Bahama John’s is a concept that has taken wing in Sicamous – thanks largely to the restaurant’s namesake.
Opened on Martin Street (on the channel across from Twin Anchors Vacations) in 2013, Bahama John’s has established a reputation for its Bahamian-influenced cuisine, live music and family-friendly atmosphere. And then there’s John. Sometimes called “Big John” or just “Bahama,” folks in the know say the already positive vibe at the restaurant gets kicked up a big notch when he is in the house.
Though he doesn’t own the restaurant (that privilege belongs to Alex Lambert, who has summered in Sicamous for as long as he can remember), “Bahama” John H. Munroe is its inspiration, its culinary foundation and someone who leaves a lasting impression.
“John is a vibrant personality, full of life and love for people,” says friend and spokesperson Charissa Schamuhn. “He shares his passion for food with everyone he meets. John welcomes guests to the restaurant as if he was welcoming them into his own home.”
Born in Nassau, capital city of the Bahamas, Munroe got his start in resorts and kitchens throughout the Bahamas.
In 1977 he enrolled at the Bahamas Culinary Arts College, and later continued his education at Jacksonville State University. Munroe, however, says he owes his success to his mother for teaching him how to cook. The eldest of seven brothers, with 15 sisters, Munroe says he was responsible for all of the household cooking.
Surprisingly, the Bahama John’s concept actually began in a bait shop.
“In 2002, it started out as a weekend gag, at a bait shop named New Pass Bait and by 2003 it was a full restaurant,” says Munroe.
The Bahama John’s vibe can be attributed to the philosophy Munroe takes to the business and to life.
“Always be at your best when dealing with your loyal customers,and keep smiling,” says Munroe. “Bahama Johns is a loving character who always puts his customers’ needs first. As a place to go when you’re having a rough day, so that the employees of Bahama John’s can make your day.”
Asked what his favourite dish is, Munroe goes for the comfort of Bahama John’s Mac and Cheese.
Munroe takes his cooking seriously, noting he always prays before he starts cooking “in hope that I show the love needed to make all items taste yum yum good.”
Asked about the importance live music plays in the success of the restaurant, Munroe emphasizes, “Oooh, it is the heart and soul of Bahama John’s.”
For more about Bahama John’s, visit http://www.bahamajohnsrestaurant.com/.