Cheers To Red Stripe


Cheers To Red Stripe

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

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If, like the Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards judges, you are desirous of collating information about what happens bar-wise on a Monday night in Kingston you'd be well advised to have Jason Hendricks, brand manager, spirits, Heineken, on speed dial. Convincing him to share the deets of the contents of his Red Book might prove a tad challenging but not entirely impossible, as we discovered over cold bottles of Red Stripe at the beginning of a work week to boot, at GI GI's HQ. “I wanted you to enjoy an authentic community bar experience,” he said. It was no idle boast. From the snack shop to the side where peanuts and strips of salt fish could be had to meeting Reshi-Roma Wholesale proprietor Rudolph Daley a regular patron, and Lee “Scratch” Perry look-alike George 'Rat' Stewart, the community was well-represented.

Hosting duties were handled by GI-GI's co-owner Jacqueline Thompson (her mum was ill), who informed the team that the establishment had been in operation for almost three decades. Pretty impressive by any standard, but not really surprising with the excellent customer service offerings of Thompson and her team.

The authentic community experience continued at Cool World Lounge located at Bronsthorpe Square, in business for two decades, where Neisha Garwood and Kimone Reid could certainly teach many established bar staff the art of good service, and the 27-year-old establishment Betty's Lounge, Pembroke Hall, helmed by Bethrina Miles, a veritable historian.

Although in closer proximity to Jack's Hill the community warmth prevailed at the 51-year-old Silver Top Tavern which is owned and operated by the charming Sharon Sudeene. Truth be told, we would have enjoyed a further four stops prior to ending our bar crawl. Let's see if Hendricks is willing to share a few more. Until then, support your community and the industry by initiating your own bar crawl. Like us, you'll kick yourself for not starting before. As an aside, dance lessons by Shelly-An Curran are available on request!

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