February 28, 2023
Most people familar with Richard Bell know of his success with Startrail Records, which produced hit songs by Garnet Silk, Anthony B, Beres Hammond, and Everton Blender during the 1990s.
These days the unassuming “Bello” is in a different type of business. His Pon Top Seafoood Grill and Bar in Kingston celebrated its first anniversary on February 21.
Hammond, whose 1993 hit single Come Back Home was produced by Bell, was among the guests celebrating the Westminister Road eatery’s milestone.
“It is a great feeling to celebrate any anniversary. This is an important milestone since the first year of any business is oftentimes the most difficult,” said Bell, who is still warming to a sector in which he had experience.
“The challenges are many: rising food costs, availability of supplies, and building our team to perform at maximum efficiency are just a few. Despite long hours and hard work, I enjoy it. Food is the staff of life; people have to eat to live,” he noted.
Born in Manchester, Bell attended Munro College and Campion College. He started Startrail Records in the late 1980s, but it was not until the 1990s that the label achieved commercial success with songs like Hello Mama Africa by Garnet Silk, Fire pon Rome by Anthony B, and Everton Blender’s Lift up Your Head.
Pon Top Seafoood Grill and Bar hosts a weekly live entertainment segment, which signals Bell’s intention to return full-time to music.
“Already back in music production but taking it slowly. There is a recording studio on the premises operated by [engineer] Fatta Marshall. So with the encouragement of friends like Beres Hammond you can expect to hear new music this year,” he said.
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