NEW OWNERS, NEW VIBE AT CATHERINE’S CAFEFriday 3rd November 2017
Catherine’s Café, one of Antigua’s longest running and most acclaimed restaurants has new owners at the helm. The Rocks Group – behind the award-winning Sheer Rocks restaurant – are set to throw open the doors to a freshly revamped Catherine’s Café on November, 11th 2017.
Catherine’s has been something of an Antiguan institution since opening in English Harbour more than two decades ago. The creative husband and wife duo say they are looking forward to infusing the 100-seat beach eatery with their own flair, and revitalising the core dishes that have made Catherine’s a favourite with foodies from far and wide.
London-trained chef Alex, who has worked alongside names as prestigious as Marco Pierre White, has pledged to deliver classic French fare, with Provence-style influences and local ingredients with the help of two new classically French trained chefs.
Alex said the restaurant’s favourite wines, dishes and staff will all remain in place but guests can expect a fresh new beach vibe, complemented by a Parisian café-style playlist. “We want to build on what is already a fabulous experience; we want people to come, relax and spend the day with us. There will be two new beautiful areas on the beach designed for groups to lounge all afternoon, and an amazing new beach menu available,” he said.
“There will of course be some changes made, but we love and recognise the old favourites. Rocks Group applies one very simple rule to everything we do; only change things to make them better, not just for the sake of it,” Alex continued.
Mr and Mrs Rocks, for whom Catherine’s has long been a favourite haunt, have taken over from Guillaume and Claudine Moquet who bought the restaurant in 2006 from its namesake, Catherine Ricard. They bring a solid pedigree to the Pigeon Beach-based establishment with Sheer Rocks consistently named by TripAdvisor as one of the Caribbean’s top fine dining restaurants.
“Sheer Rocks was the first of its kind here in Antigua and took the idea of fine dining to a whole new level,” Kate said. “There’s an exquisite sharing menu at lunchtime serving contemporary tapas plates, with Balearic music and daytime lounging. At dinner time, the restaurant transforms into an elegant, fine dining restaurant, in a casual and fun environment.”
A key component at the revitalised Catherine’s Café will be “efficient beach service” which makes guests feel “comfortable, welcome and relaxed”, she said. Kate, who has lived in Antigua since 2004, described the restaurant industry as “one of the most exciting in the world”.
“Every interaction and experience is different. It’s important to keep your ideas fresh and ever-changing. We constantly look at how to evolve and how to stay different from the rest,” she explained. Extended opening hours, a beach-friendly menu featuring French tartines to share, and an on-site shop with locally made products and exclusive merchandise are also among the forthcoming additions.
“We always ask ourselves, what will make this experience better for our guests, how can we do more for them,” Alex said, adding: “It’s not Kate and I helping shape industry on the island, it’s being shaped by the guests that come here and by our incredible team.”
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