People visit The Yard because of the atmosphere, and the fact that it’s by the main road but still feels like an escape from the rush. The perfect combination of trees, breeze, different levels of seating, have some good food and browse through a book is welcoming enough to have customers coming back regularly.
Everyone knows, though, that the glue that holds The Yard’s environmentally-friendly structure together is The Yard Café. Sabrina and Irie (Yes, that really is his name) are the masterminds behind the good music and enticing smells in the area. Although they don’t believe this, the duo do admit to bringing to The Yard their entire “natural mystic”, Rastafarian, chilled, laid-back aura when they took over the cafe during the summer of 2016. Everything about them screamed, “Welcome!”
As soon as you walk into The Yard, the wooden, hand-made tables and benches invite you to rest at them under the shade of trees. Sabrina and Irie use a variety of recycled material to serve as essentials: bins, centrepieces, décor etc. The spices and seasoning that they use in their food is laid out on the counters and hung on racks, serving as air fresheners as well.
More than anything else, Sabrina and Irie are known for their creative recipes and the twists that they add to their menu. All their meals and dishes are pescatarian, lacto-vegetarian and vegetarian-friendly but meat eaters never object as they like the food, too. The duo pair unusual flavours with regular ones, always providing something new and tasteful to try. Fresh food is cooked everyday, using as many organic ingredients as possible.
The Yard Café is open for breakfast from 6 a.m. Monday to Friday (7 a.m. on Saturdays) and stays open until lunchtime and onwards. My favourite meal is grilled cheese sandwiches that I think are to die for, and then there’s the famous cocoa tea which is boiled with local spices including cinnamon and nutmeg. Irie’s fish and fries (tossed in dill, salt and some other secret ingredient) is something that I demand every once in a while because one of their best features is that they always try to cook for the customers whatever they are craving. They also make a “choco-coco” sauce using coconut and local chocolate, which they add to one of their fish recipes.
According to Sabrina, though, the main ingredient in it all is her son, Irie. “Without him I would never be able to do this,” she said. The pair are also sure to add a lot of love into their dishes, which must be why people keep coming back, whether to chill under the trees, have a bite, host an event (Sabrina and Irie cater, too), for an after-work lime or just to get a drink with friends.
The Yard is located on the Star Publishing compound on the Gros Islet highway, on the corner by the gap to reach Gaitey. The assembly of recycled containers is not hard to miss as they have been painted in a variety of bright colours and can be seen from the road. Look out for signs, as well, and come enjoy a ‘Uniquely Caribbean” experience that will satisfy your taste-buds.