Joseph John Issa, BA, CPA, JP
Executive Chairman of Cool Corp, dynamic businessman Joe Issa, has become synonymous with Bamboo Blu, Trip Advisor’s top restaurant located in the gated Mammee Bay Estate, once a popular haven for international icons such as Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor, among others, in Ocho Rios, St. Ann on Jamaica’s trendy north coast.
In 2012, having built a group of businesses comprising over fifty multifaceted companies providing a wide range of products and services, Joe Issa ventured into the restaurant business, one which remains close to his heart ever since his 15-year tenure at his parent’s chain of all-inclusive resorts, which earned him a number of awards, including the Jamaica Observer’s Brightest Spark and 1994 Young Hotelier of the World.
Born Joseph John Issa on December 01, 1965 and married in 2003 to his long-time sweetheart, businesswoman Asha Rochu Manglani, his business strategies have been compared with those of Sir Richard Branson, best known for building the Virgin Group of over 400 companies.
Like the strict standards he has set for all his previous ventures – high level service and customer satisfaction – Bamboo Blu, which had become shrub-ridden, was to be transformed into a top class restaurant and bar for residents of the estate, and Jamaican and foreign visitors.
By the time Joey had finished his upgrade, the property was landscaped, driveway constructed, cabanas erected, bathrooms repaired, jerk hut, lobster pond, massage parlor, boutique and gym were all built, using the restaurant’s themed material – bamboo.
The structure, which once rode high on the back of its prominent location, now had the decor to flaunt – a thatched roof, wooden deck and surrounding gazebos – creating a setting which the neighboring RIU hotel calls the St. Tropez of the Caribbean.
Located on the beach next to RIU Hotel, a guest there recently remarked, “It’s an amazing view from our room,” citing the crackling sound of the nightly bonfires and the bamboo village effect by day, as well as Rocketman, which jet-propels water sports enthusiast as high as 30 feet in the air and allows them to perform immortal feats like walking on water.
But seeing Bamboo Blu is not near enough as the ‘proof of the pudding’ is also in the great Jamaican fusion food and drinks, great service and great atmosphere, all of which continue to place it in a class of its own, as has been recognized by Trip Advisor, making Bamboo Blu the #1 out of 71 restaurants in Ocho Rios, and the winner of the 2013 and 2014 Certificate of Excellence.
Please leave a comment next time you visit Bamboo Blu; we are open 7 days a week from 10am to 10pm.