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OUT & ABOUT: An Oasis away from home


SHERIA BRATHWAITE

OUT & ABOUT: An Oasis away from home

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The Oasis Cocktail Bar and Deli is described by patrons as their secret getaway or home away from home. Located in the Villages at Coverley, Christ Church, the spot attracts a Wednesday crowd, in addition to their usual weekend nights.

While some come to indulge in the Zen-like atmosphere, others find delight in singing karaoke, line dancing, sharing a laugh with close friends or celebrating a special occasion with strangers.

Kathleen Brathwaite, who is a nurse, said that after her first time hanging out at the bar, she had to put it into her schedule.

“We came here [last month] because it was one of our friend’s birthday. We had a great time so we decided to make it our weekly lime and ‘destresser’ from work.”

Brathwaite likes that the bar has a variety of entertainment during the middle of the week.

“It is really, really nice to have a [midweek] liming spot to go to and unwind from long shifts. I like it. So it’s nice that it is available and accessible [on weekdays].”

DJ AC said it was the only karaoke bar where women outnumbered men. “Young people and older people come and sing oldie goldies, calypso or reggae and even hip hop and pop and the line dancing usual occurs during or just after someone sings,” he said.

“So far I witnessed people coming out for birthday parties, anniversaries and even divorces. They ask for the microphone and speak about their experiences,” he said, enlightening EASY about some of the events the bar has had.   

Operations manager Sade Slinger-Folkes explained the name of the business.

“When you think about an oasis you think about water, you think about refreshment, you think of a saviour more or less. This is like that. The name was chosen specifically for those reasons,” she said.

Slinger-Folkes said that more patrons come from outside the Villages at Coverley.

“This square was set up for the residents at the villages but not only the residents get to enjoy it but people from the outside come in. Matter of fact the patrons from the outside support the bar most.”

She said patrons “had a good time” at the bar because “the space is kind of exotic, airy, fresh and the audience is sophisticated”.

“With all the crime that is happening people want to feel safe and this is the kind of environment that if someone steps on your toe you do not have to worry that someone will pull out a gun . . . . It is like family,” she said.

“Here you can speak about anything. A man even got up and professed his love for his wife, who is an amputee. He said that when she had both legs he loved her and now she is dependent on a wheelchair he loves her more,” she said.

Slinger-Folkes said that people have told her the bar is successful because of her kind and sharing character and down-to-earth personality.

Slinger-Folkes is a community health educator in the Ministry of Health, and works in association with the HIV/AIDS Food Bank.  She also teaches drama and pioneered the HIV Hotline and was its first manager and coordinator.  (SB)

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