By Stuart Wilson
Despite the hardships of the current Covid-19 pandemic, the grand opening of the Union restaurant at Camana Bay was held on 1st October; coinciding with the launch of Restaurant Month, which is being celebrated for the entire month of October in the Cayman Islands.
Owner of Union restaurant Paul Slijper noted, “We are proud to be a part of Restaurant Month and it’s a great way to keep the staff paid and feeding their families, as well as to support the industry during these tough times.”
He explained that Union Restaurant has the feel of a big city bistro but in the tropics, with “dark and moody lighting” and elegant decor. He said the people who visit restaurant will find that the scene is akin to offerings in other premier culinary destinations such as New York.
“Folks senses will feel like they’ve been transported to somewhere in Tribeca during their experience here with us and once they are done, they’’’ be able to get right back out into the Caribbean atmosphere and back to normal life.”
Union also has a great vegan menu, which Mr. Slijper said was important to include because often times vegans go out to dine and there is nothing much on offer for them.
“We wanted to make sure that our vegan friends are taken care of and there is a great selection for them too.”
Mr. Slijper added that he was eager to see Cayman reopen and urged persons to get vaccinated.
“Let’s do it!” he exclaimed, whilst elaborating that, “…the economy is crumbling.”
“People are looking at other destinations and many of the conferences that come to Cayman are booked months or even a year or two in advance, so it’s going to take us a while to catch up,” he said.
As part of the opening, which was attended by members of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association, as well as Tourism Minister, the Honourable Kenneth Bryan, an array of food was served, and drinks poured to mark the celebration.
Minister Bryan said he was happy to see an expansion of the Islands’ tourism product, especially with the current Covid-19 restrictions.
“Its great to see that businesses still have the confidence. We will be reopening soon and this is another great restaurant on the scene for people to experience” he noted, adding that Union is, “…..a bit different and very interesting”.
When asked if the government was considering opening Cayman’s borders before next year, given the current state of affairs, Mr. Bryan said, “We’d be happy to open earlier than the end of the year as long as all the ‘i’s are dotted’ and ‘all the t’s are crossed’.”
Explaining that in the meantime, October is a month when we celebrate the great cuisine in Cayman and a chance for locals to enjoy the offering before the rush begins when things open up.
Claire Johnston of Tower Marketing noted that this year’s Restaurant Month features 30 restaurants with special menus.
“We are inviting everyone to support. The month’s menus include CI$15 per person lunches and CI$25 per person dinners.”
She encouraged everyone to come out and support the initiative and Cayman’s culinary industry.
Organized by the Cayman Islands Tourism Association, Restaurant Month kicks off every October and allows foodies to enjoy some of the best dining in Cayman at value for money.
This year’s Restaurant month also offers signature brunches.