St George café reopens with a new look
There’s a new look at Temptations in St George, and it is designed to make the café an even more tempting place to visit for refreshments, snack or a light meal.
After being shut for more than two months to allow for renovations and a reshaping of its interior, the York Street café has reopened.
And customers have given the new look the thumbs up with compliments and plenty of smiles.
“People are loving the look, saying it is lovely and bright,” said Julie Dill, who runs the business with her mother.
“Even before, it was quaint and comfortable, but it used to be a bit dark,” she said, referring to the old decor and layout.
Today the walls are painted a bright hue that is somewhere between white and the lightest of greys. With plenty of daylight streaming through the large windows, the café has an airy and spacious feel.
The service counter that previously dominated the area just inside the entrance has been redesigned and relocated around the corner, freeing up more room for tables, chairs and benches where customers can relax.
On one wall is a rustic-style menu list of the many ice cream flavours on offer. The stylised item, crafted from pieces of wood, is the work of local graphic designer Avarie Graham. It is just one example of the many ways that Temptations has collaborated with local businesses to create a modern, Bermudian café.
With the recorded music of professional steel pan entertainer Robert Symons quietly playing through speakers to enhance the cafe’s ambience, Mrs Dill lists by name many of the tradespeople, businesses, family, friends and helpers, who contributed to the refurbishment.
Temptations opened in the early 1990s. Mrs Dill’s mother, Juliette Hoerrmann, was a manager at the café for many years before the family bought it about ten years ago.
However, there had been no major refurbishments until earlier this year.
Explaining what prompted the decision to make the alterations, made between February and April, Mrs Dill said: “It was getting outdated, and with the everchanging times and people’s expectations about how they dine changing, it was important to make this happen if we wanted to grow the business.”
She came up with a plan, but that idea soon expanded once the café was gutted out and it became clear how much more space was available by remodelling the interior.
Commenting on the changes, Mrs Dill said: “It has made the space look bigger. And the colours on the wall make everything brighter.”
During the renovations it was all hands on deck with family, friends and staff pitching it. Mrs Dill’s husband painted the wood tables, while her mother took care of the seat covers.
Giant stretch canvas prints of locally-taken photographs adorn one of the cafe’s walls. They were created by another local business, Two & Quarter Photography, which has its studio a short walk away. The pictured youngsters are Mrs Dill’s children.
The café is continuing to provide its usual breakfast and lunch menus, together with its ice cream selection, and customers should “stay tuned” for future additions to the range of options, said Mrs Dill.
With its new configuration, Temptations can cater for functions and parties on the premises and off-site. Tables and chairs can be easily rearranged to suit needs.
Mrs Dill said the café was looking to the future, while keeping itself in line with the feel of St George.
It has a many local customers and is also a popular stop-off place for tourists and visiting yacht crews.
The business felt the effects of the economic downturn. “There was a period when it was nerve-racking. We changed how we did things and that allowed us to continue. In the last year and a half we have seen an increase in customers, and the locals are coming out more,” said Mrs Dill.
Her mother, Mrs Hoerrmann, has worked in hospitality all her life. She started out as a youngster at Horizons, and together with her husband George bought and reopened the former Carriage House in the early 1980s. As previously mentioned, she also worked as a manager at Temptations for about 12 years before buying the business a decade ago.
Mrs Hoerrmann is impressed with how the café now looks.
“Before there were all the whites and greens, and the ceiling was dark, we have made it a lot prettier and brighter,” she said.
Meanwhile, Mrs Dill is happy to be part of the St George’s community. “It’s a special feeling to be able to say you are contributing to, and playing a part in a community that is so close knit.”
And regarding feedback on the renovations, she said: “When customers come in it is reassuring to us — that we have done the right thing.
“It was worth it, and we are going to strive to grow the business, including offering new products and even events.”
Temptations is located at 31 York Street, St George. Its Instagram page is temptationscafebda
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