Heidy Andrade is a gentle, soft-spoken lady who owns and manages a very special eatery and watering hole…Right on the Municipal Airstrip. Her story is a true example of what one can achieve with hard work in this country of ours. She hails from Honduras and has been in the country for 14 years, now a naturalized Belizean.
Heidy came to Belize 14 years ago carrying a suitcase in one hand and her son in another. In Honduras she used to work in a clothing factory for minimum wage, trying to study and raise her child. Her days were long and tiring, but she managed to get a degree in Marketing. Her sister and mother were already here which was an important plus. At first, she worked as a waitress at Palm Island Restaurant and got a sense of what running a restaurant entailed. In 2009, her then Boss, noticing her enthusiasm and skillset up a second venture, a small Palapa food and drink bar at the entrance to the airstrip.
Heidy, along with two other women and a cook, created a spot which was called Admiral’s, but soon became known as The Hangar. They used to do take-out, snacks, and a great happy hour. Heidy attached herself to the cook and learned to make Belizean and Spanish dishes. She was known by the residents of the neighborhood and also travelers taking flights.
A New Venture
As providence would have it, the airstrip underwent massive reconstruction and Heidy had to take a break. This gave her the chance to plan what she would do next. With determination and hard work, she began the task of building a new and improved bar, all the while managing the Admiral Bay on the seaside at Buttonwood Bay. Finally, in September of 2019, the new Admiral’s was ready to re-open. All the former patrons came back. The place has the feel of a deck on a ship. The food is good, to go or to stay. It is all gleaming wood and white, with a verandah-like space to watch the planes come and go, and enjoy the beautiful sea and sky.
Admiral’s is family and child- friendly. It is comfortable and homey, with a relaxed feel. No loud music. The menu is usual Belizean fare, rice, and beans, chilmole, burgers, and snacks. The drinks are good, and the prices are right. Their hours are from 9 am to 8 pm Monday to Wednesday, and from 9 am to 10 pm on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Come and meet Heidy and friends. She is a force to be reckoned with in a tiny package.
This is truly a fine example of what can be done in Belize, and why Central Americans come and make Belize their home.
Written by Nelita Castillo