Tiger turns Turtle on the high street for Caribbean cocktail bar

One year on from the closure of Tiger Tiger in the town centre which prompted Tory boy lager salesmen to predict the demise of Croydon’s night time economy, and after £800,000 has been invested on re-fitting the venue, the site is set to re-open at the end of January as a Turtle Bay Caribbean restaurant and bar.

Coming to a High Street near you next month

Coming to a High Street near you next month

The 168-seater restaurant will occupy one floor of the building, part of the Grant’s leisure complex.

The restaurant will create more than 50 jobs, for which the company held an “audition day” earlier this month.

The Bristol-based company was founded in 2010 by Ajith Jayawickrema, who previously founded the Las Iguanas chain. Rapidly expanding in the past year, the £47-million per year turnover company now has more than 30 sites around the country, having opened 12 in the past year.

It now has outlets in happening places such as Cheltenham, Oxford and Guildford, as well as a recently opened Brixton branch and in hipster central Dalston.

The operators says, “Turtle Bay is all about celebrating the lively, colourful, soulful and, above all, delicious experiences that the Caribbean has to offer – from rich and explosive flavours to laid back ‘liming’. Their mission is to capture the spirit of celebration that the Caribbean is famed for around the globe – making customers happy by delivering a hedonistic combination of joyous food, wicked drinks and a fun, relaxed atmosphere.”

That includes limiting the size of tables to a maximum of eight guests at peak times each Friday and Saturday evening.

In Croydon, the restaurant will offer what the operators describe as “a beach-shack-inspired ray of sunshine”.

How the interior of Turtle Bay in Croydon may look

How the interior of Turtle Bay in Croydon may look

“As well as the stunning ‘island hut’ bar, there’ll be outside dining and a vibrant, open ‘street kitchen’.”

The menu is “meticulously researched and lovingly created”, they say, while the bar will offer more than 40 Caribbean rums to choose from, “all used to create a cocktail list that’s … cool and credible”.

Turtle Bay Croydon is due to open on January 29.

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