NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The transition from pop-up food truck to commercial restaurant is now official for Vell Monkey Foot Grill after the restaurant operator signed a long-term lease with Four Walls Squash and Social Club, a new wellness and entertainment facility on Village Road.

When Four Walls had its soft opening in October, it partnered with the former Tin Ferl food vendor to open a restaurant and bar on the outdoor patio.

With the official lease signing, Vell Monkey Foot Grill now has the exclusive rights to operate a full-scale commercial restaurant at the Club — a deal that complements Four Walls’ plans to expand its bar, social activities and squash and fitness programme in the new year, in line with the gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

A Vell Monkey Foot dish.
A Vell Monkey Foot dish.

Four Walls Vice President Noelle Nicolls said: “This is a major milestone for Four Walls as it brings the Club back into the restaurant arena. The property had a two-year hiatus during the sale and renovation, and COVID-19 conditions made it even more difficult to lease the restaurant space.

“Vell Monkey Foot Grill saw an opportunity to partner with us on the patio with their recently purchased food truck and our temporary arrangement took off quickly.

“We’ve found that the eastern part of the island has been craving a new contemporary casual restaurant that caters to professionals, and our comfy and spacious patio, with its rustic style, combines flawlessly with the sophisticated comfort food that Vell Monkey Foot Grill offers.”

To commemorate the lease signing, Vell Monkey Foot Grill @ Four Walls, the name of the brick-and-mortar location, will launch its weekly brunch on Saturday, June 23, featuring live Bahamian music and a signature menu of guava pancakes, creole shrimp with cheesy grits and steamed snapper with peas and grits.

The restaurant plans to expand to indoor dining once COVID-19 restrictions lift.

Racquel Jones, head chef and founder of Vell Monkey Foot Grill, said: “We first started sharing our passion for cooking around six years ago at events such as the Wine & Art Festival and the Bahamas Rum Festival, where we would serve under a tent at pop-up events.

“Customers loved our fusion approach to Caribbean and international cuisine. We started doing more pop-up events and finally purchased a food truck to expand our reach.”

Chef Kelly, as she is affectionately called, has been in the food and beverage industry for over 20 years and specializes in international cuisine. She owns the restaurant with her husband, Antone Jones, and they run it as a family business.

The restaurant’s opening hours are noon to 6pm, Tuesday and Wednesday; and noon to 9pm Thursday to Saturdays.

The daily menu includes specialty lobster, calamari and jerk chicken tacos, burgers, conch spring rolls and a top-selling loaded lobster flatbread.

Vell Monkey Foot Grill signed an exclusive deal with Four Walls Squash and Social Club to operate a full-scale commercial restaurant at the Club.

Jones said: “We always had a plan to move into a restaurant, but never imagined it would happen so quickly. It is even crazier that we were able to expand amidst a health pandemic and economic crisis.

“It has not been an easy road, but we are so grateful for the opportunity to bring our vision to life.”

Four Walls is open for squash, fitness, food and spirits. Although membership is not mandatory, the Club does have a “vibrant membership program” for squash and social membership with family, corporate and individual options.

The Club has a group coaching squash program for adults to learn the game on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday evenings. Interested parties may book courts, classes and takeout from the restaurant via its website

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