As restaurants, island-wide have been given the green light to reopen for dining, fast-food chain Island Grill has opened a new location on King Street in downtown Kingston.
Despite the food chain closing four of its locations and having had to lay-off some of its employees, the company has said the opening of the new store is a sign of Island Grill’s commitment to the city.
“Minister Mackenzie Island Grill has had to close four stores in other locations. We have had to send home some of our team because of this terrible challenge and that has caused us pain,” said Chairman Howard Mitchell.
We could have shut down this project and save the burden of additional bank loan funding. But this is directed especially at minister McKenzie. We want to send a signal that Island Grill is committed to Kingston. We are committed to the people of downtown Kingston. We are committed to our country, “said Mitchell.
Minister of Local Government, Desmond McKenzie who also spoke at the event noted that he had invited Island Grill’s CEO Thalia Lyn, ten years prior to set up shop in the location, however, she told McKenzie that she would think about it.
“I am very happy to be here this morning because when I served as Mayor of Kingston in 2005. I approached my good friend and invited her to open a branch of Island Grill in downtown Kingston and she said she would think about it and it took her what 10 years -but better late than never, ” joked McKenzie.
McKenzie said the opening of the new store location represents a vote of confidence in the people in downtown Kingston and a vote of confidence in the policies of the Andrew Holness government in opening up and allowing the private sector to be a part of the growing economy.
McKenzie used the occasion to thank the private sector for working very closely with the government to create the protocols that are being used for the reopening of the economy.
Food establishments including restaurants and cookshops have been restricted to take-out services only since March, as the Government implemented measures aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus.