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The BVI’s Coolest New Eatery is a Road Town Rooftop

By Alexander Britell

There’s the sort of soundtrack you’d expect to find in Peckham or Paris, with panoramic views of brilliant green hills and tables hand-built from wine barrels.

On a hot afternoon in Tortola, this is the coolest place in town, a who’s who of Road Town and a buzzing culinary hotspot.

If you recognize the uniforms, it’s because they’re inspired by those from the legendary Calmos Cafe in St Martin, a favorite of Chef Regis Bourdon.

This is The Rooftop by Brandywine, and it’s the newest hotspot in the British Virgin Islands.

If you recognize the name, that’s because The Rooftop is from the same team behind Tortola’s legendary Brandywine Estate restaurant, which closed after last year’s storms and is now on the road back to recovery.

A lunchtime appetizer of foie gras.

When Brandywine shuttered, its chef, Regis Bourdon, spent months spearheading an effort to feed meals to local kids and helping repair roofs in the BVI — and when the time came, he saw this empty rooftop in the Cutlass Building in Road Town, the next step pure inspiration.

Chef Regis Bourdon.

Bourdon and his team built the entire restaurant themselves: the box-shaped kitchen, the wine-barrel tables, everything.

The eatery has also been graced by artwork from local watercolorist Riona Welford, who has adorned the walls with intricate murals.

Bourdon and his team built all the tables by hand.

Today, it’s a chic bistro, with Mediterranean fare and a host of creative tapas dishes, including excellent French-focused fare.

“It’s very laid back,” Bourdon tells Caribbean Journal. “I like that it’s easy to move around the tables, you have easy access. It’s a place where people can buzz around.”

It’s become the place to see and be seen in Road Town, perfect for a meal or just some wine and tapas, a place where you can spend all afternoon.

So what will happen when Brandywine reopens?

Bourdon, a native of the South of France, says The Rooftop is here to stay.

Because it’s a place where staying for awhile is exceptionally easy.

— CJ

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