We meet the man behind Turks and Caicos’ famous Bugaloo’s
By Tristan Ralston on 21st March, 2016
Berlie Williams, a.k.a. Bugaloo
If you’ve never been to Turks and Caicos before, let us introduce you to the one name that everyone on the island knows, Bugaloo. Bugaloo is a legend in this country and is one of the most interesting characters you’ll have the opportunity to meet while visiting Provo.
Berlie Williams, a.k.a. Bugaloo, hails from Bottle Creek in North Caicos where he grew up until the age of 16 when he decided to move to the Bahamas to “think about it a little bit” as he so eloquently stated to us in our interview. His passion was in the service industry and he loved working for hotels. Bugaloo’s first job was as a busboy for a hotel in the Bahamas and where he received his nickname. His then employer praised his quick manner and passion for his job and told Berlie that he “sure did like to Boogie around;” hence Bugaloo was conceived.
Bugaloo’s excitement for all things conch was what brought him back to his homeland in 1991, and in 1994 he opened his first restaurant in Blue Hills which consisted of a small shack on the beach where he started serving his famous conch salad. On Bugaloo’s opening day he had over 160 customers lined up for his signature conch dish. He quickly expanded the one-course menu to include his conch fritters and thus a restaurateur was born.
Bugaloo’s conch salad
When Michael Stowlow approached Bugaloo to open the now-famous restaurant in Five Cays, Bugaloo jumped at the chance to showcase his incredible ability of bringing people and his famous dishes together. Five Cays is an original settlement on Providenciales, a place where the fishermen came decades ago with their catch; there is still a fish plant and conch export business located in Five Cays.
The restaurant itself is something right out of the movies, a cozy beach bar with seating right in the sand and to the water’s edge. Bugaloo’s Conch Crawl is an amazing place for the whole family, where children can frolic in the shallow flats, not to mention the breathtaking view of the incredible turquoise water off the south side.
The menu has certainly expanded since the early days of Bugaloo’s. Now you can feast on grilled lobster (when in season), coconut encrusted shrimp, daily fish specials and conch prepared any way you can imagine. If you’re interested in seeing how conch is prepared you can watch as the chefs clean and pound the conch fresh out of the ocean and right on the beach in order for the kitchen staff to create their famous dishes.
Bugaloo’s is not just a place for food, but also provides live music every day for lunch and on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday nights live music for dinner as well. Lastly, you can’t visit Bugaloo’s without trying their ‘magical’ rum punch which can be served in large pitchers for you to enjoy at your own leisure.
Live music for lunch by Stanley Roots
Make sure you visit Bugaloo’s for a true authentic island feel. The friendly staff will ensure that your visit is unforgettable. Relax and remember you are on island time. Bugaloo’s is a place where you’ll get carried away and spend a leisurely afternoon which can easily turn into a lovely evening.
For more information about Bugaloo’s visit their website here
Looking for more great places to eat on Turks and Caicos, check out this post on the Fish Fry!