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Downtown Nassau Needs '20 More Restaurants'

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Charles Klonaris

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business Editor

nhartnell@tribunemedia.net

Downtown Nassau needs “at least 20 more restaurants” to transform itself into a nighttime destination that will once again attract both locals and tourists, a senior private sector executive said yesterday.

Charles Klonaris, the Downtown Nassau Partnership’s (DNP) co-chairman, told Tribune Business that Bay Street and the surrounding area lacked the “proper choice” of dining options that would entice families back to the city in the evening.

Noting that downtown Nassau was “locked into a triangle” between Paradise Island, Cable Beach and the cruise ships, Mr Klonaris said: “We have to combine all these top-notch destinations bringing thousands of tourists.

“It’s how we market ourselves as well as create a product. The city has to be somewhere people want to come to be entertained. It has to be clean, safe and enjoyable.

“The city right now, for it to be a nightly destination, we need at least 20 more restaurants downtown to bring variety.

“Right now, we have upscale and fast food, but are not giving proper choice for families to come down, night or day, and enjoy themselves and make use of the magnificent harbour we have.”

Downtown Nassau’s restaurant options are set to receive a major boost with the investment in four new eatery concepts by an investor group headed by Jamie Dingman, son of Bahamas-based businessman and philanthropist, Michael Dingman.

Mr Dingman and his associates are leasing four units in Mr Klonaris’s Elizabeth on Bay Plaza, situated at the Bay Street and Elizabeth Avenue junction.

And the DNP co-chair believes this will help transform Bay Street, especially the section lying east of East Street, into “a mecca for entertainment” in conjunction with other investments in the area.

Noting that the Kelly family was “moving forward” with its plans to transform the former Betty K dock, Mr Klonaris said of the increased investment activity: “I’m a firm believer that east of East Street - from East Street to Victoria Avenue- it’s going to create a mecca for entertainment very different from what the core of the city is now.

“It will have more diversity in retail, restaurants and entertainment, and attract locals to come downtown and be part of the city.”

Mr Klonaris emphasised that “the final stage” of Bay Street, and downtown Nassau’s, transformation would be its return to a ‘living city’ in the long-term.

This, he acknowledged, would involve the provision of condominium options that would allow Bahamians to once again live in downtown Nassau.

“People will recognise how enjoyable it is to live in the city, and have these facilities within walking distance,” Mr Klonaris added.

He said “the next big issue” for the DNP was to address Bay Street’s chronic parking and traffic congestion issues. It was working with the Government and the jitney industry “in terms of creating a solution where it will ease up traffic downtown and make it a more civic city”.

Discussions between the various stakeholders had only just started, Mr Klonaris said, adding that the DNP was also focused on the harbourfront boardwalk designed to run from Prince George’s Wharf to Potter’s Cay.

Sections of this have already been completed, and Mr Klonaris described it as “a key component of revitalising the City of Nassau” due the boardwalk’s connectivity to the cruise ships.

Developers of harbourfront Nassau property are under “a clear understanding” that the boardwalk has to be part of their plans.

Comments

JohnDoes 5 years, 8 months ago

I agree with the more restaurants. Downtown Baystreet literally has a shut down time which is probably around 7pm with a handful of nightlife. In the evening, almost the entire baystreet is shut down apart from a handful of nightclubs that are scattered around. To be more effective, there really needs to be a focus on parking. Parking downtown is a nightmare and discouraging to some because of the long distances and security threats such as break ins and even car theft. If their can be better 'protected' parking that could encourage a lot more people to go downtown as well. There are also a lot of abandoned buildings that scold the beauty of downtown, many must go and take an assessment of what buildings are needed and what buildings need to be torn down.

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isabella 3 years, 6 months ago

The area seriously need a huge number of restaurants, which would create a positive impact on the economy. However, the eateries should have http://allstarkiosks.com/">beverage carts for the guests too. Some of the eateries should also offer special cuisines.

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karina 3 years, 2 months ago

They do need to have quite a lot of restaurants here, but they should keep in mind to offer different sorts of food to keep the foodies happy. They should also have good bakeries here, the bakeries now can purchase the supplies they need like http://www.valrhona-chocolate.com/sho...">cocoa powder online.

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karina 3 years, 1 month ago

They should immediately make some plans to construct more restaurants here to be able to offer more options to the diners. However, the restaurants these days should offer low calorie food choices and beverages like http://vling-store.mybigcommerce.com/">low carb alcoholic cocktails.

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karina 3 years, 1 month ago

Before making any progress in this direction, they should conduct a survey and find out what the people are looking for. Right now they should set up four or five restaurants at the most and see how these are faring. Just like food the right decor and furniture also contribute a lot in making a restaurant a popular destination for people. So they should order http://rodoinc.com/">restaurant furniture from a Canada supplier.

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karina 3 years ago

It is not difficult to construct these restaurants soon, but it is best to do this with a proper plan. They need to figure out what kind of food the people will like. Now the restaurant owners can buy the supplies they need online including http://www.menudesigns.com/#!menu-cov...">menu covers.

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karina 3 years ago

Since this area is a big attraction for the tourists, they have to consider building quality restaurants here. However, the restaurants should consider serving good quality food and international cuisines. Buying restaurant supplies has become easier online, one can even purchase http://www.o-reps.net/">refrigerator freezer parts online.

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karina 3 years ago

Having a good number of restaurants which offer exquisite cuisine is going to help the place draw more tourists. However, there should be some bakeries as well which offer https://www.cakeconnection.com/gelati...">gelatin art.

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sheeprunner12 3 years ago

Bay Street needs to be pedestrian traffic only ................ that is the first issue to be addressed

Get the vehicles off Bay Street ......... Hilton to East Street at least

Then revamp the seafront of the area from East Street to Lands & Surveys to cater to the cruise & harbor traffic and make that area an urban style Fish Fry setting ........ then get rid of that nasty Potters Cay place

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