A local businessman’s plans to sell speciality liquors are shaping up following the quarterly meeting of the Liquor Licensing Board of Grand Cayman Thursday at Grand Pavilion Commercial Centre.
Don Seymour was granted a change of location of a Retail Liquor License and a Package Liquor License from 179 Queens Court Plaza, West Bay Road to the Capital Life Building, Block 13D, Parcel D, Eastern Avenue, GT.
The store, he said, will carry speciality liquors, not currently available in Cayman. From the 40,000 or so brands of liquor available, Mr. Seymour explained that he is trying to source brands that are not already here.
Having taken a very long time, he finally acquired the Capital Life building this year, he said. He now owns it and is to renovate it into a retail centre.
Mr. Seymour explained that he feels it is more feasible to move his business there, rather than renting at the Queens Court Plaza.
Mr. Seymour was also granted a change of location of a Distributor Liquor License to the Strand on Canal Point Road from 368 Shedden Road George Town.
Deputy Chairperson Lynn Bodden Smatt excused herself for this because of a potential conflict of interest.
Mr. Seymour said he had received a call from Dr. Frank McField about distributing Cuban liquors next to Cuban restaurant, Ernesto’s, at the Strand.
This fits in with his business plan of carrying speciality liquors, Mr. Seymour said.
That restaurant has an influx of patrons that may be interested in buying liquors on a package basis to take back to their condo or hotel room, he said.
Mr. Seymour’s application for a change of location of a Retail Liquor License and a Package Liquor License to The Strand, Canal Point Road from the Royal Watler Cruise Terminal was deferred.
Noting that he was aware of an objection from Blackbeard’s Liquors against the transfer of the package license, Mr. Seymour said they are trying to differentiate themselves from the competition by selling these speciality products.
Because various legal cases are pending with regard to approvals previously given at the Royal Watler Cruise Terminal, Mr. Seymour said he decided to step out of the situation entirely.
The opportunity then arose at the Strand for this speciality store for selling Cuban products.
In stating his objection, Bill Baldwin of Blackbeard’s Liquors said, based on what Mr. Seymour said at the meeting, he had no objection to his plans as stated, to sell Cuban beers and rums.
However, he noted that the area is already well serviced with his store and the Tortuga Liquors’ store. He asked how it could be ensured that Mr. Seymour would not turn his entire 6,000 square foot space into a package liquor space.
Chairman Mitchell Welds told Mr. Baldwin that the board has the authority to set conditions on any license. He was not saying that this is the route they would take, but was merely pointing this out to Mr. Baldwin.
In answering the objection, Mr. Seymour said the only thing he could give was his word.
‘I don’t want to get into the habit of misrepresenting myself to any board,’ he said.