The Liquor Licensing Board has announced extended serving hours on Friday nights for bars, restaurants and nightclubs in Grand Cayman. Due to the Board’s decision, on Friday nights bars and restaurants are allowed to sell alcohol until 1.30am, while nightclubs are allowed to sell alcohol until 2.45am.
Bars and restaurants can now play music until 2am, while nightclubs can play music until 3am, on Friday nights only. Establishments are still required to ensure their premises are vacated of all patrons by their allotted closing times. The board’s decision comes after more than a year of efforts by bar and nightclub owners to establish longer serving hours. The board’s announcement effectively eliminates the ‘cooling off period’ previously mandated between the stoppage of alcohol sales and the closing of establishments.
At the board’s quarterly meeting on Thursday, O Bar Nightclub owner Joseph DeFilippo said his typical patrons – working in the tourism industry – are arriving at his club later in the evening due to extended working hours. His application was for permission to sell liquor on Friday nights until 3am, and play music on Friday nights until 3.30am. However, during the meeting he repeatedly said his main desire was to be able to sell alcohol after 2am, not to keep his club open past 3am. Several neighbours objected to Mr. DeFilippo’s application, raising concerns about late-night noise and public drunkenness. However, one of the objectors, representing the strata corporation for nearby George Town Villas, said his group’s primary objection was to the proposed extra 30 minutes of music, rather than the additional time to serve liquor.
Mise en Place
Also as a result of Thursday’s meeting, Mise en Place Professional Catering gained approval for a hotel liquor licence and music and dancing licence, in order to open a boutique hotel, catering facility and restaurant near Ocean Club off Shamrock Road between Prospect Point and Spotts Public Beach.
Chef Sean Collins said his family has owned the 6.5-acre plot of land since the early 1980s. The project is in the early stages, but approval to sell liquor was necessary before proceeding any further with plans, he said.
“We’d like to do a 10-bedroom hotel for the purpose of facilitating a restaurant and catering area, if you will. The idea being specifically for destination weddings, and also it’ll have to operate on a daily basis kind of as a grill/bar, with a beautiful view, panoramic view,” Mr. Collins said. “I think it can add a lot to that particular area of the Island.”
Mr. Collins said the boutique hotel would be advertised internationally and could accommodate a maximum of 20 to 30 people. He said the plan is to build an enclosed room to use for music and dancing during celebrations, and that activities at the facility would not generate late-night noise.
Additionally, Mise en Place was granted another music and dancing licence to supplement its existing mobile retail liquor licence, so the company can provide music at selected functions throughout the year.
The board also decided to grant a retail liquor licence, restaurant liquor licence and music and dancing licence to George Powell, who intends to open a “fine-dining facility” in East End. Appearing before the board, Mr. Powell said his proposed restaurant would be in the same class as, for example, Lighthouse Restaurant in Breakers, and would not directly compete with clientele of the existing bars in East End. “I’m not going to spend $400,000 in East End to sell beer for $2. It’s going to be $4 or $5 per beer,” he said. Also, the board approved a retail liquor licence and music and dancing licence for a proposed sports bar in West Shore Plaza.
The board refused to grant permission for Oral Masters to operate Blue Marlin Restaurant and Bar on Eastern Avenue on Wednesday nights until 2am. The board also refused three applications by Prentice Panton to operate his three Liquor 4 Less store locations until 10pm.