Paddle Inn for the community

For nearly a decade, a modest eatery tucked away on Stadium Drive in the heart of West Bay has been a favorite for diners. 

The Paddle Inn Restaurant, the brainchild of Lorraine and Thomas Ebanks, has been serving delicious family food for seven years and is still going strong. 

A typical weekday menu boasts enticing items like oxtail, chili, pork chops, salt beef and beans, along with baked, stew and barbecue chicken. 

Prepared by the deft hand of chef Nathan Johnson, a master of Cayman traditional cooking, the menu changes from day to day, with a wide range of hot dishes and a daily soup. 

But perhaps the worst kept secret that keeps customers coming back is the restaurant’s affordable prices. Indeed, the cost of a lunch or diner merits a double take. 

Lorraine Ebanks proudly draws attention to the establishment’s prices. “Our prices are very low – $3 for the small dinner and $8 for the large,” she said. 

Ms. Ebanks explained the couple’s motivation to offer low prices was deliberate as a way for them to help the community, with a particular focus on helping single mothers feed their children. 

“It was very hurtful to hear they were not getting any help from anyone, including the fathers of the babies, and that they couldn’t feed their children properly, that it’s so hard for them,” she said. “Now all they do is thank us for what we are doing to help them and the community. Everyone is so grateful for what we are doing.” 

She added, “The people of West Bay have always supported us, and mostly they are greatly appreciative that our prices are so low that they can afford to buy lunches for themselves and their children. And now we get support from the whole island.” 

Indeed, the Paddle Inn developed such a loyal following that the owners had a second location in Industrial Park for a while. 

“We were blessed to help West Bay, and we got a lot of requests from friends that work in town to open a restaurant in town. Due to expenses, unfortunately, we had to close that one down,” said Ms. Ebanks. 

“Everyone that bought food from us in town are always asking us to reopen in town,” she added, but noted that there are no plans to open another location. 

Asked how the Paddle Inn manages to stay in business and keep prices low, Ms. Ebanks responded with optimism. “All we can say is that we have never received any assistance from anyone, but the help of God keeps us in business. We are blessed to be able to feed the community. 

The proprietors’ motivation to offer low prices was a way for them to help the community, with a particular focus on helping single mothers feed their children. 

Lorriane Ebanks mans the counter at the Paddle Inn. - Photo: Jewel Levy

Lorriane Ebanks mans the counter at the Paddle Inn. – Photo: Jewel Levy
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