After more than eight
years at its Fort Street location in downtown George Town, Bacchus Restaurant
and Wine Bar closed for business Thursday.
Its owner, Keith Griffin, confirmed over the weekend that
the restaurant would not be re -opening.
“[Business] wasn’t that bad, but I could see it becoming
bad,” Mr. Griffin told the Caymanian Compass on Saturday. “We’re looking ahead
at the cruise ship schedule and offices are moving out of town.
“I couldn’t see a business reason to keep the place
Mr. Griffin said the property owner plans to turn the
location on Fort Street next to the Legislative Assembly building into retail
shops. He said he has no plans to re-open Bacchus at another location and has
not decided what he’ll do next.
On Saturday, work crews were cleaning out the business,
indicating they had to move from the
location by Sunday.
Bacchus first opened in late 2002 on Fort Street, but Mr.
Griffin said that spot had been a restaurant of one kind or another dating to
Recent changes in the fortunes of the downtown George
Town area have essentially made it difficult to attract “foot traffic”, Mr.
Cruise ship calls, particularly from the higher-end
cruise lines, were scheduled to drop off in Grand Cayman during 2011. However,
Mr. Griffin said his restaurant has also been affected by a number of offices
moving from downtown to places like Cricket Square and Camana Bay.
“I just don’t think it’s getting any better in George
Town,” he said. “The fees and licences just keep going up, and business keeps
Bacchus is hardly the first restaurant in the area to
close its doors.
Just across the street, Senor Frogs shut down for good
last year, citing a drop in the number of cruise ship customers it served in
Also, the weekend of 23-24 April, local restaurant Al La
Kebab – located just down the way from Bacchus on Albert Panton Drive – was
shuttered. It was not clear at press time whether the business planned to
re-open at some point.
The Al La Kebab store at the Marquee Plaza remains open
and operating as usual.
A reported drop in cruise ship calls between January of
this year and January 2012 is playing a role in the troubles of downtown
According to figures received by the Compass, Royal
Caribbean, Princess Cruises and Celebrity Cruises will make a combined 54 fewer
cruise calls to Grand Cayman in the one-year period ending 31 January, 2012,
compared to the
previous 12 months.
The reduction represents a 26 per cent decrease in calls
from ships from the three cruise lines. Liberty of the Seas is scheduled to
make only four calls to Grand Cayman in 2011 after being scheduled to make 24
calls in 2010. Celebrity Century is scheduled to make 26 fewer calls during
2011 than the 36 it was scheduled to make this year.