Lights out in George Town restaurants

A power outage on Saturday night led customers to walk out of one George Town restaurant during its dinner rush, costing owners thousands of dollars in lost sales, while kitchen staff at another restaurant cooked with flashlights in a bid to continue business. 

Areas affected by the outage included parts of Crewe Road, Walkers Road, and South Church Street, which were without power from shortly before 6 p.m. until about 7:30 p.m., according to the Caribbean Utilities Company.  

CUC’s corporate communications manager Pat Bynoe-Clarke said the outage was caused by “flash over” wires, the result of one phase connecting with another phase due to windy conditions. 

“This was not a scheduled outage. The cause of this outage was due to adverse weather conditions,” Ms. Bynoe-Clarke said. 

“It should be noted that when there is a scheduled outage, customers are notified at least 48 hours in advance.” 

Guy Harvey’s Restaurant and Bar manager Bruno Deluche said some 60 customers walked out of the restaurant after waiting for the power to return, a loss of income of between $2,000 and $5,000. 

“I lost every single customer,” Mr. Deluche said, who added that by the time the power came back on, “I didn’t have any customers left.” 

Mr. Deluche said on Monday morning that he had still not been informed of the cause of the power failure, despite attempts to contact CUC. 

“It’s a big stress. Sometimes when they turn the power back on, the sudden surge causes us to lose equipment … In the past, it has blown up the compressors,” he said. 

Across the road at Paradise Restaurant, owner Gary Bodden said the restaurant had also lost power but had been able to “partly function” because of the venue’s open-air design. 

“We just gave some complimentary drinks to people because food took longer than usual,” Mr. Bodden said. “That’s how we coped … just by giving back.” 

He said while kitchen staff cooked with gas and used flashlights, it “was ridiculously hot” for staff. 

Although Saturday’s power cut was not scheduled, there are some planned outages for this week. CUC has scheduled power outages on Tuesday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. and on Wednesday between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Victory Avenue, Prospect. 

Areas affected on Tuesday will include all residences north from the junction of Victory Avenue and Summit Crescent, and Wednesday the outage will have an impact on those who reside north from the junction of Victory Ave. and Shamrock Rd. up to the junction with Summit Crescent. 

According to CUC, those interruptions are due to the upgrading of lines in the area. 

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