Jost Van Dyke Feature

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The Famous Foxy Callwood

It's the laid-back attitude of Jost Van Dyke, which boasts a beach as its main street and has had electricity only since the 1990s, that makes the famous feel comfortable and everyday folk feel glorious. At no locale is this more true than at Foxy's Tamarind. Foxy Callwood, a seventh-generation Jost Van Dyker and calypsonian extraordinaire, is the star here, strumming and singing rib-tickling ditties full of lewd and laughable lyrics that attract a bevy of boaters, and even celebrities like Tom Cruise, Kelsey Grammer, and Steven Spielberg.

What began in 1968 as a lemonade-stand-size bar, albeit with "modern" fixtures like a galvanized roof and plywood walls, has evolved into a bona fide beach bar with sand floor, wattle walls, and thatched roof that defines the eastern end of the beach at Great Harbour. Since Jost lacks the bustle of St. Thomas, cache of St. John, or grace of Tortola, islanders like Foxy knew they needed to carve out their own unique niche—and have done so by appearing to have done nothing at all. Unhurried friendliness and a slice of quintessential Caribbean culture flow freely here.

Foxy, who fished for a living before he started singing for his supper, has traveled the world and had the world come to him for endless parties for Halloween, Labor Day weekend, and the New Year. The New York Times named Foxy's one of its three top picks for ringing in the millennium, and even Queen Elizabeth chose to honor Foxy, making him a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2009. A local newspaper headline from the occasion read: "Is Foxy Wearing Shoes?"

So what makes Foxy and his bar so popular, some 40 years on? He sums it up himself: "It's the quantity of people and the quality of the party. You can dance on the tables and sleep on the beach. No one is going to bother you."

Updated: 2013-12-11

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