One of the Cayman Islands’ oldest restaurants that is still in operation is hoping to re-open around Christmas, following a fire that broke out in the ceiling last week.
Smoke was reported inside the Lobster Pot on the George Town waterfront around 5.30pm Thursday. It was not immediately clear what caused the fire, but police told store managers there appeared to be nothing suspicious about the blaze.
Two customers and five staff members had to clear out after smoke began filtering through the business. Flames could not be seen from outside the building, however witnesses inside said they could see fire up above the second floor ceiling of the restaurant.
On Friday, Lobster Pot manager Gunter Gosch said the ceiling was “quite damaged” and it was his hope the restaurant could re-open for Christmas.
“This isn’t the type of damage you fix over a weekend,” Mr. Gosch said.
Restaurant owner Marcus Cumber vowed his business would return to where it has operated since 1965.
“We want to re-open as soon as possible,” Mr. Cumber said. “We want to be open for the high [tourism] season.”
Cayman Islands Fire Service crews said it appeared smoke was coming from somewhere inside the restaurant’s air conditioning ducts.
Mr. Gosch said the fire appeared to start on one side of the building.
“There was smoke that carried through the restaurant. We made sure everybody got out. It didn’t long for smoke to get around the room.”
No one was injured during the evacuation. Caribbean Utilities Company staff also responded to the fire.
A section of Harbour Drive/North Church Street was blocked to traffic while firefighters investigated the situation Thursday night
Mr. Gosch said he was dealing with a number of reservations for the coming weeks, notifying customers about the fire and trying to reschedule where they could. He said customers and the community had been very supportive. “We’re trying to make sure we make it as easy as possible for them,” he said.