Sad ode to the Seaview

I have been living across from the Seaview for two months now and woke up yesterday to the sound of the Seaview bar and hotel (or at least what was left of it after Ivan) being demolished to make way for yet another luxury condo building (like we really need another one), which has been planned to take its place.

What a sad day. The Seaview holds so many dear and blurry memories for so many people on this island.

It was the first place I was taken to and eagerly introduced to the day I arrived eight years ago. I met my husband at the Seaview. I met and made most of my dear friends there and that’s where I spent every Halloween and New Year’s Eve.

Then there were the Sunday nights with Z99 playing classics from 6-9 and the Seaview serving two-for-one mudslides. I know I’m not the only one who remembers the Seaview in this way.

It wasn’t just a bar; it wasn’t just a place; it was a very special neighbourhood and community spot where people came together to talk about their days, their gripes and grimes and to be together as friends.

It literally was the place where everyone knew your name. It went through so many physical changes and still kept its very special charm.

Remember Superman in the telephone booth and most important of all, probably the most permanent fixture, Dude sitting at the same corner of the bar every night with his Red Stripe on ice?

His paintings were still on the ceiling of the bar until yesterday. It was also one of the only places we could take our dogs without a leash and they would get a bucket of water on arrival. The dogs even went there without us!

It’s sad that a spot that meant so much to so many people for so long is now gone, but it’s even more sad to behold what will take its place – three-storey luxury condos with an infinity pool. The construction will dwarf South Church Street and cast huge shadows over the residents across the road like Ms Grace and her family who have lived there all their lives and whose parents built the Seaview.

Do we really need another huge and modern condo block?

Don’t we really need another island place where friends can go to meet and feel at home more than another chunk of concrete?

Whatever happened to island life and barefoot afternoons watching the sunset at the Seaview?

Sonita Malan

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