One of Cayman’s oldest jerk vendors, Seymour’s Jerk Centre, closed down on Saturday after being served with an eviction notice.
The roadside eatery has been at its Shedden Road location in George Town for decades.
“We had to move. We closed down from Saturday … Mr. [Frank] Flowers had given us [an] eviction notice to leave so we didn’t have a choice. We are really sorry we have to close because we’ve been 34 years in the business,” said restaurant founder Seymour Silburn.
Mr. Flowers owns the parking lot on Shedden Road from which Seymour’s Jerk Centre had been operating.
Mr. Silburn said the Flowers Group served him with an eviction notice about a month ago, stating he had to vacate the property within 30 days. He does not anticipate the jerk stall opening up in a new location anytime soon and he was looking for a job to help pay his mortgage and bills.
“I’m trying to find somewhere else [to locate], but it’s not going to be easy. We’re so concerned about our customers because we didn’t get time to put [an announcement on] air,” he said.
Mr. Flowers said Mr. Silburn was in “substantial debt” with the Flowers Group.
“As a supporter of Cayman business, the Flowers Group has written off a substantial amount of bad debt for our tenant Seymour’s Jerk Chicken over the past two years,” Mr. Flowers said. “Unfortunately, we cannot continue to do so, and in order to spare Seymour’s any additional embarrassment, we will not be commenting any further on his financial situation.” Mr. Silburn said meeting his $1,400-a-month rent for the premises, as well as the cost of utilities for the restaurant, had been difficult.
Three members of his staff lost their jobs in the restaurant’s closure, he said.
He added that the eviction and closure had been “rough for us” and that he had hoped to get “at least three months’ notice, but just 30 days kind of came as a shock to us.” “I’m very sad to know I had to leave my customers but that is just a situation we have no control over, and we just have to leave it in the hands of God,” he said.