Rick Olson was speaking as he drew up plans to transform the old Silk Restaurant on Front Street into a martini bar inspired by the upscale Blue Martini chain, based in Florida. *File photo
Rick Olson was speaking as he drew up plans to transform the old Silk Restaurant on Front Street into a martini bar inspired by the upscale Blue Martini chain, based in Florida. *File photo

FRIDAY, MAY 18: Hamilton’s Reid Street is the new Front Street, businessman Rick Olson said on Thursday.

Mr Olson was speaking as he drew up plans to transform the old Silk Restaurant on Front Street into a martini bar inspired by the upscale Blue Martini chain, based in Florida.

He said he bought the former restaurant because it is close to a walkway connecting Front Street with Reid Street.

Mr Olson, who owns the Beach Bistro on Front Street , said: “It’s a great location, that’s why we’re doing this.

“We bought Silk out of liquidation, so it’s a great opportunity  and it’s a mild vote of confidence in the future.

“There is a walkway to Reid Street close by and Reid Street is the new Front Street. There’s a lot of foot traffic on Reid Street and we hope to capitalize on that.

“At the end of the day, every business revolves around location and it’s a great location.”

Entertainment

Mr Olson said he hoped to create a steak house and martini lounge, which will carry on after dinner hours and feature live entertainment at weekends.

He added: “It will be more an adult-themed kind of place. I’m aiming for something like Port O’ Call with a classy atmosphere, but a fun place as well. Blue Martini in Florida is similar to what I’m looking for.”

Mr Olson said he hoped that renovations at Silk, which closed in April, would be complete by the end of the summer.

He added: “It’s a three-month project — we will do our best to complete the work in that time.”

Silk, which specialized in Thai cuisine, and sister restaurant 64 Degrees at Port Royal golf course, both closed their doors earlier this year.

Silk was part of the Fresco’s group, run by Claudio Vigilante, up until last year. Silk and 64 Degrees had a change in controlling shareholders and Mr Vigilante parted company with the restaurants.