Ottmar’s eatery goes solar

What is believed to be the first restaurant in Cayman to use solar energy to lower its electricity bills has opened its doors.

Chef Ottmar Weber is back in business with the opening of the Fisherman’s Reef Bar and Grill at Morgan’s Harbour, West Bay.

Chef Ottmar contracted local company Electra-Tech to install the solar water heating system

The drain-back water heating system uses two four feet by eight feet solar collectors to heat a 120 gallon water tank.

‘With a current electric rate of $.25 per kilowatt, the water heating system should save Ottmar over $2,000 per year. The solar system will pay for itself in less than three years,’ said Electra-Tech.

The new restaurant – at the location of the old Borden’s pizza business, next to Bayside Watersports – had its soft opening in December and is open for dinner from 5.30 to 11pm.

It is scheduled for a grand opening on 25 January and is set to start serving lunches from 1 February.

Ottmar, who has nearly 50 years experience as a chef, has been in Cayman for many years and opened his first restaurant, called L’Escargot, in 1984.

His second – Ottmar’s – was opened in 1991 but was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

His latest restaurant is at the location of the old Borden’s pizza business, which also fell victim to the ravages of Ivan.

‘We pretty much had just had the four outside walls to work with and started from scratch,’ said Mr. Ottmar.

More than eight months construction and renovation work – including the addition of a terrace, bar and wine cellar – has gone into preparing the new restaurant, which can seat 60 people inside and 100 outside, he said.

‘I am glad to be back in the business I love,’ he said.