BOB Marley’s One Love restaurant is just one of the new offerings that will be available when the Sangster International Airport (SIA) unveils its revamped retail concession experience in 2022.
“This is a new concept that they’re developing; this is through their collaboration with the Marley family. It’s from the ground up; this does not exist yet. It is new and exciting and just one of the many [new] things the airport will offer,” said Shane Munroe, CEO of MBJ Airports Ltd, operators of SIA since 2003.
The restaurant will be operated by SIA’s long-time food and beverage provider Express Catering Ltd (ECL). It will feature an authentic pimento wood grill, fresh juices, sharing plates, Marley-inspired photo ops and more. In its February 2021 annual report ECL had anticipated that the refurbished food court would have been up and ready by the first half of the year. In its latest update MBJ has put the timeline at early 2022. It is part of the larger revamping of the “entire commercial programme” – a first since the airport was privatised.
The focus for the new look is on creating a sense of place that gives off a distinctly Jamaica vibe.
“We’re not trying to be like Miami International or JFK [John F Kennedy airports]. It has to feel like Jamaica. You will see themes related to palm trees and the sunshine and the bark of coconut trees, you’re going to see a lot of natural colours that are more associated with Jamaica,” Munroe told LetsTravelCaribbean.com when asked for a sneak peek at what’s in store for 2022.
“We want the persons to have that last bit of vacation experience here, so we’re not trying to build a sterile terminal,” Munroe added.
The goal is to offer a blend of international and local brands that will provide an experience so memorable visitors will want to return.
Those looking for last-minute souvenirs will be sure to find something at the duty-free store, which will be expanded significantly. The walk-through shopping area will include displays by Appleton rums and other local brands that will offer “tasting experiences within the store”.
“The whole idea is just the sense and the feel of what is Jamaica, what makes Jamaica special. We want to bring that into the airport. We will have a grand opening next year and certainly, we are looking forward to passengers having that experience,” said Munroe.