In the winter of 1960, Mrs. Toothe leased the Buena Vista Estate to a group of hoteliers comprised of Mrs. Lorraine Onderdonk (1902-2000) former manager of the Victoria Hotel and owner of the Cumberland Hotel, Mrs. Hedwig Hauck former Cuisine Manager from the Prince George Hotel and later from the Cumberland Hotel and chefs Mr. Terry Mahony and Mr. Bernard Perron from the Cumberland Hotel. The bar formerly known as Captain Joe’s Locker was renamed the Canary Bar. It was previously named Captain Joe’s for Captain Joe Miron who sailed The Bahamas with Burl Ives on the Abaco Queen.

The guest register from the 1960s is a list of “who’s who”. It includes amongst others the Duke and Duchess of Sutherland, Earl Caernarvon whose family was of King Tutankhamen fame, Zachary Scott, Robert Mitchum, Bobby Kennedy and his sister Eunice Kennedy with her husband Sargent Shriver, Jack Parr, Sidney Poitier, Ed Sullivan, Ralph Belamy, Joan Crawford, Sir Malcolm and Lady McAlpine, Debbie Reynolds, Eddie Fisher, Morton Downy Jr. amongst others. In its time the Buena Vista was the premier restaurant at Nassau and one of the best in the West Indies.

The Buena Vista was eventually purchased by McAlpine & Sons, Ltd. By 1966, all the partners from the Onderdonk-Hauck group had sold their stake in the property. Less than half a decade later, it once again passed hands to a group that was eventually headed by Mr. Stan Bocus. A 1994 article from The Bahamas Islander tells us that “From the early 1860s until the turn of the century the Buena Vista matured into a graceful, colourful old‐mansion influenced by the life‐styles of its occupants. There have been many owners of the property since the beginning of the 20th century, each of whom has contributed particular character and interior designs now reflected in the graceful home.”

Surrey Cart entering the Buena Vista Hotel & Restaurant in 1964

Surrey Cart entering the Buena Vista Hotel & Restaurant in 1964


1966 Buena Vista Restaurant Menu

1966 Buena Vista Restaurant Menu

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