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Fourways marks 40th birthday with 1976 menu

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Bermuda institution Fourways Inn is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

And to mark the occasion, they will recreate the original menu from 1976 next week — although the prices will be adjusted upwards.

Andreas Detzer, general manager at the restaurant, owned by the MEF chain, said: “We will probably have it running for a couple of weeks.” He added that the menu was handed in by a customer, who had attended the opening night and kept it.

Mr Detzer, who has worked at Fourways for 14 years and with MEF for 27 years, said: “We have changed things over the years, some of the furniture, but not the layout.”

But he added that major renovation work had been done outside to create a space for private functions, while a new climate-controlled wine cellar, which guests can visit, has also been added.

Cottage accommodation was also added in mid-1980s.

Mr Detzer said the secret of the restaurant's long life was “quality — quality from the kitchen, then there is customer relations”.

He added: “I can only be as strong as my team and I have a great team here.”

Two staff members — Mimi Belboda, the events manager, and Saviour Messina, the pianist, have been with the restaurant since the very beginning.

Ms Belboda said: “I started here doing cashier and bartender.

“I didn't plan to stay this long, but when you're in a good place and you enjoy what you're doing, mingling with the guests and you enjoy the work, you don't mind.

“You have problems in every job, but you just work it out.”

Ms Belboda said the main changes had been upgrades, while the management team was now younger.

She said: “They have new ideas and they have a different spin on the service and everything — we have relaxed it a little. We used to be really formal.”

Ms Belboda added: “We've also made it affordable to everyone because in the old days, that was the price and that was it.

“We still have the old clients who want the French cuisine and everything traditional, then we have the younger crowd that come in and want something different — we can cater to everyone.”

Mr Messina's career at Fourways got off to a bad start — he broke his wrist in a bike accident and inventive staff at the restaurant suspended the arm with the plaster cast over the keyboard with a piece of string attached to the ceiling.

He said: “Years later, people come up to me and say they remember when I broke my wrist.”

Mr Messina added he arrived in Bermuda from London on a six-month trial period.

He said: “From one year to another, I've been here ever since. I started to love Fourways, it means everything to me.”

The restaurant has also played host to a string of celebrities over the years, including singing superstar Diana Ross, Hollywood star Cindy Crawford, top English football club Chelsea — and former US President George Bush Senior, who visited in 1991.

And Mr Bush had some special requirements — the restaurant and grounds were flooded with Secret Service personnel during his meal, including snipers stationed on the roof and two agents in the kitchen.

Chef Tommy Poh said: “Two men in suits came into the kitchen — I was about to tell them they couldn't come in here until I realised what they were. They watched me prepare the food.”

Mr Detzer said the recession had hit the restaurant, like most other businesses on the island.

But he added: “Even in a recession, there is always someone making money.

“But we're definitely seeing a lot more confidence, although there certainly was a time when everybody was on a budget — companies put their people on a budget.”

Team spirit: staff at Fourways Inn, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, line up outside the historic restaurant. Front, from left, are restaurant and cottages manager Alex Rech, events manager Mimi Belboda, pianist Saviour Messina and general manager Andreas Detzer
Cheers: Fourways Inn events manager Mimi Belboda, left, and pianist Saviour Messina, who have both been with the restaurant since it opened 40 years ago (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published October 06, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated October 06, 2016 at 1:21 am)

Fourways marks 40th birthday with 1976 menu

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