Dave Lindo and Amitabh Sharma, Gleaner Writers
Popular HGTV star Vern Yip was the toast at the hip Star Grill restaurant in Mandeville on Saturday, October 20, where he participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the new eatery. In fact, the designer/interior decorator was the big attraction of the day, signing autographs and revelling in praise for the exquisite décor of the restaurant he conceptualised and executed.
The green building with the red star logo strikes the visitor's eyes, and the interiors transcend from waterfalls to white goblet lamps floating on the ceiling.
"Our decor is the most talked about in town," restaurateur Andrea Patmore said. "Our guests enjoy relaxing at Star Grill and taking pictures almost as much as they enjoy the food."
It was the lush green hills of Manchester and the clouds descending on them that inspired designer Yip. "If you look at the lamps, they are delicately hanging from the ceiling, as they float in the sky," he quipped having flown in to attend the grand opening of the restaurant.
Yip is known for knocking down walls and making over countless homes and restaurants during his four seasons on TLC's Trading Spaces, on NBC's Home Intervention, through his private practice and for the past eight years on HGTV.
This is first project in Jamaica and he said that he enjoyed every bit of the experience. This was evident as he walked about greeting his throng of his admires, many of whom journeyed from far to see him.
Since opening its doors in November of 2011, Star Grill has built a reputation of being a restaurant of high quality. With its 'out of this world' décor apart, it serves some very scrumptious meals. From their fast-food restaurant (on the lower floor), they offer a variety of sandwiches, pastas, jerk and barbecue chicken and much more. The attractive dining restaurant on the upper floor offers a range of fine cuisine.
Star Grill's menu was created by German Axel Wichterich who, along with his wife Andrea, operates the Marblue Villa Suites and Restaurants in Treasure Beach.
"We are just different from the other restaurants in the meals we offer, our preparation, our ambience, everything," Andrea Patmore explained.
"When people come in, they say wow, this is different and that Mandeville really needed something like this. They (patrons) are really loving it and we are happy for that."
The restaurant, which is operated by Chris and Andrea Patmore, had a rocking party as patrons enjoyed music by the 'blazing' FAME FM team which included the Captain Collin Hines, beauty queen Regina Beavers, Yanique Barrett as well as François St Juste. This added to the excitement of the day.