visiting us and also for your review. You totally understand our concept. Hope to welcome you again soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sebastopol, California
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“What a fun place!”
Reviewed 27 January 2014

A bar and restaurant with wonderful decor as guests have left behind memorabilia which fills walls and ceiling. The food was great, fresh and reasonably priced. Be aware that this is a rather sketchy town because of refinery closures. The red light district was a bit unexpected as we visited during lunchtime. Yet, worth the drive for sure.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Barbaraharris2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montsy, Guest Relations Manager at Charlie's Bar & Restaurant, responded to this review, 29 January 2014
Hi Barbaraharris2014, thank you for your nice review. We are happy that you had fun and enjoyed your visit. The closing of the refinery hasn't been without consequences. But the beauty of San Nicolas is that you can appreciate original Caribbean architecture dating as far as back the 1930's. Charlie's Bar was built before 1941 and we have kept it as much as possible in its original state. We agree some buildings need care and we need more business. As for the red light district it is a few blocks away but everyone keeps to own business. Hope to see you back!
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Norfolk, Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Always a special treat”
Reviewed 1 January 2014 via mobile

Charlie's is always on our to do list when we visit Aruba. It is a great bar and the atmosphere is unique. Try the Shrimp with the Honeymoon sauce. It will keep you coming back!!! Keep in mind that it is about a 30-50 minute drive from Palm Beach hotels. Visit some of the destinations on the San Nicolas side of the island when there (Baby Beach, etc).

Helpful?
Thank Kevin R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montsy, Guest Relations Manager at Charlie's Bar & Restaurant, responded to this review, 29 January 2014
Dear Kevin R, thank you for your nice review. Wow, what a nice way to start 2014. We hope to be welcoming all our repeater guests for many years to come.:) Regards from Charlie and staff.
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