Snacks on Bonaire
The island of Bonaire has 64 snacks. Simple bars / restaurants where the emphasis is on drinking beer, but where you can also eat or order a takeaway. A snack is primarily a social meeting place for the local population, you do not see many tourists. That is why you will find a lot of snacks in the local neighborhoods. It is very common that a lot of snacks are visited mainly by men. They are also accessible to women, but you see them less often. Since the emphasis is on drinking, there are only few tables (maximum of roughly five), and they are simply made. Much more important are the prices, which are very affordable, beer being usually a good indicator.
Most snacks open early and only close when the last customer is gone. Increasingly, snacks are being run by Chinese people.
In popular speech, many bar / restaurants are still called snacks. The difference is in the permits. The owner of a snack permit is not allowed to sell hard liquor, while the owner of a bar / restaurant permit can. So you now see on Bonaire a shift from snacks to bar and/or bar / restaurant. This is not yet very common and something is simply called a snack if you can eat and drink well and cheaply.
The Beverage and Catering Regulation Bonaire describes the bar, snack and restaurant licenses as follows:
# a bar permit entitles the holder to the retail sale of liquor both for on-site use and for use elsewhere and for the sale of low-alcohol or non-alcoholic drinks and ice-cream or similar article for on-site use.
# a restaurant license entitles the holder to the retail sale of non-alcoholic drinks, ice-cream or similar articles and food, which are prepared in a kitchen on site, for use on site.
# a snack permit entitles the holder to the retail sale of weak alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks, ice-cream or similar article intended for consumption and certain food to be prepared in a simple manner for use on site.
Guidelines when you call a bar a snack:
1) there must be food ready to be consumed
2) the emphasis should be on consuming alcohol
3) maximum 5 tables to eat
4) beer price is affordable (under $2)
5) the temperature of the beer is at freezing point
6) open at least 5 days a week
7) and open at least 6 hours a day