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Generosa’s drive to Front Street success

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A move to the city has proved to be a winning recipe for the owner/operators of the popular food truck, Generosa’s.

Sandy Rodrigues and Richard Phillips moved the mobile eatery from its former digs at Bermuda Golf Academy in Southampton, relocating to The Front Yard, the new hotspot on Front Street in Hamilton that they opened last month in partnership with entrepreneur Tom Steinhoff.

Ms Rodrigues and Mr Phillips, who are married, launched Generosa’s in 2016.

She said: “We knew we would have a significant volume increase simply by moving centrally, but the reception has been even more than what we anticipated. We are humbled by the overwhelming support, both previous customers and new ones.

“After the last two years of Covid-related restrictions, having a safe, open-air casual venue on Front Street has been a refreshing change for customers.

“People are loving the vibe, the casual open air feel. It’s like a little vacation on your lunch break, or a corporate staff day out, right next door to work. The vibe is casual, fun, ‘let loose’ but with good service, quality food and beverages, and fun activities.”

Ms Rodrigues said the “amazing” regular customers in the West End who supported and encouraged Generosa’s and helped it grow are continuing to patronise the business at its new location, although several have inquired when the owners plan to restart deliveries via Sargasso Sea so that they don’t have to make the drive to town as often.

She added: “Meanwhile our town and East End regular customers have been ecstatic to have us nearby to their homes and/or work locations and are frequenting more often than they would have in our past location.

“We have seen so many new faces that have been enjoying the full premises. However, my favourite mentions are the ones that tell us how they have heard amazing things about the food over the years, and have eagerly been anticipating our move to town.”

The owners of Generosa’s and Mr Steinhoff have transformed an empty lot at 77 Front Street into Hamilton’s newest gathering place for food, drink and entertainment – but the current set-up wasn’t the original intention.

Having looked for a “unique location” in or near to town to operate their food truck, Ms Rodrigues said she and Mr Phillips secured planning approval for a food truck operation on a portion of the current site early in the summer of 2019.

But then an opportunity to take over the entire lot opened up.

Ms Rodrigues said: “Our ideas grew to include a bar, additional kitchen, larger patio, upstairs seating and extended hours.

“As a two-year-old business, that meant we needed a partner for this project. It’s a very unique concept on Front Street, and it had to be someone we felt comfortable working with, but who would also have a similar vision as us, and be just as excited about the unlimited outdoor venue potential in town.

“Tom Steinhoff was the perfect fit; he had a lot of ideas that fit in with our concept for the property – some of them better than ours. He took the lead on the property development, which allowed us to continue to build our brand, and grow our customer base, in anticipation of the move.”

An expanded application to planning was approved in early spring last year, but the impact of Covid-19 put the project back.

The venue has been open now for six weeks.

Mr Steinhoff said: “We’re thrilled with the support and following we’ve been getting.

“We have been generally well-accepted and our staff has come a long way from the beginning to now in terms of learning new systems.

“Everything has been progressing nicely.”

Ms Rodrigues added: “While most teething pains have been relieved, there are stages to all the add-ons that we are working on. We are increasing food and beverage options as we are reasonably able to do so without affecting quality or service.

“At this time, we are regularly open for lunch and dinner, as well as a late night menu until 2.30am on our busiest nights which are Wednesday to Saturday nights. We anticipate expanding our lunch, dinner, and late night menus, as well as adding on a variety of desserts.”

A late breakfast menu, available from 7am until 2pm, began to be offered over the weekend, with the intention of soon opening daily for breakfast.

Ms Rodrigues said The Front Yard is also soon to add a barbecue element, saying: “We have retained Dale Lee, formerly of The Pit Stop on South Shore. Dale is very well known for his awesome BBQ and smoked meats.”

The lot at 77 Front Street housed Onion Jack’s tourist store, Chewstick Culture Hub and multiple businesses under the umbrella of Queen Management Services before a fire tore through the property in the early morning of July 21, 2016.

The premises were later completely levelled by construction crews.

City move: Owner/operators Sandy Rodrigues and Richard Phillips at Generosa’s new location in Hamilton (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
City move: Owner/operators Sandy Rodrigues and Richard Phillips in Generosa’s food truck at The Front Yard in Hamilton (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Practice pour: Entrepreneur Tom Steinhoff, pre-launch, at The Front Yard (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published August 23, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated August 22, 2021 at 4:23 pm)

Generosa’s drive to Front Street success

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