Call To The Bar: E&D Bar serving Bull Bay for decades

August 16, 2018
Elaine McKoy taking it easy outside her drink spot, E&D Bar.
Elaine McKoy and her 'other half" Derick Robinson inside E&D Bar.
Elaine McKoy explains how she got started in the bar business.
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"One inna the corner pocket," says one of the group of men playing pool while regular patron 'Love Bird' recounts how many times he's fallen off his motorcycle over the years.

It's a typical Saturday in E&D Bar at 11 Miles, Bull Bay, St Thomas just beyond the border with St Andrew.

Elaine McKoy, the 'E' in the bar's name (the D is for her 'better half' Derick Robinson), estimates she has been running the bar from the '90s, but was always around the place from when her parents used to own it.

"It was also a shop. It was a meat shop and a bar, then I turned it into a shop and a bar, but then I decided to make a it a bar 'straight'," she said. "It (the business in the shop) got slow, and in the community, everywhere you go, you see a little shop. So you haffi do something extra, for something extra to come in." The name of the establishment then was Lenny and Jenny.

One of the additions she brought to the 'new' space was the pool table which is a major crowd-puller. While she hasn't hosted any formal pool tournaments, the table is definitely in use on a weekend, just like this one.

"Like on a Friday I'll do soup. We start like from in the morning and it goes until the evening when the guys come in. So we might do a little cookout for them," she said.

McKoy notes that she has actively been running the establishment from her "school days".

"I used to have to come home from school aand sit down in here and do the book work same way and gwaan serve," she said. McKoy attended St Andrew Technical High off Spanish Town Road in Kingston, so it was no easy trip.

"And you know dem time deh bus hard fi get, but you haffi reach home," she laughed.

 

SELF-SUFFICIENT

 

McKoy, who even represented Jamaica in table tennis in her younger days, admits she didn't think about becoming a full-time businesswoman but her father was adamant she should be self-sufficient.

"My father always said try and have something for yourself, so mi a lef something for you. So you have to start on your own," she said.

And she has held her own nicely over the years.

"Mi a wake from five o'clock because people a shout me fi come open (the shop)," she said. "And I used to go 'til 12, one o'clock at night (in the bar)." She admits things aren't as bountiful as before but she is grateful for the continued patronage.

"People love my personality, the service and people always say the place look comfortable, dem can come in and sit down, and nobody no harass we. That's what they love," she said.

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