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PUBS, PATIOS & BARS: Jumping for joy at Rick’s Café, Negril

Remember the guy who played the crazed principal who relentlessly pursued legendary truant Ferris Bueller in the classic 1986 film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”? I met him once at Rick’s Café – which is not to name drop, rather to suggest that you just never who you may run into in the iconic Jamaican establishment, because, after all, it’s simply the place to be if you’re anywhere near Negril.

Of course, running into a familiar face like Jeffrey Jones is the least of the reasons to visit Rick’s, which was founded in 1974 by Richard “Rick” Hershman when Negril was no more than a sleepy fishing village. Since then the establishment, which caters to both visitors and locals, has grown into a tourism hotspot along with the town, having emerged bigger and better in the wake of several hurricanes, including being completely destroyed by Gilbert in 1988 and again by Ivan in 2004.

Today, Rick’s joins Seven Mile Beach among Negril’s top attractions and is synonymous with sunsets – due to its prime location atop a 10-metre cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea on the westernmost tip of the island.

Indeed, crowds gather daily for the spectacle (arrive by 4 p.m. to get a good vantage), which is enhanced further by the restaurant and bar’s requisite Red Stripe and reggae vibe, the latter including a live band as soon as the sun begins to set.

Rick’s famous cliffs

And what would an enviable cliff-top location be without the ability to jump off it – which dozens of people do every day, some undoubtedly fuelled by the bar’s libations.

But the cliff-jumping is also a spectator sport at Rick’s, adding a whole new dimension to the art of people-watching. Of course, an easier way to get wet is simply to jump into the pool. (Cabanas can be rented).

In either case, bring a bathing suit.

Rick’s lists its address as “One Love, West End Negril” – it’s about a 10-minute drive from town out the West End Road. But not to worry, everyone knows how to find it. Even Jeffrey Jones.

With glass purposefully in hand, we at Travel Industry Today continue our series on some of the planet’s best bars, patios and rooftop venues. For more articles in the series, click here:

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First published at Travel Industry Today

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