Daring local entrepreneurs open new restaurant amid crisis
Wolf’s Den is owned by two people you wouldn’t ordinarily expect to be involved in the restaurant business. They are lawyers in practice and by nature, who love the security and structure that their careers grant them. But they are also drawn to trying new things, taking on challenges and diving into passion-projects wholeheartedly. Boredom only has short visits with this couple!
Arikka is a self-proclaimed “unadulterated food enthusiast” from Grand Cayman who plans her days, travels and bucket list around food. She’s had dreams of owning her own restaurant since she was a kid and fondly reminisces being the only kid to enjoy "just about anything", from spicy buffalo wings to duck confit and escargot that she would share with her equally food-obsessed parents.
Jarrod on the other hand, is as British as a pint of Pimm's and lemonade so the most effusive he's likely to get about food is to say, “It's quite nice". Having co-founded a successful law firm eight years ago, he was excited to embark on a new challenge.
When the opportunity arose to invest in a restaurant that the two had been frequenting for a few years, with culinary genius, Chef Jen in the kitchen, a prime location in the middle of George Town, a spacious interior and ample parking, they "went for it".
Brandon would soon join the couple as a business partner and restaurant manager. With 15 years of experience as a head chef and successful restaurateur in Virginia Beach and Tucson, Arizona, an inherent grasp of flavours and extensive experience cooking various types of cuisine, Brandon and Chef Jen immediately became a kitchen dream team.
The first order of business was to rebrand the new restaurant “Wolf’s Den,” after Arikka and Jarrod's son, Wolf, and to conduct some renovations - all within the rather ambitious timeframe of just one month.
"The new name couldn't be more fitting," explains Arikka. "Our 2-year-old son enjoys food almost as much as me!"
Wolf's "den" is a cosy, cool respite from the daily heat; equally fitting for a solo diner as it is for families seeking a hearty breakfast or lunch, or as an after-work hang out for a cold local beer or fresh fruit margarita coupled with a plate of smoky, juicy jerked chicken.
Needless to say, back in February when the team envisaged their official opening party, they did not anticipate facing a global crisis or the seismic social and economic shift of daily life in Cayman. But true to form, they welcomed the challenge and stayed focused on their goals.
Despite the logistical difficulties of opening a brand new restaurant in the midst of an island-wide lockdown, Arikka, Jarrod, Brandon and Jen managed to open Wolf’s Den for deliveries and takeaways on April 8, just a few weeks after their planned opening.
"As we patiently await a return to normalcy, when we can welcome our customers to wine and dine with us in person, we are hell-bent on making sure we do our part to bring people the joy and a distraction from life’s worries that only a plate of delicious comfort food can provide," says Jarrod.
For the owners, the family/den concept extends from working hard every day to build something great, to providing an essential service to the wider community on the Island.
"For those who are doing their best to cope with curfews, home-schooling, staying away from the beautiful ocean and coping with the many emotions surrounding the global crisis, we've got the food to suit your every mood," says Brandon.
"You can indulge in our creamy, spicy, just-a-little-bit-addictive Jerk Chicken Mac ‘n’ Cheese at the end of a stressful day or stick to your #quarantinebodygoals by grabbing a refreshing, healthy Citrus Salad. You can even boost your immune system with a freshly made cold-pressed juice."
"We want to take this opportunity to thank all of the people working on the frontlines every day at the Island’s hospitals, in the police force, at the banks, at the supermarkets and as delivery drivers by giving them 10% off their orders from Wolf’s Den for the entire month of May," declares the team. What a beautiful expression of #CaymanKind.
Check out the menu for your next lunch or dinner and get details on promotions at www.wolfsdencayman.com, or via Facebook and Instagram pages @wolfsdencayman .