Saturday Night Live at Mongoose grows
It's been almost two years since Lesbert Thomas launched the Saturday Night Live series at Mongoose Jamaica Restaurant in Ocho Rios, and the event has grown over time to become a popular choice for people from as far away as Kingston and Montego Bay.
"Patrons can expect good, conscious, clean reggae music. they can expect a full taste of Jamaica from both music and food," said Carl Edwards (from Live Wyya band), who manages the band Yaad Rootz, which plays every weekend. "Things have been quite good since we started in 2013," Edwards added.
The event continues to be an open-mic affair, but to ensure quality, presentations are kept at a high level as persons wishing to perform have to satisfy a rigorous screening process.
Saturday Night Live has emerged as the preferred event for many people on a weekend, and owner, Lesbert Thomas, is pleased with how the event has emerged over time.
"As usual, we always want to do something different from other restaurants around Ocho Rios, so Saturday Night Live is proving that, like our tagline says, 'Mongoose Jamaica is more than a restaurant, it's an experience'," Thomas said. "So this is part of the experience, where we mix the best of Jamaican music and food and serve in a beautiful, family-friendly atmosphere."
Popular spot for all
Mongoose Jamaica is located across the street from Jamaica Grande and has attracted both visitors and Jamaicans alike. Saturday nights, though, are special for Jamaicans.
"I'm here whenever I can, which is almost every Saturday night," one customer told Entertainment Avenue. "We get great live music without a cover charge, and the food here is awesome and affordable. On a Saturday night, there is nowhere else to be in Ocho Rios but at Mongoose," he added.
And the event will continue, according to Thomas. "It has been beautiful - live music in a beautiful family atmosphere. If you have kids, you can carry them with you because the type of music that we play is nice, cultural music and some R&B and stuff."
"On any given Saturday night, we have people driving in from Kingston or from Montego Bay for Saturday Night Live. It's just awesome!" Thomas added.
The menu offers a wide range of dishes including vegetarian cuisine, seafood such as lobster (when in season), curried shrimp, steamed fish, jerked chicken, pasta, and burgers.
"The music and food compliment each other, so you can come for one and enjoy both," Thomas said.