In every town there is a rum bar. The bar is sometimes like a town hall; at other times, an entertainment centre. Apart from a drink of rum, you can buy banana chips for a snack, paracetamol for headache or a pack of condoms. Depending on the day of the week, curry goat is for sale and mannish water is 'on the house'. In fact, in every village you have a bar, and as an indicator of health of the local economy, more than one bar.
In the big towns and the city, bars are scaled up. One result is the sports lounge. Here you have servers who wait your table, food and drinks menus, multiple TV screens showing the same stuff, and someone who can place your sports bet. When a big sports event is on, things can get hectic. You will not find as many of these sports bars as you might presuppose exist in a sports culture such as Jamaica's. But their popularity is increasing in the city.
Bars are like pubs but you will not find many listings for pub as a search term in the directory. Lounge, café and restaurant are more effective search terms to use. Lots of them are listed. Some are extensions of hotels and do not require a day pass for the hotel in order to use the bar. There is no rating guide for these entertainment spots; you have to rely on word-of-mouth or use the reviews from past patrons if available online.
There is some kind of publicly promoted entertainment event targeted for a month end in Kingston. Sometimes the show is a party series, e.g., every two months, and has its own 'cult' following such that promoters barely do any promotion. Several shows are part of the entertainment calendar for Jamaicans in this way. The shows or parties may be community based or attract patrons from a cross section of the city. These shows can be such a high profile event that people from overseas schedule visits to Jamaica around these events.
Party specialists in Jamaica do not mind that some parties are themed. For example, there is 'retro' to target music from a certain era. The theme may be a colour, 'black and white', or a certain music genre, e.g., roots reggae. These parties are sometimes themed to reflect lifestyles. For e.g., at a roots reggae show or party, there is no alcohol, smoking ganja is cool, the menu is vegetarian friendly and message music is heavily rotated. A regular party crowd might prefer heavier dosage of top 40 in the party mix and definitely alcohol. Picking the party to go to will require navigating these considerations.
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