With temperatures in Peterborough almost knocking on the door of 30degrees this week it’s tempting to say summer is well and truly here – for a few more days at least so what better time to announce a new restaurant opening which is so packed full of sunshine you’re going to need factor-50 just to get through the door. Clearly Turtle Bay’s openings team have a deal going with the Met Office as they’ve cleverly chosen this week to let us all know what we can expect when their new Queensgate restaurant opens next month.
Peterborough’s no stranger to the punchy tastes of Caribbean cuisine. We’ve had Embe in one form or another now in Peterborough several years and for a short period Carnival was on Westgate but now with renewed interest in Peterborough’s dining scene, it’s time for the big boys to take their seat at the table.
Another chain restaurant, yawn!
Attracting chain restaurants has always been a topic of contention, with those in the “against” camp rallying for more support of independents but in reality without the investment of the chains, a city of Peterborough’s stature isn’t going anywhere waiting for independents to arrive. Often it seems independents lack the vision to spot gaps in the market and instead prefer to follow the herd (hence why we’ve got eight eateries dedicated to dessert options and probably the same selling pizza) and when they do try something new the support from the public just isn’t there. Chain restaurants benefit from knowing their market, having a slick business model and have PR and marketing nailed. Whilst the income generated by the business might not all go back into the local economy, how many independent restaurants have over 50 employees on the payroll?
Does Peterborough need more restaurants? I’d say so but then I’m biased. The night-time economy has changed with many now wanting food first and drinks second, and people want variety so Turtle Bay being the only Caribbean restaurant will put it on the map from day one.
So, what’s Turtle Bay all about?
Brainchild of restaurateur Ajith Jaya-Wickrema (previously of Las Iguanas fame amongst others), Turtle Bay’s brand is very much focused on “trademark jerk spices and sunshine-inspired cocktails”. As the Caribbean angle would suggest, diners can expect a laid back experience, enjoying good food (and a few rum-based) drinks with friends.
Interestingly, the unit the restaurant will occupy hasn’t been used by a food establishment before, hence an £800k investment to convert the 3500sqft site into a 180 seat restaurant that has created over 50 jobs. Sited on the corner of Queensgate and overlooking the recently revamped St John’s Square, the restaurant will have one of the best views in Peterborough with the usual outside dining and what has interestingly been described as a ‘street kitchen’.
Cocktails seem to be having a bit of a resurgence these days with more restaurants and bars adding them to their menus and Turtle Bay is no exception but it’s even better news if you enjoy the odd tipple of rum with over 40 Caribbean rums available.
Other than opening to the public on the 25th of June, that’s pretty much all I know at the moment so head over to https://www.facebook.com/TurtleBayRestaurants/ or the official Turtle Bay Peterborough page (not live at the time of writing) for more details on menus and opening times.