Liquor Board rejects 3am applications

Managers at both the Anchorage Centre and Senor Frogs have vowed to reapply to the Liquor Licencing Board, seeking to reverse last week’s rejection of applications to remain open till 3am.

Both Renard Moxam and Stefan Baraud suggested their bids had been refused because the board didn’t want to set a precedent for 3am openings.

The Anchorage Centre’s Mr. Moxam said public opinion might prevail in the future, however.

‘We’ll wait and see if there is evidence that the public wants it, and then we may go back to the board and reapply,’ Mr. Moxam said.

Mr. Baruad feared that the five-member board had not understood the Senor Frogs concept of a combined restaurant and entertainment venue for promoting local music.

‘They need to be submersed in the concept to understand what it’s all about,’ he said.

‘I intend to reapply in September, at the next board meeting, by which time we will have been fully operational and the board will have had a chance to see the concept and appreciate it in full.’

Cayman’s Liquor Licensing Board last Friday rejected the applications to stay open until 3am.

Both Mr. Moxam and Mr. Baraud told the five-member board that they hoped to serve Cayman’s burgeoning tourist trade and contribute to the restoration of downtown George Town.

Citing operations in south Florida, Mr. Moxam told the board last week that the Anchorage Centre hoped to contribute to changes taking place downtown.

‘The entertainment side of George Town is changing gradually, and the Anchorage Centre will add to what’s happening downtown,’ he told members.

‘We feel the operation will be more active downtown and give us more options.’

Under questioning by the board, Mr. Moxam denied the centre would be an all-night bar, but rather a nightclub offering food and dancing.

‘It will be a more tropical, island atmosphere with that sort of music. There will be dancing, though not all the time,’ he said.

‘It will be on the whole second level, and eating will be over (in one section), and dancing over (in another). Hopefully we’ll attract cruise ships that are staying late or even overnight.’

He was less forthcoming when asked about his resources for expansion, declining to answer board chairman Mitchell Welds’ query.

Mr. Baraud explained that the Mexico-based franchise Senor Frogs relied on a 3am, even 4am, closing as part of ‘a concept for success for the cruise-ship market, with a live band and a full-time DJ on staff.

‘We are not outside with an open-air deck. We have a staging area, a dance floor, a DJ booth. It’s kind of a scalable concept so once things change after dinner, we can showcase local bands.

‘We are hopeful of this opportunity to transform downtown and help the revitalisation plan,’ he said.

Senor Frog’s application appeared to be part of an incremental process by which the restaurant has expanded from an initial first-floor operation to a two-level enterprise with both a restaurant and retail licence.

Mr. Baruad said Senor Frogs sought to capitalise on the premise’s original licence to serve alcohol until 1am.

Board members traditionally do not elaborate on refusals.

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