Sat | Aug 19, 2017

2wo A Island Seafood and Grill bringing life to city nights

Published:Thursday | May 25, 2017 | 5:15 AM
Owen 'Blakka' Ellis and his brother and fellow comic 'Ity' Ellis chilling out prior to their performance at Thursday Night Live!
The I-Lite band performing at Thursday Night Live! From Left: lead drummer, Barnarass, lead singer 'Birdie' Brown and lead bass guitarist, 'Guerilla Basie'.
Fried snapper with escoveitch sauce on the side and fried bammy.
Jerked shrimp with fried bammy
Shrimp in batter with fresh steamed vegetables and sweet and sour sauce.
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Exciting nightlife is a hallmark of great cities, serving to draw locals and visitors to explore the native culture of music, theatre and cuisine.

Leading the way in this reducing the deficit of locations in Kingston and St Andrew that offer live music as an option while dining, is 2wo A (Two A) Island Seafood and Grill situated in a quiet cul-de-sac on the fringes of New Kingston.

Located at 2A Strathairn Avenue, off Ruthven Road, the ambience is naturally relaxed as the restaurant is positioned in a garden setting amid leafy, green shrubbery and manicured lawns. The restaurant has developed a bit of a cult following of patrons who are particular about fine seafood, procured fresh from the sea and prepared daily to simmering perfection.

For the past few months, with little fanfare, the venue has been producing every Thursday, a series called 'Thursday Night Live!' which has attracted a growing highly discerning audience which appreciates excellent music from every genre, but primarily Roots Reggae, Rocksteady, Jazz and classic Rhythm and Blues.

Under muted lights, at nights, 2wo A undergoes a metamorphosis, from a pleasant, almost sleepy eatery, to an uber cool happening place where the best live music is enjoyed under the stars, or from the various covered vantage points.

A feature of the series is the 'University Without Walls' segment conceived by co-producer DiMario McDowell where great singers, musicians and comics reflect sincerely on their life and careers interspersed with their biggest hits.

 

Colourful history

 

Patrons hang on to every word as the colourful history of people like Bob Andy, Pam Hall, Judy Mowatt, Ken Boothe, Bunny Wailer, Dean Frazer, Marjorie Whylie and others like comedian Owen 'Blacka' Ellis and Leroy 'Horse Mouth' Wallace, are told firsthand. The rich tapestry of Jamaican life and its cultural history including previously unknown secrets are extolled along with great musicality and humorous insights.

The venue is owned by attorney and developer Huntley Watson, a behind the scenes entertainment innovator.

Watson's focus is on seafood which he supervises from point of purchase to preparation to ensure the integrity of the product.

"Freshness is our signature here at 2wo A," Watson noted.

He believes that enterprises like his are critical to the revival of nightlife in the capital.

"We are first movers in restoring Kingston's reputation as a centre of live music by diversifying the product," said Watson, adding that such development augured well for the creative sector, the City of Kingston and the nation as a whole.