Xp Bonaire Island Life Feature Story
7 years ago, in September, 2013, Sebastian’s Restaurant officially opened its doors. The oceanfront location has one of the most breathtaking views - right next to the Caribbean Sea and overlooking the nightlights of Bonaire.
Dream come true
For almost 20 years, Sebastian thought about this location before he could finally call it his own. The Bavarian grew up in a hospitality family and was owner of two successful businesses in the spa region of Tyrol before moving to Bonaire. At the young age of 24, he became Chef de Cuisine and worked internationally as well as on cruise ships.
While working on a cruise, Sebastian visited Bonaire with its peaceful beauty and decided he would return. A windsurf fanatic, he returned for his vacation every year from then on. In 1997, he visited the restaurant location for the first time, fell in love and decided that this would be the location for his future restaurant.
When the location became available, Sebastian was immediately on a flight to the island. Within the same week, the deal was made and he became the proud owner of his dream location that we know today as Sebastian’s Restaurant.
Starting all over again
In May, 2013, he and his son, Sebastian Junior, became residents of Bonaire. As Sebastian explained to his son, “We decided to live in a different culture; we have to adapt to the local customs; no one made us come here, so it is our duty to adjust ourselves.”
Sebastian admits the first years weren’t easy, “It was like starting all over again, working 7 days a week and fighting for the acceptance and trust of our guests and the community”.
After 4- 5 years, he felt he was successful in establishing his concept. “The most important thing that some people don’t realize is that the quality has to stay consistent, but it is also one of the hardest things to do. To cook a great meal one time is good, but cooking it the same way over and over again is hard. “
Consistency, Quality, Honesty
Consistency, quality and honesty is what is most important to Sebastian. “I don’t put any product on the menu that I’m not convinced of, besides the Hawaii pizza …” he says, laughing out loud.
By bringing in the weekly Italian Night with pizza and pasta for an affordable price, Sebastian’s became a favorite Sunday outing for the whole family.
After the reconstruction work that was done a couple of years ago, Sebastian’s was now also able to seat more guests in a spacious, protected, roof top area.
Lunch for Life
This year Sebastian continued to develop his concept and opened a new lunch food truck in October.
Keep on grinding
“I am an entrepreneur in the hospitality industry. It’s important to keep developing your concept and adjusting to the needs and wishes of your guests. Now was the time to present it to our community.”
The food truck serves lunch sandwiches 7 days a week from 11:30 – 2 pm. The price is only $8 with the ability to add toppings.
The homemade Italian bread is freshly baked every morning and is topped with tomato, arugula, antipasti, a basil oil, parmesan cheese and your choice of cold meat, marinated grilled octopus or one of the new additions such as goat cheese or original Italian Mortadella. All sandwiches can be made for the vegan guest and Sebastian is also working on a gluten free option that will soon be available.
In our and in our taste testers’ opinion:
This is a full meal, delicious, fresh and enough even for a full-grown man. A healthier alternative to a burger.
Fridays, starting at 9.30 pm, a DJ is playing house music and every week they will be serving a special cocktail creation. Even better, during the first hour, ladies will be served the cocktail for free. Of course, you can come for dinner first and stick around, but you can also come later, have a drink and enjoy the music, the oceanfront setting and the company.
Note: These Friday nights will be back as soon as possible.
Wednesdays are another fun night for us locals. A four course surprise dinner is served for only $35. You can experience the chef’s creativity, professional service and a beautiful location.
Thanksgiving - November 26
Thanksgiving has become a yearly tradition at Sebastian’s. This year, like every year, you can enjoy a traditional American style Thanksgiving meal.