Bahamas’ Graycliff Continues Expansion

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Above: a roller at the company’s new Nassau factory (CJ Photo)

By Alexander Britell

NASSAU — The Graycliff Hotel and Restaurant in Nassau is continuing its expansion, highlighted by a new 4,000-square-foot cigar factory.

The new, 21-roller facility is part of a wider expansion of the Graycliff brand, from a planned Bahamian historical village to nine new locations of the company’s airport smoking lounges.

The previous site of the cigar factory will soon house a chocolate factory.

“Chocolate is something we’ve been making for a few years, and it’s something that’s been coming and not coming and finally it will be here this summer,” said Paolo Garzaroli, president of Graycliff, told Caribbean Journal.

As Caribbean Journal previously reported, Graycliff has developed from the Caribbean’s first five-star restaurant into a global luxury brand.

West Hill Street

On nearby West Hill Street, Graycliff is planning a large-scale complex modeled on an authentic Bahamian village, dubbed the “Heritage Village.”

That project will include a Bahamian arts and crafts market, along with other traditional retailers, set to the rhythms of live, traditional Bahamian music.

“We’re going to close the street, and create a historical downtown Nassau — what it should have been like,” he said. “When you come, you’ll be able to buy something authentically Bahamian, and not what I would consider a Chinese straw with Bahamian enhancements,” Garzaroli said.

The new on-site factory

Further down the street, Graycliff has another project planned: locally-distilled Graycliff Rum, whose operations should be up and running by 2013.

On the property, Garzaroli said the company is also planning a beer garden.

Graycliff’s airport lounges, which began with sites in Nassau and Nashville, will be expanding to nine new airports in the next 18 to 24 months, Garzaroli said, with lounges currently under construction in Cincinnati and Bermuda.

“We’re positioning ourselves on a very high-end, premium market,” he said. “Really creating a brand and an identity around the whole name.”