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Popularly known as one of Sri Lanka’s very first DJs and entertainers, Harpo Gooneratne has worked his way through the hospitality industry, becoming one of the island’s great success stories.

Harpo moved from DJing to graduating from Hotel school, finally joining a 5 star hotel as Sri Lanka’s first entertainment manager. Thanks to his skill, the famed Library Lounge and Night Club was born. After 10 years, he moved to Hilton Colombo as its Business Development Manager.

His passion has always been creating concepts where people could unwind and experience something different. It was a natural next step for him to manage his own company- Harpo Productions in 2004, now branded as “Harpo’s Cafes and Restaurants.”

People don’t usually visualize themselves running a successful organization when they are young. They tend to grow into it as they mature, with a little luck and a lot of hard work. It was slightly different for Harpo. “I always knew what I wanted and my dream was to be who I am now. I’ve always wanted to be around people and create concepts that people can enjoy,” he said.

Harpo’s vision of providing efficient and courteous service within a homely environment was realized when. Commons Coffee House was born in 2004. This success was followed by The The Bay Leaf restaurant in 2005, the only Sri Lankan home grown brand, Harpo’s Pizza in 2007, Park Street Mews in 2009, Colombo Fort Café in 2011 and Curve - Tapas restaurant & Bar in 2013.

In order to support the ever growing hospitality industry Harpo's School of Tourism & Hospitality Management was launched in 2012 offering 3-6 months courses in F&B service, Culinary Arts, Housekeeping, Front office and Hotel Operations, and has been successfully operating in its satellite Branch in Galle.

Hotel management is also in his current portfolio with the management of St Lachlan Hotel & Suites in Negombo and Heaven Seven Boutique Hotel in N’Eliya.

Events have also been Harpo’s forte with his background in DJing and entertainment, and he has coordinated many famous local and international events in Colombo during the last 20 years. His focus lies in expanding his brands and businesses. “My business is growing and I believe in giving time and attention to my customers. This involves being at the restaurants, speaking to my customers and making sure things are right,” he said.

Managing different entities is never easy but Harpo seems to be on the ball; The Bay Leaf, The Commons Coffee House, Park Street Mews, Colombo Fort Café , Curve Tapas restaurant & Bar and Harpo’s Pizza are all managed by him.
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