There was perhaps a bit of apprehension last year, but make no mistake for 2013, F&B Downtown is the face of the jewellery, food fusion experience. Ueli Bangerter, managing director of Swiss Stores, who also has a background in the hospitality industry, has tactfully divided the floor space of Swiss Stores into a showroom and restaurant.
"First of all, we have space, and jewellery does not need that much space. Before I came here (Jamaica), I was a hotelier and then I became a jeweller. So I merged the two. I saw the need for something like this. I saw the need for something different: fresh, young and dynamic," explains Bangerter.
Different might very well be the minimalist classic theme, but it is the striking images of legendary screen icons Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe that hold your attention. Strategically placed at the centre of the food and jewellery, Bangerter says of the portraits, "We want to be classic. And those are two classic icons, and as you can see, the theme is more or less black and white. We want to connect the past with the future. And in terms of jewellery we want to be classic."
F&B Downtown has been in operation for two years, and Bangerter expanded it last July. His wish is for F&B Downtown to be the place where "people are happy to come to the bar, lyme, have a drink, shop at the same time and maybe service your watch". Indeed, F&B Downtown's expansion now includes General Manager Stacy Barnett who, having been employed just a month ago, says of the restaurant, "It's not just a fusion. It's about being more creative and dynamic. You've heard of a restaurant and fashion, but you've never heard of jewellery and food. F&B is fast becoming a brand, and as such I'd like to be part of the experience."
What's on the menu are home-made soups, gourmet salads, premium sandwiches, Italian-style pastas, wines, coffee and sweets and beverages — all reasonably priced. A point Bangerter wishes to underscore. "Our menu options are simple, fresh and the prices just right." Barnett adds, "We're not trying to break banks. We are trying to show that this can be done."
Bangerter implores Jamaicans: "Don't be afraid to come downtown, it's the new uptown."
Prices range from $100 to $750
Opening Hours 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Takeout and Delivery available
107 Harbour Street, Kingston