At Pappa Zouk’s rum bar in Antigua the truest path to happiness is through a mix of rum, fresh fish, new friends, and zouk music. First you should know that Pappa Zouk’s is not a restaurant. It’s a rum bar with a dizzying array of rums, rhums, and rons from across the Caribbean and beyond. Yes, lucky rummies can supplement their rum intake with a full menu of authentically prepared fresh fish and other seafood delights, but first-and-foremost this quirky little space is dedicated to drinking and being merry. Secondly, you should know Pappa Zouk is not the mad German owner and bartender. No, that curmudgeon with a penchant for abruptly ending the night’s festivities with a hearty “Get the f**k out!” is Bert Kirchner. He named his place after a deaf, dumb, old man he met on Dominica who would transform from a shuffling ancient to a lithe dancer with pure joy radiating from his gap-toothed smile down to the tips of his barefoot toes any time zouk music was played. He couldn’t hear the music, but he certainly felt it. And his pure happiness in the face of his meager existence was something that always stuck with Bert. Now he spreads happiness his own way — with rum, fresh fish, and zouk playing in the background.

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