Swim right up for a drink at the Reef

This winter, revellers will be able
to swim up to the Reef and get a drink.

A swim-up pool bar is to be
constructed, subject to the granting of planning permission, in the area
between the Reef Grill and the Royal Palms gift shop, formerly a restaurant.
The pool is to be 28 by 36 feet with 18 feet of patio space at either side.

“Hopefully we can finally put to
rest the rampant rumours that the Royal Palms has been sold or torn down. The
Kirkconnells have made a commitment to make major changes here and we’re
excited,” said Don Loyd of the business.

“There will be eight to ten private
cabanas round the pool which will have LED lighting – it’s pretty cool. The
pool is going to tie things in together, and there will also be a dry area to
sit at the bar.”

More affordable

Mr. Loyd said that the menu will be
reworked to include a more affordable price point, as well as the higher-end
offerings, such as sea bass. There may also be brunches offered by the bar, he

“Quite frankly, there are so many
fine dining establishments that are opening up that they’re beating themselves
to death. I think there’s more of a need for moderately priced places than
there is for high-end places right now so people can have the choice from the
low to the high. It’s been the case in the States for a while, now. We have a
big enough facility here to be able to do that and I think we can make better
use of the property. We’ve had a really nice run and a good level of business
for twelve years, but in order to retain our level of business we need to make

“It shows everybody on the island
that the Kirkconnells are committed to this place and are not going to sell it.
For four or five years we’ve been getting calls about that and it has to affect
your level of business if people think you’re getting sold or aren’t there
anymore,” said Mr. Loyd.

Increased competition

Mr Loyd explained that from
conversations he’d had with compatriots in other establishments, it had become
clear that business in general was down across the board for Cayman’s
retailers. Some of this was down due to increased competition from new
restaurants opening, he noted.

There has already been interest
from cruise ships regarding hiring out the cabanas and using the pool,
continued the restaurateur.

The property is also undergoing a
general spruce-up and a lick of paint, glass counter tops and glowing lights,
with the new facility likely to open in November, should all permissions be


The Reef Grill is a popular beach bar.
Photo: Joe Shooman

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