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Kareem’s Quest

Relaxing at Blue Ridge Restaurant

Published:Friday | June 19, 2020 | 12:11 AMKareem LaTouche/Gleaner Writer
Blue Ridge Restaurant, a view of the inside.
Blue Ridge Restaurant, a view of the inside.
No surprise that a perfect blue drink is waiting.
Plantain wrap with bacon entrée.
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Everything about Blue Ridge Restaurant is an experience to remember, and this includes the journey, a 25-minute drive from Papine, which will take you through the scenic mountainside of Gordon Town.

Once I was on the property, everything felt different. The driveway is lined with pine trees and the restaurant is made with wood and glass, which reminds me of a log cabin.

Owner Tabetha Phillips stamps her unique sense of styling throughout the establishment. “Everywhere I travel I carry back something and add it to the décor of the place. It can be something as simple as a sign or a button. When persons come here, they must feel different from anywhere else.”

Despite opening only five years ago, the restaurant has amassed quite a large following due to the tranquillity and the quality of the food. However, Phillips has faced numerous challenges in the last few months, resulting in her closing her business multiple times.

“At one point, the road to get up here was really bad and I didn’t feel comfortable having my customers drive on it. So I closed shop and started to seek help from the Government. To my surprise, Mrs Holness [member of parliament for the constituency] called me one day and said she was going to send a team up here to pave it,” she said.

During the road work, Phillips stopped her business for four months, and happily reopened in February, much to the delight of her customers. “Business picked up really fast, we truly have some loyal customers.”

In short order, on March 14, she had to close once again due to the coronavirus. “This was a hard one because of the economic impact it was going to have, especially on my staff. Everyone I hire is from the area and this is their only source of income, so breaking the news to them was hard.”

COMING BACK FULL FORCE

Now, with the economy slowly reopening, Blue Ridge Restaurant started back business for the third time on June 6. “We are functioning in a slightly new way, as we are following the social guidelines by the ministry.” Due to this, there is a restriction with the number of persons who can visit the property.

“I have to implore our guests to make a reservation before they come, so that we can ensure they have a seating space. Plus, our food is done to order, so it usually takes a while to prepare.”

RIDGE BITS

 

Who is it for: Couples who are serious or families that love food and nature.

Tip: It’s not a stop-and-go restaurant, so come prepared to have three courses, and make sure you are dining with someone whose company you like.

What stands out: The pine trees and the wooden structure of the restaurant.

Must-try food: Appetizer – plantain wrap with bacon; entrée – Pork chops with mac and cheese; dessert – bananas flambé.

Location: Salt Hill Rd, East Rural St Andrew.

Vehicle needed to access property: Any vehicle should be able to manage the current road.

Contact: info@blueridgeja.com, 876-562-7580.

Social media: Instagram: @blueridgeja; Facebook: Blue Ridge Restaurant and Cottages.