Take a peek inside the new Turtle Bay Caribbean restaurant at Durham Riverwalk


A FIRST sneak peek revealed how a brand new Caribbean restaurant aims to bring “2-4-1 cocktails” and bottomless brunch to Durham City after years of planning.

The brand new Turtle Bay Caribbean restaurant and bar in the Riverwalk development is slated to open on Friday after plans were first unveiled in 2019.

Spread over two floors, the awe-inspiring new venue is one of the last to open in the city after an explosion of arrivals including Café Ravika, The Curious Mr Fox and Rib ‘N’ Reef.

Read more: What the all-new Turtle Bay in Durham will look like when the opening date is revealed

Ahead of its opening, The Northern Echo got a glimpse of the new venue, which promises to bring something that “has never been seen before” to the city.

Regional Training Partner Pip Harvey with Managing Director Ryan Sullivan outside Turtle Bay in Durham Photo: JIM SCOTT

The Echo of the North:

The venue aims to be one of Durham City’s most ‘Instagrammable’ locations

Serving free cocktails, unlimited brunch, and a mix of Caribbean fare, the venue has been laid out to reflect a scene you might find thousands of miles away.

In what the owners say is a “laid back” and fun atmosphere, it has been provided with a central bar with island, an open kitchen, a fiery jerk pit and grill as well as seating areas. veranda.

With themed spaces, including the “Reggae” room and the aptly named “D’Rum”, the view overlooks the skyline with a balcony overlooking the cathedral.

Explaining how it is hoped that it will become a smash hit for the channel, Ryan Sullivan, managing director, said enthusiasm has only grown since the plans were revealed.

The Echo of the North:

With interiors designed by Fusion Design and Architecture, indoor veranda seating is commonplace in Caribbean venues.

The Echo of the North:

The “Central Island Bar” will serve a range of cocktails

The Echo of the North:

Kuba Ostrowski Bar Coach with a range of new exclusive cocktails in Durham

He said: “We have waited so long for this to happen – and the people of Durham have been waiting for it for so long.

“It’s really exciting for us as we are becoming the only Caribbean restaurant in Durham, so we can bring something fresh that people have never seen before.”

Lined up alongside other big names in recent months, including Cozy Club, Food Pit, and Mediterranean El Pincho, Turtle Bay is among the latest restaurants to open on the Riverwalk.

But explaining that the venue was originally scheduled to open two years ago, Mr Sullivan said the Covid pandemic had caused long delays for the project.

The Echo of the North:

The restaurant and bar have their own show kitchen, with guests allowed to watch

The Echo of the North:

A “flaming jerk-pit” has been added, which reproduces an oil barrel jerk pan

The Echo of the North:

The venue serves brunch, including the ‘Honey Bunny Yardbird’

He said: “We were always going to be on this site, it would always look like this, we just couldn’t physically get the builders in with regulations and restrictions.

“So as soon as we got back to the area, we did – and it’s been under construction for about four months, and that’s where we are now. It’s just amazing.”

About 50 jobs were created with the company, previously revealing an extensive recruiting process that involved limbo dances and Dragon’s Den-style pitches for hundreds of applicants.

Read more: All jobs available at the new Turtle Bay location in Durham – on the date set for the auditions

Stating that the opening of the restaurant would be a boost for the city in terms of jobs and destinations, Mr. Sullivan added that the location was of the utmost importance.

The Echo of the North:

The restaurant is located on two floors in the Riverwalk development

The Echo of the North:

Restaurant offers unique views of Durham City including the Cathedral from its balcony

He said: “It will be a huge boost for Durham, we have created 50 jobs and because of that, and all of our partners, it will be amazing for the region.

“Where we are, it’s perfect by the river – you’ve got a bunch of amazing places on this strip and that gives you another place for people to enjoy.”

The Echo of the North:

The restaurant was first opened in 2019, before the start of the Covid pandemic

The Echo of the North:

Patrons hope this area will be popular with patrons enjoying the view.

Making its Durham debut at 4 p.m. on Friday, Turtle Bay will be the company’s third restaurant in the region – with locations in Newcastle and Middlesbrough.

Open both by reservation and without appointment, its opening hours will be from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. from Sunday to Wednesday and from 10 a.m. until late from Thursday to Saturday.

Reservations for reservations have already been posted and can be accessed on the Turtle Bay website by clicking here.

You can also see a live tour and interview with Turtle Bay General Manager Ryan Sullivan below

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Michael M. Tomlin

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