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Derek Myers opens salad restaurant on Front Street

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Derek Myers, owner of the new health food restaurant WildGreens Bermuda at 17 Front Street in Hamilton (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

When Derek Myers opened his new salad restaurant, WildGreens Bermuda, this month, business was quiet.

“For the first two days, customers that came in were mainly people who knew us and knew that we had opened a restaurant,” Mr Myers said.

Then word about the new eatery at 17 Front Street, Hamilton, hit social media, and suddenly people were flooding in.

“It caught us off-guard,” Mr Myers admitted with a laugh.

Derek Myers, owner of the new WildGreens Bermuda restaurant opposite the Hamilton Ferry Terminal, dishes up a typical salad (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

The restaurant is similar to a salad bar, but the staff make up the salad for the customer and the cost is determined by ingredients, rather than weight.

Customers get a salad with grains and greens, five toppings and a dressing for $14. Adding chicken is $4 more, salmon $6 more and tempeh $3 more.

There is a real range of choice such as roasted grapes, truffle Parmesan croutons, roasted balsamic onions, avocado, curried cauliflower and 13 different salad dressings. There are also ready-made salads to grab and go.

WildGreens Bermuda’s main focus is lunch, but they also have breakfast options such as avocado toast, gluten-free banana muffins, black bean brownies, chickpea cookies with chocolate chips, overnight oats and some granola.

“We just thought we would get away from the regular salad bar stuff and we have made it a lot more unique, new and different from everyone else,” he said.

Mr Myers has received positive feedback since opening.

“I have had nothing but good comments about it,” he said. “A lot of people have said this is what people need — a restaurant offering healthy and fresh food.”

Many people are becoming health conscious and want to know what is in their food and where it comes from.

“They like the healthy side of this, and that they can choose what they want,” he said. “Everything we do is in-house. We are chopping, cutting and slicing all day to keep everything fresh. Nothing is done days or weeks ahead.”

He was making croutons and granola as he spoke with The Royal Gazette.

Mr Myers is a meat eater, while his wife, Lindsay, is a vegetarian. He wanted to create a restaurant where people with different dietary needs could meet.

“We thought let’s have something where vegan, vegetarians, fish eaters and meat eaters could come together,” Mr Myers said. “It captures all the dietary issues. It is good for anyone who is on a keto or gluten-free diet. It is something that pleases almost everyone. That was the idea behind it all. It was just something that was completely different from what I have ever done.”

Mr Myers was previously executive chef at the Island Restaurant Group’s Barracuda Grill, Hog Penny, Pickled Onion and Frog and Onion restaurants.

After 19 years with IRG, he wanted to open his own restaurant.

“It was extremely scary to go out on my own,” Mr Myers said. “It was also quite emotional. Nineteen years was a long time, and IRG gave me great opportunities. I just felt it was time to get ownership of a restaurant. It was a tough decision, but I needed to evolve and do my own thing.”

He never worked in front of the house before, so doing that in his own restaurant has been a learning curve.

One of his challenges with the new restaurant is handling social media.

“Social media is something I never did before, but something I now have to learn,” Mr Myers said. “I had no social media up until now. But it is important and I have to get on it.”

But his family, including 14-year-old daughter, Lilah, are holding his hand as he learns the social media ropes.

Lilah helps with the baking, and is hoping to soon come and help him in the restaurant during school breaks.

WildGreens Bermuda

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Published October 19, 2022 at 6:20 am (Updated October 20, 2022 at 8:55 am)

Derek Myers opens salad restaurant on Front Street

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