Bahama Breeze Island Grille – Bringing Island Flair to Prince William

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By Olivia Overman, Contributing Writer

roquefort_tenderloin 031Since opening its doors in February, Bahama Breeze® Island Grille at Potomac Mills in Woodbridge brings the Caribbean feeling of the islands to all who venture in. With a laid-back, tropical setting, people come to relax, enjoy the food and music—and just stay for a while. “Our restaurant continues to be a place where guests can come in and get a feeling of an island escape with the food, drink and vibrant atmosphere that they would find in the Caribbean,” said Sufian Essawi, Bahama Breeze’s general manager. Set in a spacious 8,500 square- foot dining space, the restaurant—with its high ceilings and warm tones—provides an inviting and accommodating space for more than 300 patrons.Bahama Breeze was one of three restaurants added as part of the recent Potomac Mills’ property expansion and exterior renovation project. The other newly-opened restaurants are The Cheesecake Fact and Bobby’s Burger Palace.Prince William is the first Virginia location for Bahama Breeze. “We identified Prince William County as a great place with long-term growth potential,” Essawi said.

Bahama Breeze’s menu includes a wide variety of Caribbean inspired cuisine. Chicken, fish and pasta are all cooked with the island flavors in mind. “Bahama Breeze is known for fresh, delicious seafood, distinctive chicken dishes and flame-grilled steaks, accompanied by refreshing, handcrafted tropical drinks,” said Essawi.

“Many of our team members have extensive experience in the culinary industry, including time spent at other restaurants,” Essawi added. Assisted by a 25-member team, the culinary manager, KelBundrant, prepares island-inspired dishes for guests. These include jerk chicken pasta, coconut shrimp, fresh pan-seared salmon pasta, seafood paella, baby back ribs and Jamaican chicken wings.

Additionally, a new line of rice bowls recently added to menu has become popular, according to Essawi. “Our chipotle beef and shrimp creole are extremely well-liked with our guests,” he said.

Bahama Breeze also has a full bar that conjures up eelings of the tropics. “We feature a premium list of tropical drinks called ‘Legendary Island Cocktails,’ which includes five authentic custom- made drinks sourced from world-famous locales, including our newest one—the ‘Yaka Hula Hickey Dula,’” said Essawi. “We also offer a full line of drinks, from our ever-popular ‘Frozenarita’ and ‘Ultimate Margarita,’ to our diverse line of Mojitos.”

bahamaEntertaining the Island Way

During the warmer months, the restaurant features live entertainment on the outdoor deck, seven nights a week. “We seek out musicians that can play a variety of Caribbean and island-inspired music,” said Essawi.

The great thing about Bahama Breeze is that it the family restaurant and adult hangout at the same time. There is more family activity from lunch to dinner and more adult activity from dinner to closing time, especially outside with the live music,” said Hunter Robinson, manager of media relations and communications for Darden Restaurants, Inc. Bahama Breeze is a member of Darden’s family of restaurants.

The eatery’s hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. Bahama Breeze offers food and drink specials from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, with late-night specials also available Sunday through Thursday from 9 p.m. until closing. Late-night specials include half-price on appetizers on such treats as buttermilk fried chicken sliders, lobster and shrimp quesadilla and jumbo lump crab stack.

For kids, the menu offers hamburger sliders, grilled tilapia and macaroni and cheese as well as a selection of pasta dishes and “Kids’ Koolers,” such as “Raspberry Surfer” and “Mango Mango Man.” So the entire family can enjoy themselves on their “Caribbean”  night  out.

The restaurant also accommodates group events in a semi-private setting. “We have indoor and outdoor seating for any occasion. We can customize any event based upon our guests’ needs, from seated dinners to cocktail receptions,” said Essawi.

Supporting Community

The restaurant is already a force in the community. “We are always looking for ways to interact with our local community through charitable events and holidays,” Essawi said. At its opening celebration, Bahama Breeze donated $1,500 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, he said. The club, which includes several branches in the Prince William area, is dedicated to giving youth a safe place to learn, have fun and grow.

Bahama Breeze also participates in the Darden Harvest Program, which provides surplus food to local nonprofit charities for distribution to those in need. Darden Restaurants, Inc., established the program in partnership with Food Donation Connection, a national network that works with restaurants and other food service companies to distribute high-quality, prepared foods to hunger- relief organizations across the U.S.

Bahama Breeze’s community involvement is its way of giving back to the people it serves. “We’ve received outstanding support from the community,” Essawi said.

A graduate of American University’s School of Communication, Olivia Overman is a freelance writer who has composed articles for a number of online and print publications. She can be reached at



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