Pusser's, a chain of restaurants and stores across the British Virgin Islands and producer of Pusser's rum, is closing its location this month on Marina Cay, an eight-acre island a 15-minute boat ride from the east end of Tortola.
The island was impacted by Hurricane Irma in 2017, and the Pusser's restaurant and store was damaged, as well as the island's eight-room hotel, the Robb White bar and watersports facilities.
"We've had to call it quits after more than 25 years as a tenant with a good landlord," Charles Tobias, founder of Pusser's, said. "We're a small company, and Hurricane Irma ate us up financially. Consequently, we were unable to meet the terms of a new lease. Nevertheless, we've had a good run and a lot of fun."
Pusser's currently operates a restaurant and bar at Myett's in Cane Garden Bay on Tortola, with an adjoining Pusser's Co. Store; the Pusser's Painkiller Bar and Co. Store in Road Town, Tortola, and a Pusser's Co. Store at Leverick Bay on Virgin Gorda. The company expects to reopen its Pusser's Landing and Co. Store in Soper's Hole in West End, Tortola by December.
Each Pusser's store stocks tropical and nautical apparel as well as gift items.
Pusser's is known as the prime ingredient in the popular Painkiller cocktail, for which Tobias credits Daphne Henderson, owner of the Soggy Dollar Bar on White Bay Beach on Jost Van Dyke, for its origin in the 1970s. Tobias' version of the recipe includes two ounces of Pusser's rum, four ounces of pineapple juice, one ounce of orange juice and one ounce of cream of coconut. The ingredients must be added to a cocktail shaker and shaken vigorously, poured into a glass filled with ice and topped with grated fresh nutmeg.