Restaurant owner Herman Llewellyn grew up in Jamaica watching his grandmother in the kitchen cooking traditional Jamaican-style cuisine. He learned the techniques and spices from her, making his own food, which others always seemed to enjoy. Cooking became a passion for him and he wanted to share this love and passion with people, he said.
When he lost his job as an IT consultant a few years ago, Llewellyn said he realized this was the right time to take the initiative and open his own restaurant.
“People seem to enjoy Jamaican food and I am excited to share this with others and fill a need in Leesburg," Llewellyn said.
After some research and planning, he found downtown Leesburg to be the perfect location for his restaurant. The closest Jamaican restaurants to Loudoun County are in Arlington, Dale City and Winchester.
Llewellyn, who is a Leesburg resident, spent the past eight months remodeling the restaurant, which was formerly a financial office. He built out a kitchen, and reconstructed many parts of the interior. There is also a centerpiece bar which currently serves beer and wine, and there are plans to hire a bartender and add to the drink offerings.
He also has an in-house DJ, who will set up his equipment and play Jamaican music in the patio and hallway.
The restaurant has an international feel to it, with family members and friends working in the restaurant from Spain, the Philippines and El Salvador.
After being open for only three weeks, business has been "surprisingly good," said Llewellyn. It was a spontaneous decision to open one day and the restaurant has been very well received.
“Last Friday night it was packed in here," Llewellyn added.
The menu includes traditional Jamaican cuisine. Appetizers include fried plantains, beef, chicken and vegetable patties, coco bread and jerk chicken spring rolls. Prices range $5 and under. Entrees range from $10 for lunch and $15-$18 for dinner. (Writer’s note: the jerk chicken was absolutely delicious!)
Blue Mountain’s sign will be going up soon, and they are looking forward to becoming a fixture in the Leesburg restaurant scene. They are open at 11:30 a.m. daily. Call 571-209-9099.