Bar owners, church come to agreement

Objection heard at meeting

Two parties have settled their differences and come to an amicable agreement following a George Town church’s objection against a liquor and music licence for a forthcoming bar and restaurant.

The Elmslie Memorial Church in George Town had lodged an objection against the change of location of a retail liquor licence and a music and dancing licence for Mr. Kevin Doyle to the Royal Watler Cruise Terminal.

Mr. Doyle, of Island Restaurants Ltd, is in the process of finalising a lease with the Port Authority for a bar and restaurant at the Royal Watler Cruise Terminal, to be known as ‘The Wild Banana Orchid’ which will cater primarily to cruise ship passengers.

The Elmslie objection was represented at last Thursday’s meeting of the Liquor Licensing Board by attorney Truman Bodden, along with church administrator John McMillan.

Mr. Bodden said their main concern with this objection was loud music.

Following the meeting Mr. Bodden said that the two parties had agreed that the bar would not have live bands or DJs and just play soft pre-recorded music.

The Liquor Licensing Board then ratified the Chairman’s decision for the change of location of the licences.

Mr. Bodden said he felt the outcome to the situation was ‘reasonable’.

Following the decision, Keith Doyle, Director, Island Restaurants Ltd commented, ‘The Elmslie Church is not only a spiritual lifeboat and sanctuary to the Cayman people but it is a beautiful, historical building and one of our most famous landmarks. It finds itself at the heart of Cayman’s bustling modern capital and the Church rightly tries to find a balance on how best to deal with modern business development whilst retaining its own special place.’

He said that as a family business Island Restaurants will always co-operate and work with the Elmslie Church so that they co-exist as friendly neighbours.

‘On behalf of the Church, Mr John Macmillan and Mr. Truman Bodden approached and asked us to give them some assurances that we would do our best to reduce the possible impact of noise levels from our proposed new restaurant and bar on the Royal Watler Terminal.

‘We had no hesitation in reaching a compromise and accommodating them . . . We know that they are very happy with the outcome and so are we.’

He said that finally the bar and restaurant that have been near three years in development can move forward with the full support of all concerned.

At the meeting on Thursday Mr. Kevin Doyle said that the bar and restaurant will have music. ‘It comes with the trade,’ he said.

He noted that his establishment will be 10 to 15 times further away from the church than Margaritaville currently is from the church. He acknowledged that the church had problems with that premises in the past.

‘The chances of you hearing any music from us are remote,’ he said.

‘I can’t guarantee that you won’t hear something but the intention is to not play loud music.’

Live Music

But he said they wished to show off Caymanian talent by having live bands play to welcome cruise ship passengers as they do at the airport.

He noted that at the church itself they have drums, organ and piano for playing live music on, so felt it was not fair that the bar should not be expected to have any live music.

Mr. Doyle said the church has double glazed windows which should eliminate noise.

He said they had also spoken to the Port Authority about doing the occasional concert there, which would help to generate revenue for the port.

Chairman of the Board Mitchell Welds pointed out that the retail hours for the bar and restaurant in question would be from 9am to 1am Monday through Friday, from 9am to midnight on Saturdays and from 1pm to 12 midnight on Sundays.

Mr. Bodden voiced his concern about live bands playing loud music, pointing out that the church holds meetings for Alcoholics Anonymous, youth groups and has children’s events.

He said he would like to see the containment of music and that the premises be kept as a restaurant rather than a bar.

Mr. Doyle said that any concerts held at the terminal would be infrequent. He said there may be one a month and that would not happen on Sundays.

He told the board that if it was helpful the Board could restrict their licence on Sundays.

‘We’re so far away from you the chances of you hearing any music are remote,’ he told the church representatives.

Mr. Bodden voiced his concern that if there is going to be big concerts at the Royal Watler venue that this has been a problem in the past because there is no way of controlling the level of music and the people drinking. He asked if Mr. Doyle’s licence could be restricted for use just during cruise ship times.

Mr. Welds told Mr. Bodden that the licenses would not cover the open area of the Royal Watler Cruise Terminal. He said Mr. Doyle could apply for an extension for one-off events but on a day to day basis the licence would cover the enclosed licensed area only.

Mr. Doyle noted that at Hard Rock CafĂ©, a rock and roll themed bar which he also runs, they keep the music well contained there. ‘I don’t think we’ve had a complaint in 10 years,’ he said.

He said that the restaurant and bar at the terminal will be named after Cayman’s national flower and they would serve Caymanian food.

To be located in the upstairs of the Royal Watler building, it consists of just under 3,000 square feet, he said, but half of that is taken up by back-of-house and toilets and so they would cater to the overflow of people downstairs at a satellite bar.

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