Five questions with model-turned-rum-centric Geena Whyte

BORN in Kingston, Jamaica, model-turned-rum-centric bar owner Geena Whyte has returned home to her roots to open Rummaz Bar on the West End in Negril, Westmoreland.

Known for birthing the most popular and favoured rums in the world, Jamaica will now have another place to experience world-class rums on the West End. Officially opened on April 20, the rum bar features an indoor bar with a rooftop deck for private event space with a clean, white modern aesthetic with stripes of red, green and gold for a “rasta-chic” vibe.

From the world-famous Appleton to Hampden’s finest selection, Worthy Park’s full range, and National Rums of Jamaica’s Monymusk line, Whyte aims to shake up the bar scene in Negril by serving eclectic rum-infused cocktails.

Whyte, a New York trained mixologist, learned the game of hospitality while juggling her call times as a model in the metropolitan city.

Having modelled for American Apparel and Land’s End, among others, she’s now aiming to make her mark on the highly competitive Jamaican bar scene.

We sat down with the stunning model to discuss Rummaz Bar, the location, and why she decided to move back home to Jamaica.

AW: What inspired you to open your own bar on the West End in Negril?

GW: I moved from New York to Hawaii to be closer to nature. It was very expensive and not as welcoming as I thought island life would be. So I decided to pack up everything and move back to Jamaica and open a bar on the West End. When I saw where Hungry Lion used to be, I thought it just felt right. It’s good to be home.

AW: What’s your favourite rum cocktail?

GW: I love rum, of course! So definitely a classic Hemmingway or a jungle bird.

AW: Jamaica houses the highest number of rum bars per square mile, which makes it one of the best places in the world to sample different types of rum. What makes your rum bar stand out from the rest?

GW: Rum is unquestionably the most diverse spirit in the world. We hope to offer our guests an innovative new approach to rum by featuring the largest rum selection in Jamaica.

AW: What kind of experience can people expect when they visit Rummaz Bar?

GW: Think modern Rasta theme. It’s very laid-back and minimalist with a pop of red, green and gold.

AW: How can people find you?

GW: We’re located on the cliff-side of Negril, known as the West End in the location where Hungry Lion used to be. You can find us on Instagram @rummazja.

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