Oranjestad- The Boardwalk Cafe, an initiative of entrepreneur Werner Leschanowsky, will be the latest addition to a number of new businesses in Statia’s Lower Town, adding new life and dynamism to the local waterfront. Reason for the BES-Reporter to have an interview with Leschanowsky to get some more information on his project.
“I first came to Statia in 1998 for a dive vacation and we immediately fell in love with the Island because we felt really welcome”, said Leschanowsky. “In 1999 I received a phone call if I was interested in renovating Smoke Alley which I did and opened Smoke Alley Bar and Grill early 2000. It was 2 wonderful years but I had to let it go because it was to difficult to run a place in Austria and in Statia at the same time”, according to the Austrian entrepreneur.
Leschanowsky explained that he and his wife own a house in Statia since 2001 and that they never really left. “When the Boardwalk was built I found out, later, that it was intended for a restaurant/bar as well as the use for public functions”. Leschanowsky said it was always clear to him that, should the right opportunity present itself, he would open a new business in St. Eustatius and that he felt that this was be the opportunity he had been waiting for.
Asked what he envisions for his new café, Leschanowsky explained that The Boardwalk Café will be a place for everybody just like Smoke Alley used to be, but there will also be a lot of new ideas.
“We will work with as much local produce as we can get. When I met with the agricultural department I was amazed how professional the operation is run by now. We want to work with local fish only because I don’t believe in putting, for instance, Salmon Steak from Alaska on the menu, if we have an ocean full of wonderful fish right on our doorstep and the fishermen who will catch it. We want to work with Lion Fish also because it’s a damn good fish and by catching it we will do something good for the environment”, said Leschanowsky.
But the dreams of the Austrian businessman doesn’t end there. “The intention of the Boardwalk Café is to be completely different to anyone else on the Island. Different food, drinks and music”, according to Leschanowsky.
Leschanowsky explained that the regular menu will be small but real good with lots of daily specials depending on availability. “I am thinking on things like a ‘pulled Lamb Burger’ or ‘Goatmeat skewers’, according to an enthused Leschanowsky.
“We also intend to prove that we can run a professional operation with international standards with local staff only. There are a lot of people with great potential on the Island who just need the right motivation and training. I know that for a fact because I had two Statians working for me in Austria and one of them has been there for 14 years now”, said Leschanowsky.
The Boardwalk Café is not the only initiative in Lower Town. Last year Statia’s Harborclub restaurant already opened its door, as part of the new Orange Bay hotel being constructed on the bay. It can be expected that the three initiatives will add much needed new life to the whole bay area, while at the same time increasing the number of options visitors and locals alike will have when it comes to having a drink or going out for dinner.