A few years ago, AOL Travel named Jet’s Bar at Belize City’s international airport one of the 10 best airport bar’s in the world. On the same list with a wine bar in Rome’s and Public House in Oregon’s airports, JET’S! It definitely stood out in the article and surprised many of us in Belize because well…it’s in tiny Belize but then it didn’t really surprise because it’s a place that once you visit and get your picture taken with Jet, you never forget it. (Note to all getting married in Belize: a photo with Jet is a necessity in every wedding album.)
Diminuitive Jet with his trademark voice and way with the ladies (let’s just say that he uses his height to his advantage) is not easy to forget. Tattoo from “da plane ze plane” late 70s Fantasy Island fame instantly comes to mind when you hear his voice. He’s owned the place for years and years, has one million stories and I mean seriously…all you need to know is that his nickname is Jet. Love it.
The guy is such a rock star that he has these photographed pages around to give autographs.
If you have met him, I bet you can close your eyes and hear him almost growling “Who wants da best rum punch in Belize”. Or “how stiff do you like your drinks”.
You wouldn’t forget his bar either. Covered in currencies from all over the world, photos of famous people with Jet (though most leave you thinking “Who’s that?”), 100s of police patches, some religious icons …every single piece of collective anything you could think of. (Did someone say “fire hazard?” Certainly NOT me.) Almost everyone who returned to the bar brought something for Jet.
And then one April 2013 Saturday, Jet’s had an electrical fire and everything was lost. (See the article and all of the pictures here in the San Pedro Sun.) It was a GIANT loss for everyone. It’s almost like living in Paris and seeing the Eiffel Tower as a pile of ash. Jet’s was a national landmark. A living museum. Super super sad.
Jet’s (according to the Facebook page Jet’s Bar) re-opened during the last days of September with a “new classier look”. You be the judge.
Okay…if you don’t want to be the judge, I will! Bigger, good. Otherwise? Blech, bland, boring. Not even a sign? NOTHING? But I’m willing to wait…for a few months. Jet’s has only been open a few weeks now and all of that stuff will take a while to collect. I pray they are not trying to keep it empty to protect against future fires. If so, it’s a terrible shame!
Jet wasn’t even there when I arrived. But then, as one of his relatives/bartenders told me, he tends to go home late in the afternoon. The guy’s been on his feet for 30+ years. 363 days a year. He deserves it.
So I will personally ask you all…PLEASE bring stuff for Jet! Currencies, pictures of you with Jet, patches from fire and police departments around the world, bumper stickers, license plates…the SCHWAG! We need it back.
And Jet? I’m so glad to see you re-opened. You are an institution.
AND if you haven’t visited Jet’s yet, put it on your THINGS to DO IN BELIZE list. Or is maybe the ODD THINGS TO DO list. Well…either way.