ST. EUSTATIUS–The soon to be open Orange Bay Hotel in Lower Town has already opened Harbour Club Statia, its restaurant on the Bay. Locals have been quick to discover and savour its club atmosphere. Inspired by restaurateurs Claudia Wickert and her husband Bob Castelijn, the cuisine is decidedly international yet designed to appeal equally to local tastes.
“We wanted to create something really different from the other eating places on the Historical Gem,” said Wickert. “Our concept is designed to give our guests a casual dining experience, delicious food and value for money.”
Customers place orders for food and drinks at the restaurant bar. “This might sound unusual, but we decided to have a restaurant where smiles and social interaction are just as important as the quality of food on offer. Because of this concept, we can maintain low prices and short waiting times. It also means there is no extra service charge on the bill,” Wickert explained. “Clearly, for those diners who want a full service dining experience we provide extra service, but also the service charge. It is all about communication.”
Customers can choose to lunch or dine on the veranda in smoking or non-smoking areas, or eat inside the restaurant where they can share more personal moments.
Menu prices are described as moderate and the choice of main dishes is generous. Local curried goat is an obvious favourite whereas Chef Rik van Welsem is keen to promote his nine-ounce Angus beef burger.
Entrepreneurs Wickert and Castelijn have spent 20 years in the restaurant business. Wickert’s attention to the interior design of the Harbour Club is clear. Corrugated metal roofs are recycled to adorn cocktail and reception bars, and above these flags sway gently in the breeze.
“We have some exciting plans for the future of the Club,” Wickert explained. “Not only shall we be sourcing our specialities from locally-grown produce, but we will also grow vegetables from our own greenhouse. We are already talking to local fishermen to supply our daily catch and conch.”
The 18th-century warehouse ruin that is adjacent to the Club will be conserved. Monuments Director Walter Hellebrand made a design to incorporate the ruin into the hotel plan.
The restaurant opens at 11:00am; however, once Orange Bay Hotel opens with accommodation for eight rooms, breakfast at Harbour Club “will be an inspirational experience,” Wickert promises.
Comfortable seating for a maximum of 60 people has already attracted a fair number of family occasions. “Birthdays and graduations are a usual occurrence. However, local business people also seem to like our relaxed and friendly hospitality,” Wickert said.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/67410-harbour-club-restaurant-now-open-on-statia-s-bay