BVI News

Bullish | Bomba Shack is coming back

Wellington ‘Bomba’ Smith. (Photo Credit: Esther Durand/BVI News).

By Esther Durand, BVI News Journalist

Bomba Shack is coming back.

With hopes of successful legal proceedings in relation to the location of the acclaimed tourist attraction, owner Wellington ‘Bomba’ Smith is eyeing a 2018 reopening.

“I want to go back in business around July/August after the court case and I want to take my time and build something really shack style. I have a lawyer and she told me not to worry. So, I’m not worrying,” said a bullish Smith, who is currently fighting to remain on the leased land where he has been operating for nearly 50 years.

As Smith prepares for the looming court case scheduled for June, the 75-year-old businessman has also sought to get financial assistance to rebuild the establishment.


A GoFundMe account was set up after the hurricanes to fund the rebuild, and Smith is hoping to garner at least $2,000 in donations to purchase plumbing, electrical, and building materials.

While Smith wants to rebuild an establishment by the seashore further in the future, he hopes to build his new shack opposite the location where the old structure had been erected in Capoons Bay, Tortola.

The new shack would be built in front of a small wooden storeroom which he now calls home.

Smith has transformed this storeroom that is located opposite the now-destroyed ‘Bomba Shack’ into his place of residence.

As Smith spoke with BVI News, he sat on an old office chair by his doorway; wearing his signature hat and time-worn clothes.

The remainder of his wardrobe has been in short supply since Hurricane Irma destroyed his business, made off with his belongings, and left him with an injury.

The injury

During the disaster, the building in which he weathered the storm sustained immense damage.

The hurricane ripped the roof from the building; causing Smith to receive a head injury from a flying missile.

“I was out for about 10 minutes. It left my eyes kind of blurry, but my sight is coming back,” he said.

After the hurricanes, Smith resided with family and friends for three months before moving into the storeroom that was located opposite his destroyed shack.

The senior citizen said he now relies on others to assist him to get around because of a medical issue with his legs.

But, despite months of hardship, the 75-year-old businessman remains hopeful and in inspiringly good spirits.

Editor’s Note:

Bomba Shack is a relatively tiny and unsophisticated wooden bar known for its full moon parties and, perhaps, even more importantly, its awe-inspiring ability to attract tourists.

The structure has been in danger of not being rebuilt because of an ongoing feud between owner Wellington ‘Bomba’ Smith and family members who own the land where the shack was located.

Bomba Shack before Hurricane Irma. (Google Image)


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  1. The lesson for the young says:

    When you have a successful business with low overheads and high income save something for a rainy day. The drinks weren’t cheap so what has he done with the profits?

    Like 4
    Dislike 7
  2. Banks says:

    This man is a cultural icon and should be assisted.

  3. rastarite says:

    You can’t buy mushroom tea anymore, it’s illegal – but you can buy a cup. Then you can drink FREE TEA. Bomba should write a book ‘ How to get around the law’ and sell it to the financial services experts

  4. Slick says:

    $2000 he wants. stop it. what kind of businessman is he. He has a tacky shack on somebody elses land and wants you to fund it.

    • @Slick says:

      One its family land. Two he was being robbed by staff for years. Three the Shack is just as popular world wide as Foxy’s. Know your facts first

  5. One eye rooste says:

    Ask all those persons who worked for him and stole all his money family members and close friends Also they know who they are .

  6. Family abroad says:

    One thing I have notice people have alot to say when they don’t know facts. Yes bomba least the land where he was and in that agreement he was aloud to stay there until he dies. The shack was built in the late 60s early 70s and is a huge tourist attraction it is internationally known. Just like any business person that uses untrust worthy accountants you get Rob blind. People come and see what you have and want to take over I have me people from all over the world that come to full moon parties and to surf there. It is a great source of in come for a lot of hotel and guest house in the area. I was home after the hurricanes and the community is behind of him. When older family members agree on something it the kids that distroy it because they money hungry. Bomba should have and money for a rain day but he got screwed over bad. Plus you don’t even know about the donation he gave to the school in the area. Please if you don’t have anything good to say about people you should keep your comments to yourself.

    • LOL says:

      why did I think the donations to the school were made by the actual property owners, land for the school, land for the recreation ground, fire station, clinic – never heard Bomba being mentioned in connection with these donations.

  7. One eye rooste says:

    Family abroad please read over what you are blogging from here talking shite

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  8. Janice says:

    Bomba has helped the whole bvi to become known worldwide. And,it follows that he has been a part of the success of BVI entrepreneurs.

  9. Eartha says:

    Bomba and Bomba Shack are s— in my eye.
    Nothing at all to be proud of.
    Wasted years wasted moneys wasted hu—– and no time remaining.
    The foreign d—— and such are enthralled by this black man who perpetuates the fallacy of black man as a non——-.

  10. Schuups says:

    Bomba could hardly drag one foot in front the other to walk. How he plan to go open a club. Bet the opportunistic vultures are nudging him forward with false pretenses. He need to find a comfortable pillow,get medical attention and greet retirement as best he could.

  11. Rubber Duck says:

    Government should be giving money to BVI icons like Bomba and Willy T who bring tourists.

    Not to robber taxi men who drive them away.

    But that is the BVI government.

  12. Traveler says:

    Bring back Bomba Shack! I had a great time at a Full Moon Party many years ago. It was one of the main reasons I visited Tortola. And believe me, I spent plenty money while I was there.

  13. Tommy says:

    No marijuana no more visits to BVI anyway. Draconian laws will land you in trouble. It’s always about the dollars.

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