Sun | Feb 23, 2020

Ribbiz Ocean Lounge toasts to 2019

Published:Friday | January 4, 2019 | 12:00 AMStephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer
Russell Wilson dancing with Lana Nehme during the New Year's Eve celebration.
Ribbiz Lounge limited proprietors, Brian 'Ribbie' Chung and Kamal Bankay (at centre) in a warm embrace with members of their floor staff at the Victoria Pier location on New Year's Eve.
Mischka Stewart plants a kiss on her beau Toron Chin as they welcomed 2019 on the deck of Ribbiz Ocean Lounge.
From left: Anthony Gee and his wife, Aqua, share a hug.
Jessica Hayes (left) and Ambica Haria are all smiles as they usher in the New Year.
Sonya Henry enjoys the fresh air and the lights of Kingston's Harbour.

Amid the activities in downtown Kingston on New Year's Eve, the Victoria Pier was lit up - literally and figuratively - with scores of persons seeking a spot to watch the fireworks on the city's waterfront.

One of the spots to be was Ribbiz Ocean Lounge, hosting its 'Ocean Lights. New Year's Eve party. Speaking to The Gleaner, Kamal Bankay, one of the proprietors of the franchise, said that the turnout was better than expected. In fact, tickets to join the celebration, which included a gourmet menu, mixed drinks, New Year's Day breakfast at 3 a.m., and a good view of the fireworks in a comfortable space, were sold out by 9 p.m.

"It was a great experience, and with all the excitement downtown, added to making the whole night spectacular," he added. At midnight, guests were invited to grab a champagne glass to toast the new year and bid 2018 adieu. DJ Chaddy G and Bankay (also known for his skills at the turntables) provided the countdown and selected Koffee's Toast as the explosions of lights commenced. The rising megastar's single was played on repeat for nearly half an hour following the firework display.

"That was one of the most memorable parts of the night, the reggae artiste's song was not only appropriate for the occasion, but for the temperature of the night sparked by having fireworks on the harbour," said Bankay.

And though the staff were kept busy by their numerous guests, their employers made sure to fÍte them even for a short moment as they gathered in the dining area for an embrace during the midnight celebration.


Conga Time


As breakfast was served and guests settled down to enjoy the fare, the party was still not over. One or two conga lines were created before everyone was wished all the best for 2019 and a safe drive home.

Bankay's business partners, Brian 'Ribbie' Chung and Don Creary, were engrossed with entertaining guests throughout the night, as part of their aim to make everyone who comes to Ribbiz feel like family. "The resolution for 2019 is for us to keep growing and showing our customers, as well as staff, the care that makes Ribbiz Lounge Limited (officially opened for about two months) the place we have worked hard for."

In addition to celebrating the successes of the past year, he revealed the focus for the third Ribbiz location.

"The focus is to make the next location, in Manor Park, a nightclub, and our aim is to start construction as soon as the roadwork in the Constant Spring area is complete," said Bankay, also sharing that following that, they will be working to establish a South Florida location.