Carib Café hopes to bring life back to downtown

The café recently opened a kitchen that serves burgers, tacos, jerk chicken and breakfast.

Among the law offices and shopping centres that dot downtown George Town, there is one location that offers an unexpected splash of colour.

The exterior walls surrounding the Everton Building on Shedden Road and even the parking lot have come to life in recent months with dozens of vibrant mural paintings.

The extensive display of street art captures the eye and invites passers-by to explore this previously plain corner of the islands’ captital.

Such intrigue is exactly what Kirk Rowe is hoping to bring to George Town with the creation of his latest venture, Carib Café, a place that offers food, drinks and live entertainment.

“When the idea first came about creating this space, I thought how amazing it would be with art around. Art goes along with entertainment, dance and music. So, I thought that combination would have been so great,” he says.

He began refurbishing the location with the backing of a supportive landlord and the help of artists like Carlos Garcia, among others. The visual art is just one aspect of the café; next comes the performance art and the invitation to join in on the fun.

In recent months, the space has invited musicians, poets and dancers to entertain guests on its outdoor stage.

Caribe Cafe’s outdoor patio is a welcoming place to enjoy live performances or a drink with friends. – Photos: Alvaro Serey

“On Friday and Saturday nights, it’s just a space where people can come and ‘lime’ and enjoy, indulge in art,” Rowe says.

On Tuesday nights, a live band plays tunes for karaoke and other nights, guests might catch Rowe, an experienced dancer, showing off his moves.

The idea is to bring life back to downtown George Town. Rather than workers filing out of town when they clock out, Rowe would like to see people hanging back and enjoying their community. Once patrons come to his café, he hopes they will be inspired to explore other businesses in the area.

“I’m trying to create something that is different and that will warrant people coming back to town,” he says.

“Even on Fridays, come 8:30, 9 o’clock, the town is dead. But we can see the difference happening a little bit. Since I’ve opened, people are coming back after 10, after 11, coming out with us, having a drink with us and partying with us.”

Kirk Rowe

The outdoor stage allows people to wander in and enjoy performances free of charge. Rowe sees it as an opportunity to bring culture and art to people who might not otherwise seek it out.

The café also opened its kitchen last week. A full menu, ranging from breakfast to dinner, offers burgers, pasta, tacos and jerk chicken, among other items.

The café is open Monday through Saturday from 7am to 2am. For more information, find the café on Facebook under the name Carib Café Cayman or call 924-4089. The cafe is located at 88 Shedden Road in the Everton Building.

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