Republika: Tradition Reinvented

Republika BarIf I had to describe the Republika Bar in one word only it would be beloved.

Since I moved to San Juan del Sur almost 8 years ago, I have watched the bar go through four generations of ownership.  I think it’s safe to say that Mandy and Cory Dwyer put the bar on most people’s radar, winning the hearts of expats with the combined vibe of laid back surfers, sports enthusiasts and Southern hospitality.  They established Trivia Night Tuesdays, had a regular weekly poker following and made Republika the go-to spot for watching sports events.  Their departure left a hole in the hearts of many San Juaneños and big shoes to fill. 

Today the torch has been passed to Caroline Dooms and Adrian Le Clercq.  Originally from Belgium, with 2 years of living experience in San Juan del Sur, they spent enough nights on the other side of the bar to recognize the importance of Republika’s traditions.  But they also realized that it needed more than a face lift to breathe life into it again. Upon purchasing the bar in May of 2014, they wasted no time in painting artfully designed wall murals and creating a tasty new menu. They hired back old bartenders and quickly re-established the bar’s loyal following.

The breakfasts include simple yet delicious food options for both healthy and hungover travelers.  From homemade Belgium waffles with powdered sugar to pork pitas with hummus and homemade bread, all lunch and dinner servings are large and the ingredients fresh.  Among our favorites are Caroline’s famous salad with glazed chicken and the Republika burger with hand cut fries (don’t forget to add the bacon and double cheddar). And whisky lovers will be pleased with the upgraded selection of Bookers, Maker’s Mark and Knob Creek that line the shelves.

Tuesday night Trivia has been revived.  Poker night is competitive.  You can always catch a game here in good company.  And their ‘Name That Tune Trivia’ on Fridays is raging in popularity.

So in a sense, the soul of Republika lives on, it’s just got a bit of a French accent.  New ownership, familiar faces and tradition reinvented.

You’ll find Republika a 1/2 block east of Barrio Café on Avenida Central. You can also follow them on Facebook here.


  1. Right on the money! From the day this place opened (back when I lived in town) it had a great vibe. I loved spending time there with Cory and Mandy. My favorite times were when they had the grill out front and they were always cooking up something delicious that could be smelled all the way from my house.