The Office looking to extend hours

The
Office Lounge has applied for an extension to its opening hours until 2am every
Tuesday.

Leonard
Hew of The Office made the application at the quarterly meeting of the Liquor
Licensing Board of Grand Cayman on Thursday, 3 June.

Currently,
he said, Tuesday nights are very slow but the club has been looking for
innovative ideas to attract specific clientele in what he described as
economically stressed times.

“We
have been able to attract Latin [clientele] by offering a totally Spanish
karaoke so that they can come and sing and enjoy ourselves.

“We
have found out over the months that we have been operating that some of them
work in bars; some leave work at 7 or 8 o’clock and by the time they go home,
get changed and rest they come out at 11pm. By quarter to one everything is
finished,” said Mr. Hew.

He
said that it was a successful night with a well-behaved crowd and that the bar
has tried to minimise any noise by purchasing high-quality equipment. The noise
was nothing compared to that generated by the Port Authority’s cargo trucks,
said Mr. Hew.

“We
like our neighbours very much and we do everything we can to control [noise]
and not disturb them,” he added.

Objection

An
objection was heard from Enid Bernard, who lives in the close vicinity of The
Office. Her son Anthony said that historically it had been a residential area.
Further, as there was not enough parking for patrons they were in the habit of
using the residential spaces, and that there had also been instances of violent
and rude behaviour. Extending the hours would compound the problem, and
granting one night’s extension would inevitably be a prelude to further requests
for extending operating hours on other nights. At some stage, the rights of
citizens must take precedence, he said.

Mrs.
Bernard recounted an occasion when loud music was being played from the stereo
systems of cars in her parking lot. She said that although she did not see the
vandals personally, an instance that a car was clamped led to vandalism of palm
trees and security signs, which had cost her $200.

“In
the nights when they’re ready to leave, they’re already drunk, half of them –
they get in their cars, they put on their lights, they spin the tyres, they
make a lot of noise and they throw their debris around,” she said.

By
the time security turned up on that occasion, the vandals had disappeared, she
said.

On
Friday nights the music was so loud that it rattles the windows of her
apartment, she said, and she had to go and sleep in her back room.

To
extend the license to 2am on a Tuesday would stop her and other senior citizens
sleeping on that day as well as Fridays, she said, when she couldn’t sleep
until the bar closed.

Bottles

Litter
was also a consideration, said Mrs. Bernard, with bottles littering the area.

Mr.
Hew responded that there were two other bars within 100 yards and although they
had limited parking space, there was access to two large parking lots by The
Office. He said that his team checked for bottles regularly and security worked
very hard to make sure nothing left the premises.

He
said that the bar has tried their best to accommodate Mrs. Bernard, and that
they regularly warned drivers not to park there as they would be clamped and it
would cost $75 to release the vehicle.

The
board deferred their decision on the application until the September quarterly
meeting.